Local Bus Service – Update
The 600 route, serving Swallowfield, Riseley, and neighbouring areas, will continue to operate as is until the end of the current contract period in March.
A year-on-year comparison of the Riseley fare zones for a three week period this September shows a 48% annual increase in passenger numbers. Further data is not currently available.
Wokingham Borough Council has now put the route out to tender for a subsequent three-year period.
If the Council receives a bid from an operator that meets the appropriate criteria and budget, a contract will be awarded.
Cllr David Lamont, Vice- Chair of Swallowfield Parish Council, said: “We are very pleased to hear that the future of our local bus service could soon be secured for a further three years, providing much needed surety to those residents who depend on public transport in our area.
With both this and the climate emergency in mind, it is good to see strong demand for the service and a substantial year on year increase in passenger numbers in part of the Parish. We have continued to engage with councillors and officers at Wokingham Borough Council regarding the future of our local bus service throughout the year and would like to thank those involved for working collaboratively to find a positive way forward.”
Cllr Paul Fishwick, Executive Member for Active Travel, Transport and Highways, said: “Firstly, I would like to thank the Parish Council for the partnership and work that we have done together on this bus service. We recognise the importance of local bus services to our residents and the role a good network plays in offering greener and healthier travel alternatives. This is an important part of reducing congestion, getting our residents more active and helping towards our climate emergency, which is another of our key priorities.
“It is also pleasing to see the increasing patronage in the new service, but we do need to have continued growth and I urge residents to take the bus wherever they can as they are safe, convenient and far more beneficial to the environment than driving.”
Cllr David Lamont, Vice-Chair, Communications Lead and Environment Lead