Views wanted over changes to buses in Wood­ley and Ear­ley

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS - By GEMMA DAVID­SON gdavid­son@wok­ing­ham­pa­per.co.uk

BUS USERS in Wood­ley and Ear­ley are be­ing asked for their feed­back on bus pro­vi­sions since the 19a and 19c routes were dis­con­tin­ued ear­lier this year.

Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil, in con­junc­tion with Ear­ley Town Coun­cil and Read­ing Buses, are ask­ing res­i­dents who reg­u­larly use the bus to share their thoughts on the lo­cal ser­vices, namely the 12 ser­vice and the pre­vi­ous 19a/c ser­vices.

The coun­cils have launched an on­line con­sul­ta­tion which asks bus users whether they used the pre­vi­ous 19 a/c ser­vices, and whether they still use the bus now that ser­vice is no longer oper­a­tional.

But some groups are con­cerned that those who once used the buses, but have sought other means of trans­port since the changes came into force, will be missed out.

They are also con­cerned that el­derly bus users who may not have ac­cess to the in­ter­net will not have their voices heard.

At a meet­ing of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Cen­tral Ear­ley Res­i­dents (ACER) on Wednesday, Oc­to­ber 4, res­i­dents aired their con­cerns about the sur­vey.

One res­i­dent, Shirley Boyt, has started a pe­ti­tion to re­in­state a ser­vice that con­nects Wood­ley and Ear­ley res­i­dents with the Royal Berk­shire Hos­pi­tal be­fore 8am.

She said: “The num­ber 12 goes to the hos­pi­tal, but it only runs once an hour. That isn’t enough.

“I have been in for ap­point­ments re­cently and have had to get a taxi home as I would have had to wait up to an hour for the next bus.

“El­derly res­i­dents are be­ing left stranded, their jour­ney on the bus is more than just a mode of trans­port, they meet up with friends and have a chat, it’s a life­line for a lot of peo­ple.

“Hav­ing an hourly ser­vice, which doesn’t run at reg­u­lar times, is not con­ve­nient.”

The con­sul­ta­tion will run un­til Novem­ber 3, so res­i­dents are be­ing en­cour­aged to get their re­sponses in quickly.

Chris Bowring, Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for high­ways and trans­port, said: “This con­sul­ta­tion is a chance for res­i­dents of Wood­ley and Ear­ley to let us know their views on bus travel around their area and what they’d like to see from it in the fu­ture.

“We hope to get a good re­sponse to the sur­vey as the con­sul­ta­tion process aims to in­form the fu­ture shape of the ser­vice.”

The sur­vey is avail­able to com­plete on­line by vis­it­ing www. wok­ing­ham.gov.uk/con­sul­ta­tions.

Pa­per copies can be re­quested by call­ing 0118 974 6000, or can be picked up from the fol­low­ing lo­ca­tions:

Maiden Er­legh Li­brary, Sil­verdale Road, Ear­ley, RG6 7LL

Wood­ley Li­brary, Headley Road, Read­ing, RG5 4JA

Lower Ear­ley Li­brary, Chal­font Way, Lower Ear­ley, RG6 5HZ

ASDA, Chal­font Way, Lower Ear­ley, RG6 5TT

Oak­wood Cen­tre, Headley Road, Wood­ley, RG5 4JZ

Ear­ley Town Coun­cil, In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre, Rad­stock Lane

Ear­ley Cres­cent Com­mu­nity Re­source Cen­tre, War­ble Drive

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