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Consultation on Caversham routes

why are we proposing changes?

We are committed to offering the best possible service for the people of Reading and surrounding area, and as part of this we reinvest profits to enable us to enhance services with improved frequencies, timetables and/or buses.  

There are times though when routes are not performing as they should and we need to ensure that routes at least cover their cost or are on the road to improvement (usually) centred around new housing or enterprise.

Services in Caversham have long under-performed and, despite changes in recent years to try and address this, various increases in costs such as fuel and insurances, alongside other wider cost pressures, means that we are no longer able to maintain these services in their current format. In the last full year the services operated at a substantial loss, which means that improvements made in other parts of the network are swallowed up to support these services, which limits our potential reinvestment. Furthermore, there has been a substantial increase in the number of buses operated each hour in this area due to the competition between other operators which has led to some customers, especially concessionary pass holders, migrating from our services.

what are we doing?

We have held internal discussions about how best to proceed in Caversham. This has led to a proposed plan to re-launch our Caversham bus network in the new year - the details of which are below. This is designed to bolster and/or kick start services in areas of growth, whilst also pursuing some efficiencies to reduce costs and help these services improve their financial performance. Where possible we aim to offer customers the same (or very similar) amount of service as current and in some cases these changes will improve our offering to current users.

Once we have looked at the timetables and routes, we will follow this up later in the year with a major upgrade to the buses themselves as part of our ongoing fleet investment. This will provide a much improved quality of travel for everyone on the Caversham network to help encourage existing customers to continue to use are service and to tempt non-bus users from their cars! 

You can also click the maps below to see the proposed new routes - they will open up a PDF version.

the plans route-by-route

Caversham Heights

  • Increased frequency to every 20 minutes (from every 30 minutes)
  • Converted to double deck buses to integrate efficiently with pink 23 - as well as offering more space on board for customers
  • An improved Monday to Friday evening service
  • Re-routed away from Priest Hill and The Mount, instead operating via the northern end of Hemdean Road and Oakley Road to replace the southern end of pink 24 (see the map to the right).
  • The change to the above sections still have alternative stops within a short walking distance either further along Albert Road and at Caversham Library.

Caversham Park

  • No changes to the line of route or general frequency
  • Enhanced evening service - becoming every half hour. 

Emmer Green

  • Route withdrawn, but replaced by re-routing pink 22 along Hemdean Road and Oakley Road and pink 25 along Evesham Road, Grove Road, Kidmore End Road and Courtenay Drive (see map for details).

Peppard Road and Peppard Common 

  • New extended evening service 
  • Diverted to serve Emmer Green in replacement of pink 24 via Evesham Road, Grove Road, Kidmore End Road and Courtenay Drive (see the map above). 
  • Also diverted via Caversham Centre rather than Gosbrook Road to increase the number of buses per hour between Caversham Centre and Reading. Gosbrook Road will still have a good service through pink 23 and the Lower Caversham Shuttle 27 and 29

Lower Caversham

  • Revised route with service 27 running clockwise and service 29 running anti-clockwise to provide a link to Caversham Centre in both directions and simplify the offering to customers (see map to the right).
  • Early morning journeys would run inbound to Friar Street only and then return to Lower Caversham similar to current.    

the good bits summarised 

There will be quite a few enhancements to many areas with these changes - as making things more efficient can reduce costs, but also open up other opportunities. Below is a summary of these!

  • More frequency of services between Caversham Centre and Reading - moving pink 25 to run via Caversham Centre means there will be 6 buses per hour, an average of one every 10 minutes. 
  • Better connections with evening trains - we will take this opportunity to better time buses in the evening to meet fast train arrivals from London at Reading
  • Simplified bus stops at Station North 
  • More evenly spaced buses - Timetables will be re-planned to provide more even spacing between buses, especially on the main common section of routes.
  • Direct buses between Lower Caversham and Caversham Centre in both directions - by reversing the direction of travel of route 27 in Reading town centre customers will be able to travel between Lower Caversham and Caversham Centre in both directions, rather than customers having to return home travelling via Reading Centre on their way back to Lower Caversham.

changes to bus stops

With the proposed changes, there will be some bus stops that will no longer be used, although we have worked hard to ensure there are not many of these! For the stops stops that will no longer have any service, we have put together a handy table of the alternatives. In all cases of stops no longer used by our services, these are very lightly used at current and so should not affect many current customers.

A small number of generally lightly used bus stops will become unserved, but are within walking distance of alternative stops and services as follows:

 current bus stop  alternative stop (and route)  notes
 Priest Hill  Short walk to Caversham Library.  Alternative services are also provided along the main road St Peter’s Hill corridor by Thames Travel X39/40 services
 The Mount  As above  As above
 Highmore Road/Albert Road  Stops in Oakley Road  Alternative services along Woodcote Road by Thames Travel X39/X40 service
 Harrogate Road  Short walk to Richmond Road  Alternative services are also provided by Thames Travel X39/X40 
 Highmoor Road Church  St Andrews Church or Oakely Road stops.  Alternative services are also provided by Thames Travel X39/X40 at Harrogate Road stops.
 Darrell Road  St Andrew’s Church  Alternative services are also provided by Thames Travel X39/X40 at Harrogate Road stops.
 Blenheim Road  Blossom Road/Oakley Road  Alternative services are also provided by Thames Travel X39/X40 at Blossom Road/Harrogate Road stops.
 St Anne’s Well  Caversham Library/Hemdean Hill  
 Rotherfield Way  Grove Hill (Oakley Road/Hemdean Road)  
 Southdown Road  Marshland Square/Evesham Road or St. Barnabas Church  We will be seeking the installation of a new bus stop on the opposite side of the Marshland Square
 The Pond (Buckingham Drive)  Buckingham Drive (main stop down the road), Cavendish Road or the Black Horse  
 Kiln Road (northbound only)  Kiln Road pink 23 stop on the opposite side of the road, or Courtenay Drive top  

how to feedback

Following customer feedback & to get more comprehensive responses on this important matter, we are extending the closing date to 31 October.

If you would like to have your say on these plans, please email us using or write to us at:

Caversham Consultation, Reading Buses, Great Knollys Street, Reading, RG1 7HH.