Free bus travel this November and December

6 months ago Wed 15th Nov 2023

Great news for our customers in West Berkshire, Wokingham and Bracknell Forest; this November and December, bus travel will be free on selected Saturdays with some bonus Sundays on certain buses!

Thanks to bus service improvement plan (BSIP) funding made available by the UK Government, the councils in West Berkshire, Wokingham and Bracknell Forest have been able to fund free travel days during November and December to help you leave the car at home, avoid parking fees (and parking stress!) and head into town for shopping or to meet up with friends and family.

By leaving the car and taking the bus this November and December you can help reduce the amount of congestion on the roads and help improve local air quality too! A single double-decker bus at full capacity can take around 2km of cars off the road.

free travel dates

The days with free travel vary depending on what council area you are travelling in and our drivers will only be able to issue free travel onboard buses within the areas below.

Our usual selection of great value fares and tap on tap off will be available for customers outside of these areas. Customers in Reading Borough are already able to take advantage of the £3 Reading All-Bus day ticket fare using tap on, tap off until December 31 (£3.40 on the app)

West Berkshire

Customers boarding within West Berkshire will be able to get free return tickets on Saturday 18 November, Saturday 16 December and Saturday 23 December. Your journey must start at a stop within West Berkshire and you will be able to return for free from a stop outside the West Berkshire area (eg. Reading town centre).

Wokingham

Customers boarding within Wokingham will be able to get free single tickets on all Saturdays from Saturday 18 November until Saturday 23 December. Your journey must start at a stop within Wokingham but you can travel to stops outside of the Wokingham area.

You will, however, need to pay for your journey back if it starts outside of the Wokingham area (eg. Reading town centre). This journey will however be capped at just £2 thanks to the Help For Households fare scheme.

In addition to these free travel Saturdays, there are also two Sundays where there will be free travel  on selected routes.

On Sunday 26 November to help customers travel to the Wokingham Winter Carnival; journeys on lion 4 / X4 within the Wokingham Borough area will be free and on Sunday 3 December, to help customers travel to the Woodley Christmas Extravaganza, journeys within Wokingham Borough on the orange 13 and 14 will be free too.  

Bracknell Forest

Customers boarding within Bracknell Forest will be able to get free single tickets on all Saturdays in December between Saturday 2 December and Saturday 23 December. Your journey must start at a stop within Bracknell Forest but you can travel to stops outside the Bracknell Forest area.  

You will, however, need to pay for your journey back if it starts outside of the Bracknell Forest area (eg. Reading town centre). This journey will however be capped at just £2 thanks to the Help For Households fare scheme.

how does it work?

West Berkshire

When you board in West Berkshire you can either ask the driver for a free single ticket, or a return one. If you are planning to travel to and from somewhere outside of West Berkshire be sure to ask for a return ticket as you will be unable to get a free ticket outside of the area!

Your return ticket will have a barcode on it so when you are ready to travel back, simply scan the ticket as you board.

Wokingham and Bracknell Forest

When you board in Wokingham and Bracknell Forest, just ask the driver for a free single ticket if you are boarding. This will then be valid for your entire journey.

On the return, if you are still in Wokingham or Bracknell Forest simply ask for another free single ticket; otherwise, you can buy one of our £2 adult and boost single tickets using tap on tap off, contactless or with cash from the driver.

When travelling please be careful not to place a payment card or mobile device on the reader as you get on – otherwise, you may get charged for tapping on.

Concessionary passes and existing pass holders

During these free travel days, we still need concessionary pass holders to scan their passes as normal. If you already have a ticket (for example a 30 day pass) you should also still scan your pass. Whilst this might sound strange, it is necessary because the council need to match the correct type of journeys to see how successful the day is compared to a normal day!

valid services

The below routes are valid for free travel on the dates shown above. You will need to board at a stop before and including the boundary stop of the council area to be able to travel for free.

Free travel is not available on our football services, Winnersh Triangle park & ride 500, as well as for journeys that start at Mereoak park & ride.

West Berkshire

route number

direction of travel

West Berkshire boundary stops

jet black 1 / 1e

Newbury to Reading

Greenwood Road

lime 2 / 2a

Mortimer to Reading

The Cunning Man

sky blue 15

Calcot to Reading

Yew Tree Rise

sky blue 16

Purely to Reading

Tring Road Shops

yellow 26

Calcot to Reading

Swanholm Gardens

royal blue 33

Turnham’s Farm to Reading

Warborough Avenue

Wokingham

route number

direction of travel

Wokingham boundary stops

leopard 3

Wokingham to Reading

Halls Lane

lion 4 / X4

Bracknell to Reading

Mays Lane / Keephatch Gardens

orange 13 / 14

Woodley to Reading

London Road – The Drive

little oranges 19a/b/c

Lower Earley to Reading

Earley Gate

claret 21

Lower Earley to Reading

Harcourt Drive

Mereoak park & ride 600

Risley and Swallowfield to Reading
(journeys from Mereoak park & ride are not included in the offer)

Hartley Court Turn

Bracknell Forest

route number

direction of travel

Bracknell Forest boundary stops

lion 4 / X4

Bracknell to Reading

Coppid Beech Hill