Free Christmas Saturdays

7 months ago Thu 2nd Dec 2021

Some great news for all our customers in West Berkshire, your bus travel will be free on Saturday 11 and Saturday 18 December!

We have been talking to West Berkshire Council and they have agreed to fund two free shopping Saturdays in December to help promote local businesses and encourage more sustainable transport. By helping more people to access buses and encourage people out of their cars, we can reduce the amount of congestion on our roads and improve the air quality - two things that benefit everyone! And remember, a double deck bus at full capacity can take over 2km of cars off the road!

how does it work?

The even better news is that it is really simple to get your free travel - just get on a bus! You won't be issued a ticket, you can just get on (saying hello to the driver of course) and find your seat. The driver will manually record everyone getting on the bus.

The free travel is only valid when boarding in West Berkshire - so if your travel  is entirely within the borough (e.g. Thatcham Broadway to Newbury and back), then your whole journey will be free.

If you travel outside of the boundary, e.g. From Calcot Sainsbury's to Reading town centre, then only the trip from West Berkshire will be free - so in this example, you would travel free into Reading, but would have to pay a single fare from Reading town centre back to Calcot. 

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 Saturday! 

valid services

Whilst most people will know which services run in West Berkshire, we thought it best to clarify properly and avoid any doubt. 

All Newbury & District services operate entirely within the West Berkshire boundary:

route number destination
1a/1c Newbury to Thatcham
2 Newbury to Wash Common
3 Newbury to Hungerford
4 Newbury to Lambourn
6/6a Newbury to West Ilsley
8 Newbury to Tesco, Greenham and Pigeon's Farm
9 Newbury to Racecourse

Reading Buses (and other operators) valid routes for free travel if boarding in West Berkshire, whatever your destination. However, remember that if you board outside West Berkshire you would need to buy a ticket as normal:

route number operator destination West Berkshire boundary stops
jet black 1 Reading Buses Newbury to Reading Greenwood Road
lime 2/2a Reading Buses Mortimer to Reading The Cunning Man
sky blue 15 Reading Buses Calcot to Reading Yew Tree Rise
sky blue 16 Reading Buses Purley to Reading Tring Road Shops
yellow 26 Reading Buses Calcot to Reading Swanholm Gardens
royal blue 33 Reading Buses Turnham's Farm to Reading Warborough Avenue