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West Berkshire Community Connect On-demand Transport

On-demand bus service connecting Northwest Downlands with Newbury.

Our 'West Berkshire Community Connect' banner image.

Welcome to Community Connect, your new bus service connecting the Northwest Downlands with Newbury.   

Community Connect is more flexible than a traditional, timetabled bus service. Choose where you'd like to go and when, and we'll plan a journey to suit you!

The service operates Monday to Friday.

 

If you live in the Northwest Downlands zone: you may book a journey to a destination in either of the two zones.

A map of the Community Connect North West Downlands DRT Zone, covering: Beedon, Boxford, Brightwalton, Catmore, Chaddleworth, Donnington, Downend, Farnborough, Fawley, Leckhampstead, North Heath, Peasmore, Snelsmore, Winterbourne
 

The Northwest Downlands zone includes:

  • Beedon
  • Boxford
  • Brightwalton
  • Catmore
  • Chaddleworth
  • Chieveley
  • Donnington
  • Downend
  • Farnborough
  • Fawley
  • Leckhampstead
  • North Heath
  • Peasemore
  • Snelsmore
  • Winterbourne

If you live in the Newbury zone: you may book a journey from Newbury to a destination in the Northwest Downlands zone. You cannot use Community Connect to make local journeys within the Newbury area as there are existing bus routes that do this.

A map of the Community Connect Newbury DTR Zone, covering: Cheap Street, Market Street, Monks Lane, Newbury College, Newbury Wharf, Park House, Park Way, St Barts School, Thatcham Hospital.
 

The Newbury zone includes:

  • Cheap Street
  • Market Street
  • Monks Lane
  • Newbury College
  • Newbury Railway Station
  • Newbury Retail Park, Pinchington Lane 
  • Newbury Wharf Bus Station 
  • Park House School
  • Park Way
  • St Bartholomew's School
  • Tesco, Pinchington Lane 
  • West Berkshire Community Hospital 

How to book

Journeys must be booked in advance, and there are 3 ways to do this:

  • download the free app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store 
    A QR code that links to the West Berkshire Community Connect app download.
  • call West Berkshire Council's Community Connect team on 01635 519650
  • email CommunityConnect@westberks.gov.uk and book your journey at a time that suits you

Phone calls and emails will be answered between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

 

As well as the bookable service, we also run two timetabled services between Brightwalton and Newbury. On schooldays, these include a service to Newbury College, St Barts and Park House. You can download information about this bus service Icon for pdf West Berkshire Community Connect A Bus Service [2MB]

 

You can downland a leaflet about the on-demand bus service 

Icon for pdf West Berkshire Community Connect Northwest Downlands leaflet [4MB]


Frequently asked questions

What kind of service will Community Connect be?

Community Connect will be an on-demand service, operated by a 16 seat minibus.

This is a flexible bus route which passengers can book at times to suit their needs. The bus will collect you from bus stops or designated pick-up points in your village. A door to door service may be available for less mobile passengers - please contact us to discuss this.

The app will show the closest pick-up point for your trip and will also let you know the walking distance. If you prefer to book by phone or email, one of our staff will discuss the closest pick-up point with you.

When you request a booking, our smart technology will match up your journey with any other passengers travelling in the same direction. You will then be given a pickup time which is as close as possible to the time you requested.
 

What area does Community Connect cover?

If you book a journey starting in the northwest downlands zone, you may travel either into the Newbury zone, or to another location in the northwest downlands zone.

If you book a journey starting in the Newbury zone, you may travel to anywhere in the northwest downlands zone.

You cannot book Community Connect to travel between two locations within Newbury. This is because there are already other bus services in Newbury.  You can see all of our services and timetables on our journey planning pages.
 

Will there be a scheduled timetable for this service?

This is an on-demand service. Customers can book transport at a time to suit them, and there will be no fixed timetable. When booking a journey, you will be given a pickup time as close to your requested time as possible.

The only exception will be two timetabled journeys that run every day between Brightwalton and Newbury, for commuters and students.
 

I have an appointment to get to - will I arrive on time?

When you book a journey, you have two options:

  • either tell us the approximate time you'd like to be collected
  • or, if you have to get somewhere by a certain time, tell us the arrival time - transport will be arranged to ensure you arrive on time

Do I need to book to travel?

All on-demand journeys will need to be booked in advance, you will not be able to turn up at the bus stop and board the service without a prior booking.

The only exception is for the two timetabled services at 7.30 from Brightwalton and 15.20 from Newbury Wharf Bus Station. These are the only two journeys that are not available for booking.
 

What confirmation will I receive?

For a typical journey you will receive the following:

  • a reminder text on the day of the journey
  • a text giving you an estimated pickup time from your boarding point
  • a final text when the driver is on the way to you

If you're using the app, you will also be able to track the location of the vehicle.
 

How will I get the app to make a booking?

The booking app is available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Please note, the app is optional and you can use Community Connect without it if you prefer.
 

Is the app free of charge?

The app is free to download and use.
 

What if I can't use the app?

You would be welcome to make your booking by phone or email instead. Either call us on 01635 519650 or email Community Connect.
 

Where will the bus pick me up?

The service will collect passengers from a bus stop or a main meeting point in villages. The app will show you the closest stop and provide walking directions to get you there. Alternatively, you can call or email us to check the closest stop.

A list of the stops will be made available shortly.

If a passenger is unable to access their nearest bus stop, then it may be that a new stop could be added or a door-to-door service could be considered, but this would be on a case by case basis. Please get in touch with us to discuss this.
 

Will the morning service to Park House School/Newbury College still be available?

Yes, students can still use the 7.30 service from Brightwalton to Newbury. During school term time, the service will continue to Newbury College, Park House and St Barts every day during term time (please note, the service now starts at 7.30 rather than 7.35).

We've also added a return journey from Newbury College at 15.05 during term time. During school holidays this service will start at 15.20 from Newbury Wharf Bus Station.

As this is a public bus, these services may be used by any member of the public, not just students.
 

What will happen during school holidays?

The scheduled 7.30 and 15.05 services between Brightwalton and Newbury will still run during school holidays. The only difference is that the Newbury College, Park House and St Barts stops will not be served. Therefore, the morning journey will terminate at Newbury Wharf Bus Station and the afternoon journey will start at Newbury Wharf Bus Station.
 

How much will the bus fare cost?

Our fares offer excellent value for money with single and return tickets:

  • single: 
    • adult: £2.00
    • child/young person: £1.50
  • return: 
    • adult: £4.00
    • child/young person: £3.00

Fares for single and return journeys are displayed in the app. Tickets can be bought in the app or from the driver. If booking by email or telephone you will be advised of the price for the journey, so that you can pay the driver when you get on the bus.

Child/young person dares are available for anyone under 16 (or 19th birthday if in full time education). Children under 5 years of age travel for free.

Connect tickets can be purchased on the vehicle. You may also purchase day tickets within the app.

Concessionary bus passes will be accepted on the service after 9.30am. 
 

How will I pay for a pre-booked journey?

If you use the app to book, you can either make your payment via the app or choose the option to pay the driver when you board the vehicle

If you make the booking by phone or email, you will be advised of the price and will pay the driver when you board the vehicle

Drivers will accept cash or card payments (if paying by cash, please have correct change if possible).
 

Can I make a regular booking?

Yes, you will be able to make a regular booking using the app or by telephone or email.

If you use the app, you will also be able to save your favourite journeys, saving you time in future.
 

How far in advance can I book?

You can book up to 7 days in advance.
 

How long will I have to wait to be picked up?

The latest you can book a journey is 30 minutes before you wish to travel. We will pick you up as soon as possible, but be aware that there is only one vehicle and it may already be on the road, serving other passengers. If we cannot get to you within 30 minutes, we will advise you of an alternative pickup time.

If your journey is important, please try to give as much notice as possible when you make the booking.
 

Can I cancel a journey if my plans change?

You may cancel a journey at any time either within the app, by calling us on 01635 519650 or emailing Community Connect

We will refund payments for cancelled journeys up to 60 minutes before the departure time.
 

Can I use my concessionary bus pass on the service?

Yes, your concessionary bus pass will be valid on the service from 9.30 onwards.

When you make the booking, either via the app or by phone or email, you will need to mention that you have a bus pass. The driver will ask to see this when you board the vehicle.
 

How many others will I share my journey with?

The number of passengers who are sharing the journey will depend on the demands of other passengers who have booked at a similar time.

The vehicle can carry up to 16 passengers at any one time.
 

Will the vehicle be fully accessible?

Yes, the vehicle is low floor and fully accessible. The driver will be happy to lower the ramp and handrail for you.

If you use a wheelchair, please mention this when making a booking.
 

Can the driver help carry my shopping to the door?

Unfortunately the Community Connect driver will not be able to help with this. If you do need extra assistance, we recommend contacting the Downland Volunteer Group.

Contact details for Downland Volunteer Group are below:

Downland Volunteer Group should not be contacted about Community Connect as this service is run by West Berkshire Council.

If you have any further questions about this new service, please contact West Berkshire Council by emailing Community Connect or call 01635 519650.
 


Legal 

You can read our terms and conditions here.

You can read our privacy notice here.
 


 

HM Government funded by logo.

 

West Berkshire Community Connect On-Demand Transport Services has been made possible by funding from HM Government, given to West Berkshire Council after submission of a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) in October 2021. 

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