Transport Service Changes or Disruption
Planned public transport changes, disruption information and contacting operators
On this page:
- World Car Free Day - Friday 22 September 2023
- New evening bus services in Newbury and Thatcham and Sunday services to Mortimer
- West Berkshire Bus Survey 2023
- Travel to Harwell and Didcot by bus
- Fare cap for local buses
- Other Public Transport Services
- Travel Guidance and Face Coverings
- Services on Bank Holidays and During Travel Disruption
- Contacting Local Bus and Train Operators
To encourage and show our support for having a day with less motor traffic on the roads, we will be offering free bus travel across West Berkshire all day on 22 September - giving more reason to leave the car at home.
Following on from the popularity of the free bus travel initiatives we had in previous years, and with support of funding from HM Government, we have again worked in partnership with Reading Buses, Newbury & District, Thames Travel, Stagecoach and Going Forward Buses to offer free travel on these operators' services for World Car Free Day. Operators will allow passengers to return from places further afield free of charge and Concessionary Bus Passes will still be accepted on the day.
There are no time restrictions as travel for the day will be available to Newbury, Thatcham, Reading, Basingstoke, Didcot and Swindon. A great reason for us all to do our part for World Car Free Day and use the bus to get to work, college, school, go out for a day trip, go shopping, or even to meet family or friends for a bite to eat.
The full list of participating routes is as follows:
Services that operate entirely within West Berkshire:
Newbury & District
Newbury to Thatcham
Newbury & District
Newbury to Wash Common/Tesco
Newbury & District
Newbury to Hungerford
Newbury & District
Newbury to Lambourn
Newbury to Downlands Villages
Newbury & District
Newbury to East/West Ilsley
Newbury & District
Newbury to Tesco, Greenham and Pigeons Farm
Newbury & District
Newbury to Racecourse
Theale to Thatcham/Newbury
The following routes will offer free bus travel in West Berkshire, whatever the destination and will offer return travel back to West Berkshire:
Newbury to Basingstoke
Jet Black 1
Newbury to Reading
Mortimer/Burghfield to Reading
Newbury to Andover/Burghclere
Sky Blue 15
Theale/Calcot to Reading
Sky Blue 16
Purley on Thames to Reading
Calcot to Reading
Royal Blue 33
Turnham's Farm to Reading
Newbury to Didcot
Beenham to Thatcham via Tadley
Lambourn to Swindon
Newbury & District
Newbury to Greenham Business Park
Going Forward Buses
Goring to Wallingford via Streatley
Upper Basildon to Reading
Free Bus Travel will not be offered on the Hungerford to Marlborough services (20/X20/X22), nor Hungerford to Swindon services (46a/X46) nor school services (Thames Travel BB3, Reading Buses 85-90, Stagecoach 86/622 and Newbury & District PH1). Please contact the operators directly for details of applicable fares on these services.
From September 2023, Newbury & District have introduced a late evening service between Newbury and Thatcham on Friday and Saturday evenings and Lime 2a operated by Reading Buses now extends to Mortimer every 2 hours on Sundays.
The Friday and Saturday 1e late evening service runs between Newbury Wharf and Thatcham Broadway, extending to Falmouth Way. The service also passes through the Turnpike Estate. Why not use the bus to go to the cinema, the Corn Exchange, go out for a bite to eat or meet friends and family in local bars and eateries.
The Lime 2a has been extended to serve Mortimer every 2 hours on Sundays, providing a bus link to Burghfield and Reading which has not been available for some years. You could use the service to go shopping in Reading, catch the latest film, visit friends/or family, or access job opportunities.
These service enhancements build on a long-held ambition of West Berkshire Council to enhance late evening and Sunday bus services across the district and with the recent introduction of the X34 between Newbury and Harwell Campus/Didcot ensure that local bus services continue to evolve.
Your concessionary fares bus pass will be accepted on these services between 9.30am and 11pm on Fridays and all day on Saturdays and Sundays.
These service extensions have 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 and the Council has partnered with Reading Buses and Newbury & District to make these services a reality.
There will be further announcements about your local bus services in the coming months so please do look out for them.
Buses are a vital part of public transport in the UK - allowing young people to go to college or school, enabling pensioners to see their family and friends, and connecting people to work opportunities they would not otherwise consider. Buses sustain town centres, strengthen communities and help towards protecting the environment.
In 2021 the Government launched the National Bus Strategy setting out its vision of improved bus services and provided authorities with additional funding to 'build back better' bus services via the Bus Service Improvement Plans. Its main aim is to get more people travelling by bus but this can only be achieved if buses are made more practical and attractive as an alternative to the car.
Over the last few years we have been working with our local residents to gather thoughts and intelligence on the local bus service. In summer 2021 we asked for opinions to help form the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) which outlined how we at the Council, alongside bus operators in the district, would improve bus services in order to receive extra finding, which we were successful to be awarded £2.6 million.
Last summer we asked about the changes and improvements made so far, to find out how satisfied residents were with local public bus services. Now we want to gather views on ticketing improvements in the last year, the £2 National Single Fare Cap Scheme, and views on new bus services we are expecting to introduce in the coming months.
Cllr Denise Gains, Executive Member for Highways, Housing and Sustainable Travel at West Berkshire Council, said: "Public transport is a vital way to travel in a cost effective and sustainable way.
"That's why your views are extremely important and will help inform how we can continue to ensure your local bus services will provide vital services to all residents in West Berkshire and beyond.
"Having this continuous feedback helps us measure trends over a period of time to see where the services are working well and where improvements can be made in the future."
Our 2023 online survey has now closed and the results are being analysed. We will look to publish the results in due course. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey.
The service is called X34 and runs hourly between Newbury and Harwell Campus Monday to Saturday and is operated by Thames Travel who are part of Oxford Bus Company.
It provides a vital link between Newbury and a very prestigious local science and innovation campus as well as providing a link to Didcot where there is onward bus travel to Abingdon, Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Wallingford and Wantage.
Why not use the bus to go to work at the Harwell Campus, to go on a day trip with family and friends or take advantage of shopping opportunities in Didcot or Oxford.
The timetable for the service can be found here.
The service between Newbury and the Harwell Campus (bus services already existed between Didcot and Harwell) has been made possible by funding from HM Government, given to West Berkshire Council and Oxfordshire County Council after submission of a Bus Service Improvements Plan (BSIP) in October 2021.
You may have heard the Government's announcement that a fare cap has been introduced across most bus services in England in late 2022.
The council is pleased to announce that bus journeys across West Berkshire will capped at £2 for a single journey and £4 for a return journey until 31 October 2023.
Its intention is to provide affordable bus travel for millions across England and you can travel any time of day. The scheme forms part of the Government's Help for Households campaign, as the new cap can deliver real savings for those most affected by the rising cost of living.
So why not use the bus to get to work, go shopping, attend an appointment, go for a bite to eat in the local eateries, take in some of the outstanding scenery, or meet friends and family.
This fare cap builds on the allocation of more than £2 billion to support bus services in England through the pandemic and a commitment to fund improved services, new bus priority measures and new electric or hydrogen buses as part of the ambitious National Bus Strategy, published in 2021.
The fare cap will be applied on the following routes across the district:
|Jet Black 1||Reading Buses||Newbury to Reading Town Centre|
|1a, 1c, 1d||Newbury & District||Newbury to Thatcham|
|2, 2a, 2c||Newbury & District||Newbury to Wash Common/Pigeons Farm|
|2 (Stagecoach)||Stagecoach South||Basingstoke to Tadley/Baughurst|
|Lime 2 and 2a||Reading Buses||Mortimer to Reading Town Centre|
|3/3a/3c/3x||Newbury & District||Newbury to Hungerford|
|4/4a/4b/4c||Newbury & District||Newbury to Lambourn|
|5, 5a, 5c||WBC Connect||Newbury to Downlands Villages|
|6 & 6a||Newbury & District||Newbury to The Ilsleys|
|7||Stagecoach South||Newbury to Andover|
|7a||Stagecoach South||Newbury to Burghclere via Penwood, Woolton Hill & Ball Hill|
|8||Newbury & District||Newbury to Greenham/Tesco|
|9||Newbury & District||Newbury to Racecourse Development|
|15||Reading Buses||Reading Town Centre to IKEA|
|16||Reading Buses||Reading Town Centre to Purley On Thames|
|20, X22||Swindon's Bus Company||Hungerford to Marlborough|
|26||Reading Buses||Reading Town Centre to Calcot|
|33||Reading Buses||Reading Town Centre to Turnham's Farm|
|X34||Thames Travel||Newbury - Harwell Campus - Didcot (from Monday 24 July 2023)|
|41||WBC Connect||Thatcham to Theale|
|44||WBC Connect||Thatcham to Beenham/Calcot via Tadley|
|46, 46a, 48||Stagecoach West||Hungerford to Swindon|
|47||WBC Connect||Lambourn to Swindon|
|103/103a/103b||Newbury & District||Newbury to Greenham Business Park|
|143||Thames Travel||Reading Town Centre to Pangbourne, Upper Basildon and Goring|
|The LINK||Stagecoach South||Newbury to Basingstoke|
Other services may be taking part.
The full list of operators known to be taking part across England can be found on the Government's website.
The government has announced that the £2 single fare cap will be extended until the 31 October 2023, it will then raise to £2.50 for a single ticket until 30 November 2024. Information about continued participation after 31 October 2023 will be available nearer the time.
National Express are run coach services. See the National Express website for more details. Services depart from the Mereoak Park & Ride site in Three Mile Cross which is near junction 11 of the M4. One service currently departs from Newbury Wharf
- Service 402: Newbury - Heathrow Central Bus Station - London Victoria Coach Bus Station. The service operates Monday to Sunday.
Trains services that operate in West Berkshire maybe subject to change, often at short notice, updated information can be found on the Great Western Railway (GWR) website.
The Government has removed all domestic legal restrictions relating to COVID-19.
There is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering, but the government suggests that people consider wearing one when COVID-19 rates are high and you will be in close contact with others such as in crowded and enclosed spaces, when you come into close contact with someone in a high risk category and when there are a lot of respiratory viruses circulating.
If you are planning to travel by public transport on bank holidays, during bad weather or during other periods of disruption, please use the Traveline journey planner which has regularly updated information.
We also post available updates on the Connect West Berkshire Twitter feed.
You can also check with the bus or train company you will be using to make sure they are running. Please see the contact details listed below.
Road Closures and Bus Stop Suspensions
At times essential utility work and highway improvement works can cause disruptions to bus services. This can include bus stop suspensions and services having to divert from scheduled routes.
Details of any works which could have a major impact on West Berkshire Council contracted services will be posted on this page.
You can find details of the major bus and train operators in West Berkshire, and links to their website and contact details, below:
- Connect - services 5, 5a, 5c, 41, 44, 47 and H1; or follow Connect on Twitter
- Going Forward Buses - find their contact details on the Going Forward Buses website, here - you can also find Going Forward Buses on Facebook
- Great Western Railway (GWR) - find their contact details on the GWR website, here - you can also follow Great Western Railway on Twitter
- Newbury and District - find their contact details on the Newbury and District website - you can also find Newbury and District on Facebook and follow Newbury and District on Twitter
- Reading Buses - find their contact details on the Reading Buses website, here - you can also find Reading Buses on Facebook and follow Reading Buses on Twitter
- Stagecoach - find their contact details on the Stagecoach website, here - you can also follow Stagecoach South on Twitter
- Swindon's Bus Company - find their contact details on the Swindon Bus Company website, here
- Thames Travel - find their contact details on the Thames Travel website, here - you can also find Thames Travel on Facebook