At the end of September 2011, Reading Buses altered the route of the 33 bus in Tilehurst to no longer include the Westwood Glen/Chapel Hill loop. In response, a number of local residents contacted Alok, unhappy that the changes were decided and implemented without consultation of the travelling public and with little publicity. The residents explained that many people from the local area covered by this loop rely on this service, especially elderly people who are not able to walk up and down the hills which form part of the route.
Achievements in the campaign:
Alok and Tilehurst Councillor Sandra Vickers arranged a meeting for residents with Reading Borough Council and the Chief Executive of Reading Transport, to allow residents to express their concerns.
The residents used the opportunity to put forward an alternative proposal for the route of the 33. The residents’ suggestion was that all outbound buses travelling towards Turnhams Farm serve the loop, whilst inbound buses travelling towards the town centre continue to take the current route along Lower Elmstone Drive.
Reading Transport welcomed this proposal during the meeting and subsequently implemented it following the completion of Thames Water sewer works which were taking place in the area.
In September 2012 Reading Transport introduced a new route, number 16a, which provides a half-hourly service in both directions through Westwood Glen and Chapel Hill. As the new 16a bus now serves Westwood Glen and Chapel Hill, Reading Transport reverted to the simplified route for the 33 bus which does not operate via Westwood Glen and Chapel Hill in either direction.
“I am delighted that we have been able to achieve this result. I would like to thank all the residents who attended the meetings and proposed a solution to the issue. I would also like to thank James Freeman of Reading Transport for meeting with and listening to the residents and then reviewing and implementing their proposed solution.”