Bus Service Improvement Plan Statutory-Consultation

Closes 7 Dec 2023

Opened 9 Nov 2023


Bus Service Improvement Plan – Bus Lane scheme update.

Reading Borough Council has been awarded over £26m funding from Central Government to improve bus services in the borough ,which is the third highest funding award (per head of population) in the country. This funding is a result of the ambitious plans set out within our Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), which includes a range of initiative including cheaper and simpler fares, enhanced services and new infrastructure to prioritise buses on key routes.

The BSIP is a sub-strategy and core element of our emerging Reading Transport Strategy, which sets a vision to make Reading a greener and healthier town by providing better sustainable travel choices, including buses. The transport strategy also contributes towards the vision of a net zero carbon Reading by 2023, as set out in the Reading Climate Emergency Strategy.

Reading already has an extensive bus network which is well used by residents and visitors. However, bus services do suffer from delays as a result of traffic congestion, particularly at peak times, therefore there is a need to introduce greater priority for buses on key routes to improve services for local residents.

The proposed bus lanes included within this briefing note are:

· A329 Oxford Road – outbound bus lane between Zinzan Street and George Street

· A329 Oxford Road – outbound bus lane between Pangbourne Street and Norcot Junction

· A4 Bath Road – outbound bus lane from Circuit Lane to Granville Road

· A327 Southampton Street – inbound bus lane from Pell Street to The Oracle roundabout

· A4 London Road - inbound bus lane between Sidmouth Street and London Street

· A4 London Road – inbound bus lane between Liverpool Road and Cemetery Junction

The main benefits we are seeking to achieve from these proposals are to make travelling by bus in Reading easier, cheaper, quicker and more reliable. If more people choose to travel by bus this will result in reduced caron emissions, better air quality, and improved health and wellbeing. Bus services, including community transport and school services, provide vital access to opportunities such as education, training, employment, essential services including healthcare and social events. These proposals seek to maximise opportunities to provide bus priority on key routes, whilst recognising that car trips are still required for some journeys and therefore minimising the impact of these schemes on general traffic flows where feasible.

An informal consultation seeking views on the initial bus lane proposals was run from 19th May to 16th June. Plans and information were available on the RBC Consultation webpage, allowing members of the public to show their level of support and to comment on the proposed schemes. Feedback and comments have been assessed and any amendments incorporated into the designs.

Due to limited road space in Reading, it is acknowledged that some of the proposals will have an impact on traffic flows and further traffic modelling has been undertaken and is detailed below. All schemes are initial designs at this stage and if the scheme is taken forward will be subject to more detailed design work and road safety audits which may necessitate further design changes.

One of the main areas of feedback to the informal consultation was the use of the bus lanes by private hire vehicles and motorcycles. Unfortunately due to the timescales associated with the funding of the BSIP schemes, these suggestions could not be taken forward at this time as this would require an RBC policy review, including surveys and safety assessments, prior

to a recommendation being brought forward to Committee. The Council acknowledges the views of the consultees regarding these two matters and commits to undertaking a full review of the merits of these vehicles using bus lanes in Reading.

Further details of the proposed schemes as well as the amendments made following the informal consultation, can be found within the briefing note and drawings attached below.

Objections or comments should be sent in by:

  • Filling out the online survey below
  • Email to Transport@reading.gov.uk
  • Or in writing to M Graham, Head of Legal and Democratic Services, Reading Borough Council, Civic Offices, Reading, RG1 2LU

by no later than 7th December 2023. Please quote ref: Buslanes if you are responding by email or post. 

Give Us Your Views


  • All Areas