Weeks after it took over a bus service that connects Wokingham with Reading and Bracknell, plans have been announced for a big game makeover.
From bank holiday Monday, Reading Buses will rebrand the 90 bus route as the Lion 4, joining the Reading-Arborfield-Wokingham route The Leopard. There will be two routes – the X4 which will run between towns and the 4 which runs around the southern parts.
Ten modern and environmentally friendly buses, including eight electric hybrids, will be prowling the roads, offering commuters USB charging points, 4G WiFI and comfy seats. A new timetable will offer increased Sunday journeys, although there will be some changes to the service particularly in the evenings.
“We are delighted to announce the launch of the lion as it roars around Wokingham, Bracknell and Reading,” said Martijn Gilbert, Reading Buses chief executive officer.
“These buses will deliver a massive step change from the previous buses used on this route. They will have all the latest Reading Buses mod-cons including superfast 4G WiFi, USB charging points for phones and laptops, the new Reading Buses seat covering and ‘coffee-shop’ style wood-effect flooring.
“We have also thought about the numbering of the route as feedback from customers and drivers was that having the same number for legs of the route in Bracknell was confusing. Some buses go fast along the main roads and others run through the southern estates.
“Faster buses between the towns will now be numbered X4 and buses around the south will be numbered 4.”
The new timetables, with an enhanced Sunday service and more evening buses between Reading and Wokingham, come into effect from Monday.
“We have doubled the number of buses on a Sunday which will be great news for all of the regulars,” said Mr Gilbert. “We have also introduced some later journeys between Reading and Wokingham during the week.
“The better buses and extra journeys represent a considerable investment and our commitment to the important and growing bus service corridor between Bracknell, Wokingham, Winnersh and Reading.
“As a consequence we are hoping that more people will use this service so that we can seriously consider further enhancements in the future, building upon this initial investment in better buses and more journeys.”
Single, return and day and week tickets can be brought on-board from the driver and lion buses give change. A range of value weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual tickets is available on-line, starting at just £14.50 for unlimited travel in the Bracknell and Wokingham or inner Reading ‘simply’ zones or £21 for use on any Reading Buses service right across the company’s operating area from Newbury in the west through to Bracknell in the east.
To celebrate the company is holding a special preview event in Market Place on Thursday where it will give away lion themed treats, the chance to meet some cuddly furry lions and contests where prizes include free travel.
The roadshow will be in Market Place from 11.30am to 12.30pm on Thursday. It will also be at Bracknell bus station from 10am-11am and Reading West Street from 1pm-2pm.
For the new timetable, log on to Reading Buses site