HOSPITAL visitors and staff can take advantage of an extended park and ride service running regular buses between Mereoak and the Royal Berkshire Hospital from Monday October 2nd.
Reading Borough Council is offering the extended off-peak Greenwave bus service to encourage people to consider catching a bus to the hospital rather than driving, where it is possible. If more hospital visitors make use of the extended park and ride service, it will also help to further relieve parking pressures for local residents who live in the hospital and university area.
The extended bus service – which takes around 20 minutes – will depart from the Council’s Mereoak Park and Ride site at: 9.25, 9.45, 10.05, 10.30, 10.50, 11.40, 12.25, 1.15, 1.55, 2.50. A return service will operate from the Hospital to Mereoak at: 10.25, 11.10, 12.00, 12.45, 1.35, 2.15, 2.45, 3.10, 3.40.
The extended off peak service follows a pilot based on a limited service earlier this year. At other times, connections to and from the Royal Berkshire Hospital are available via Reading Buses’ and Greenwave services, via St Marys Butts in the Town Centre.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“The position of the hospital and university in a residential area brings obvious pressures on limited parking spaces. For years the Council has been lobbied to help safeguard limited parking for local residents, and in January the Council introduced a mixture of residents only parking, pay and display and shared use bays, which has been largely welcomed by local residents.
“The other way to help relieve parking pressures – for both residents and the hospital – is for more people to make use of the regular Greenwave buses on offer. We are now extending that service significantly and we hope the hospital will join the Council in promoting this service widely to both staff and hospital visitors.
“We realise of course that using the park and ride service will not be possible or appropriate for everyone. Staff working hours and the limitations of some hospital visitors are of course obvious constraints. For people who can – particularly for those visiting the hospital from further afield – it provides a real and sustainable alternative to the car.
“Peak time travel connections to and from the hospital are also available at St Mary’s Butts. If the hospital was interested in providing financial support to provide a peak time park and ride service to benefit even more hospital staff and visitors, the Council would always be open to that dialogue.”
In addition to the extended hospital service, the Monday to Friday peak Park & Ride shuttle from Mereoak to Green Park is half price from 2nd October to 29th December. It means for just £2, car commuters can park and ride from Mereoak to Lime square in just 7 minutes, beating the traffic jams at Junction 11.
Weekend commuters to Green Park will get a new all day Saturday service to Lime Square at up to 20 minutes frequency, saving a long walk and also making getting to Costco and The Mad House children’s play centre easier for others.
Timetables have been updated to include all changes to the Greenwave services.