09:13AM, Thursday 01 March 2012
A bus company is fulfilling its threat to boycott a busy bus stop when it moves round the corner.
The First bus company warned in October that if the Royal Borough went ahead with plans to shift the existing stop in Peascod Street to Charles Street nearby, it would boycott it.
Now the relocated bus stop will become operative on its new site on March 19. First has responded by publishing a new timetable that reveals the 77 will cease to stop that end of town, being diverted instead via the Theatre Royal and Parish Church for passengers heading back to Dedworth.
The company also plans to cut the half hourly service's stops in large chunks of Dedworth - St Andrew's Avenue, Clewer Hill Road, Foster Avenue, Wolf Lane, Tudor Way, Dedworth Drive and Hanover Way.
Ruddlesway, Testwood Road, Galys Road, Aston Mead and Smith's Lane will continue to be served. New bus stops will appear in Dedworth Road.
The decision has annoyed Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park), Royal Borough cabinet member for highways. He said: "I'm very unhappy about it. Residents' needs aren't being borne in mind.
"First seem to think buses should run in straight lines like trains."
He said that at recent meetings First has insisted the change was a commercial decision, rather than a response to the move of the bus stop.
But the story is not all gloom. The number 6 run by Courtney Coaches will still serve Foster Avenue and Wolf Lane and will stop at the resited Charles Street bus stop, although it is an hourly rather than half hourly service.
A new 'shuttle' or community bus is also promised that will serve some of the cancelled roads several times during the day, although more details still have to be made known.
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