04:04PM, Monday 13 March 2017
Assurances have been made that bus routes will be put out to tender and replaced before they are axed by Courtney Buses.
Yesterday, The Advertiser reported that key bus routes including services 8, 16 and 16A would be axed by the company after Saturday, April 29.
But Cllr Hari Sharma (Con, Furze Platt), the Royal Borough's 'bus champion', said that the routes would go out to tender and new services would be in place before the existing services are withdrawn.
He said: “We have begun the tendering process and it will be open to whoever comes in, the residents will get services before the date.
“There will be no gaps.”
Service 8 runs from Boulters Lock to Maidenhead Town Centre via St Mark's Hospital and Service 16 runs from St Mark's Hospital to Windsor via Maidenhead Town Centre, Bray, Holyport and Dedworth.
A spokesman from Courtney Buses criticised Royal Borough polices and said it could no longer run ‘loss-making’ services.
When asked if a new company would make the routes profitable, Cllr Sharma said different companies set different profit margins.
He added: “If we look at the neighbouring authorities, we are spending more than everyone else, our residents have no restrictions on when they can use the buses.
“We’re regenerating Maidenhead Town Centre and we need to meet residents' demands, there has to be a quality service.
“Courtney Buses are entitled to their opinion, but we will make sure the residents get a quality service.
“We want a bus service for everyone. Bus service is a lifeline for residents.
“Even if we have to invest more money, the money is there. There will be no cuts, we’re going to get a better service.”
He added: “There were discussions in December, but we received no written notice until last month. Only then could we start the [tendering] process."
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