02:57PM, Sunday 12 March 2017
Key bus routes are set to be axed by Courtney Buses next month.
Services 8 and 16/16A will be withdrawn after Saturday, April 29 due to increasing losses.
The company said passenger numbers on service 8, which runs from Boulters Lock to Maidenhead Town Centre via St Mark’s Hospital, had fallen by 20 percent over the last two years.
Three quarters of passengers on the service were entitled to free travel, and the Royal Borough has cut its subsidy by 10 percent.
Service 16 which runs from St Mark’s Hospital to Windsor via Maidenhead Town Centre, Bray, Holyport and Dedworth, and the 16A service which includes Fifield will also be cut.
Courtney Buses said the Windsor and Maidenhead corridor was subsidised by the borough up until June last year, which has since led to ‘significant losses’ for the company.
A spokesman from Courtney Buses said: “Increased congestion on roads (there is not a single bus priority measure in the Borough) and a £9.4m investment from the council in the next financial year alone to expand the Broadway car parking facility does not give us confidence that in the future buses will become any more attractive.
“This is despite Government targets to reduce pollution levels and promote sustainable transport methods.
“We recognise that our decision will impact on a large number of our current customers, and we are very disappointed to reach this point but we cannot run loss making services indefinitely. We hope that we have been able to give people sufficient notice to make alternative arrangements.”
The Advertiser understands that Courtney Buses proposed an offer to the Royal Borough to continue services 8, and 16/16A until the end of the year, if the council provided a subsidy, but this offer was rejected.
Service 7 to Woodlands Park will continue but will have a new timetable, and Service 5 will be diverted to serve Halifax road, Headington Road, Farm Road and Belmont Road with a new timetable.
Services 4, 4A, 238 and 239 are operated under contract to the Royal Borough, and are expected to continue with some ‘minor’ timetable changes.
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