Feas­ib­il­ity study into bus route

Slough Express 28/7/2023:

WRAYSBURY: The feas­ib­il­ity of a Wind­sor to Staines bus route incor­por­at­ing Datchet, Hor­ton and Wrays­bury is being invest­ig­ated, writes Jade Kidd.
Hun­dreds of people signed a peti­tion call­ing for the Royal Bor­ough to provide a bus ser­vice to serve the main road in Wrays­bury, to keep res­id­ents con­nec­ted to the vil­lages of Hor­ton and Datchet, and Wind­sor town centre.
At Tues­day’s full coun­cil meet­ing, lead peti­tioner Henry Perez said: “The lack of a bus ser­vice in Wrays­bury to con­nect our vil­lages with shops and med­ical facil­it­ies must be con­sidered det­ri­mental to sus­tain­able travel and adds to already high levels of pol­lu­tion in our vil­lage.”
He said that, prior to COVID-19, the num­ber 10 bus route, which was fun­ded by Heath­row, ‘provided a reli­able ser­vice, with routes into Wind­sor, Slough and Heath­row’.
Heath­row stopped fund­ing the route, and the last num­ber 10 ser­vice was in April 2021.
This left Wrays­bury without a bus ser­vice oper­at­ing via Wel­ley Road.
A peti­tion for a new route gathered 1,675 sig­na­tures, meet­ing the 1,500sig­na­ture threshold for a coun­cil debate.
Mr Perez added: “Res­id­ents without their own trans­port need a bus ser­vice. Offers of a lift by friends, fam­ily or a char­ity, although most wel­come does not replace the inde­pend­ence they crave.
“They, like every­one, want the oppor­tun­ity to return to a near nor­mal life fol­low­ing the restric­tions. A bus ser­vice would help remove them from their cur­rent isol­a­tion and loneli­ness.”
Lead mem­ber for trans­port Cllr Geoff Hill (TBFI, Old­field) said the COVID-19 pan­demic had a ‘sig­ni­fic­ant impact on bus ser­vice across the bor­ough, in this area spe­cific­ally’.
He added that the wider pic­ture has ‘included the need to review the whole of the bor­ough net­work’.
While the coun­cil has to ‘re-tender for the sup­port’ of bus ser­vices, there is ‘sub­stan­tial evid­ence’ that costs could rise by 40 to 60 per cent, Cllr Hill said.
He added that des­pite cab­inet approv­ing addi­tional fund­ing for bus ser­vices for 2023-24, ‘this is still not suf­fi­cient to cover the whole cost of all the routes’.
Cllr Hill added that officers have recog­nised that the Wrays­bury ser­vice is ‘sub-optimal’ and dis­cus­sions with oper­at­ors have been com­mis­sioned to invest­ig­ate the feas­ib­il­ity of a Wind­sor to Staines route, which incor­por­ates Datchet and Hor­ton.
The idea would include buses oper­at­ing in both dir­ec­tions throughout the day, with cov­er­age and fre­quency across the day depend­ent on costs.
A motion for the peti­tion to be taken into account along­side other feed­back at a cab­inet meet­ing in Septem­ber was agreed.
Later in the meet­ing, mem­bers also agreed a motion to lower the num­ber of sig­na­tures needed for a peti­tion to come to full coun­cil from 1,500 to 1,000.

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