A NUMBER of bus services across the area that were either set to be axed in the new year or have their timetables reduced, have been saved.

Slough Borough Council has contracted Reading Buses to provide bus services across routes 4, 5, and 6 from January 20 onwards, after the routes were planned to be axed by First Buses.

Route 5, that runs between Slough and Cippenham, was to be abandoned by First Buses, while routes 4 and 6 were to have a reduced timetable. Under the direction of Reading Buses, a full service is to be restored, with no break in service.

However, not all the lost or reduced bus routes have been saved. Service 2 between Slough and Dedworth is still planned to close, as is Service 10/11 between Slough and Heathrow, and Service 15 between Slough and Eton Wick. Service 7, between Slough, Langley, and Heathrow, will have a reduced timetable.

An SBC spokeswoman said that the provision of Services 2, 7, and 15 was to be handled by the Royal Borough.

SBC is also working to meet the needs of Churchmead School students, who relied on Service 10/11 to get to school. A spokeswoman for SBC was unable to say if the full service would be restored, or if the measures would be for students only, as discussions are to take place in the new year.

Cllr Martin Carter said: "We are delighted to have secured Reading Buses to provide unbroken services to residents and commuters across the borough in the new year.

"Reading Buses have been transporting customers in and around Reading for more than 100 years and have a proven track record in providing quality bus services with a strong focus on innovation and customer service."

The chief executive of Reading Buses, Martijn Gilbert, said: "We are delighted to be bringing our award winning approach to local bus service delivery to Slough.

"We’re a local Berkshire based company with operations across four boroughs and Slough is a good adjacent fit with this. We look forward to serving the people of Slough and working with Slough Borough Council and other stakeholders to support and develop these important bus services."