This first Reading enhanced partnership scheme is made in accordance with sections 114 – 123 of the Transport Act 2000 (as amended) by Reading Borough Council, of Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU.
(a) a motor vehicle constructed or adapted to carry more than eight passengers (exclusive of the driver); and
(b) a Local Bus not so constructed or adapted;
“Bus Lane” has the same meaning as given in regulation 23 in Part I of the TSR&GD 2002;
“Bus Operator (or Operator)” means any bus operator operating Qualifying Bus Services;
“Bus Service Improvement Plan “ means the Bus Service Improvement Plan adopted by the Council on 17 November 2021 as the same may be revised from time to time.
“Bus Stop” means a location within the scheme area which is intended for waiting by local buses
“Bus Stop Clearway” means a Bus Stop indicated by road markings of the type shown in either diagram 1025.1, 1025.3 or 1025.4 in Schedule 6 to Part 1 to the TSRGD within which the legend “BUS STOP” area is marked and within which the requirements, prohibitions and exception specified for the term “Bus Stop clearway” given in Schedule 19 to Part 1 of the TSRGD apply;
“Commencement Date” means the date of commencement of the scheme pursuant to clause 2.1, or such later date as the Scheme may commence following any postponement of the EP Scheme under section 117 of the Transport Act 2000;
“Council” or “RBC” means Reading Borough Council whose principal office
“Enhanced Partnership Plan (EP Plan) “ means the Enhanced Partnership Plan for Reading Borough which comes into operation on the 1st April 2022.
“Enhanced Partnership Scheme Bespoke variation (Bespoke variation mechanism) “ is a reference to a formal bespoke variation of the relevant Enhanced Partnership Scheme as a result of the voting mechanism set out in section 11 and which will then constitute a formal bespoke variation of the relevant scheme for the purposes of s.138E(1) of the 2000 Act.
“EP Board” is the Enhanced Partnership Board created and operating in the manner provided under the EP Plan.
“Excluded Services” shall mean the category of Local Services listed in Schedule 2.
“Excursion or Tour” has the same meaning as given in section 137(1) of the Transport Act 1985.
“Facilities” means those facilities meeting the requirements of s138D(1) of the 2000 Act intended for the convenience of passengers of local services which are listed in Schedule 1.
“Local Bus” means a public service vehicle used for the provision of a Local Service:
“Local Service” has the meaning set out in Section 2 of the Transport Act 1985;
“Measures “ means those measures referred to in Schedule 1 meeting the requirements of s138D(2) of the 2000 Act.
“Mileage Determination Date” means the 1st of April in each year.
“Qualifying Bus Service” is a reference to registered local bus services with one or more stopping place within the geographical area of the Enhanced Partnership, with the exception of those detailed in schedule 2.
“EP Scheme” or “Scheme” means this Reading Borough Council Enhanced Partnership Scheme.
“Scheme Area” means the area where this EP Scheme will apply and which is defined in Schedule 4.
“Standards of Service” means the standards of service set out in Schedule 1 (Standards).
“Traffic Commissioner” has the meaning set out in Section 82(1) of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981.
“TSRGD” means the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (S.I. 2002/3113) as amended. updated or replaced from time to time.
“Voting Entitlement” is the number of votes available to the Council and to each Bus Operator under the Voting Scheme and which are:
“Voting Scheme” is the bespoke voting scheme that is to be utilised as provided for in section 11 of this EP Scheme.
“2000 Act” is the Transport Act 2000 (as amended by the 2017 Act).
“2017 Act” is the Bus Services Act 2017.
2.1 The EP Scheme will be made on 14th March 2022 and is to come into effect on 1st April 2022.
2.2 The EP Scheme will operate (subject to variation or revocation) for an unspecified period. The EP Board will formally review the operation of the EP Scheme at six month intervals and may review at other times as circumstances require – for example to meet a given timescale for a capital funding bid to government or any other funding organization.
3.1 The EP Scheme has been jointly developed by RBC and those Bus Operators that provide local bus services in the Scheme area. It sets out obligations and requirements on both the Local Transport Authority, and operators of local services in order to achieve the intended improvements, with the aim of delivering the objectives of the associated EP Plan.
The overall Aim is to build a sustainable, efficient and growing bus network that meets peoples travel needs and expectations.
3.2 The EP Scheme aims to bring benefits to persons using Local Services by improving the quality of those Local Services operating in the Scheme Area and in the case of all Local Services that are Qualifying Bus Services, restricting the use of the Bus Stops in the Scheme Area to those Local Services operated by the relevant Bus Operator that meet the Standards of Service. The Council is satisfied that both the provision of the Facilities and the provision of Local Services to the required standard will achieve this aim.
3.3 The EP aims to enable Bus Operators to achieve more reliable and punctual services in accordance with bus service registrations as part of their commitments to the Traffic Commissioner, reduce journey time, increase bus patronage and passenger satisfaction. Measures and funding will be put in place from existing and future funding sources.
4.1 The Scheme Area covers the administrative area of RBC as identified in the plan set out at Schedule 4.
4.2 The EP Scheme shall apply to Bus Operators of Qualifying Bus Services operating within the Scheme Area unless exempted as an Excluded Service. Where following any variation to this EP Scheme a Facility or a Measure is to be implemented by the Council or a new or modified Standard of Service is imposed upon operators from a stated date the relevant Standard of Service shall apply (subject to any provision within the 2000 Act permitting postponement) from the date specified in the variation.
4.3 A summary of all Local Services operating in the Scheme Area at the date of making of the EP Scheme is set out in Schedule 3.. The Council will update Schedule 3 when required for every Service Change Date and the Council will make copies available to the Traffic Commissioner and all Bus Operators of affected Local Services. For the avoidance of doubt, such list will be an indicative list only of those Local Services which the Council believes to fall within the terms of the EP Scheme and are Qualifying Bus Services. An omission from the list in Schedule 3 shall not exempt a Local Service from the EP Scheme, which would otherwise fall within the terms of the EP Scheme by reason of meeting the definition of a Qualifying Bus Service.
5.1 The Council will make the Facilities available (as detailed in Schedule 1) to Qualifying Bus Services and maintain and procure the maintenance of the Facilities from the Commencement Date, until the date the Scheme ceases to have effect. For the avoidance of doubt the Council will not restrict use of the Facilities by Excluded Services.
5.2 Paragraph 5.1 shall not apply in relation to any Qualifying Bus Service using a Facility for any period during which the Council is temporarily unable to fulfil its obligations, in respect of that Facility, due to circumstances beyond its control. In such circumstances the Council shall notify any Bus Operator affected by the inability of the Council to meet its obligations in respect of that Facility, confirming the reason for such inability and the anticipated period during that the Facility will not be available or the Facility is not being provided in compliance with the Council’s obligations.
5.3 The Facilities are to be maintained (subject to any variation or circumstances referred to in paragraph 5.2) for the duration of the EP Scheme in accordance with existing standards of maintenance generally applied by the Council in its management of local transport assets.
6.1 The Council shall continue to take and where relevant commence to take the Measures provided for in this EP Scheme subject to any temporary inability to take the relevant Measure due to circumstances beyond the control of the Council.
7.1 For the purpose of the Scheme, all Local Services that are Qualifying Bus Services will be operated in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 7.2 of this EP Scheme in order to use the Facilities.
7.2 Qualifying Bus Services shall comply with the Standard of Services as specified in Schedule 1.
8.1 The improvements to infrastructure, ticketing, highways, vehicle quality and staff training by introducing this EP Scheme including as further developed through variations, will bring benefits to passengers using Local Services in the Scheme Area by improving the quality of those Local Services.
8.2 Congestion in the Scheme Area is currently one of the causes for unreliability, solved only by the addition of extended journey times, which prevents any significant reductions in scheduled journey times. The introduction of the EP Scheme is anticipated to lead to a number of measures to address congestion. This should improve reliability and accessibility and help towards increasing bus usage. Facilities and Measures will be put in place using available funding as proposed in Schedule 1.
8.3 The targets for passenger benefits for the EP are based on the Bus Service Improvement Plan submitted to the DfT on the 31st October 2021.
8.5 This EP Scheme is intended over time to support public health in the administrative area of the Council by reducing the emissions of harmful Nitrous Oxide and Particulate Matter from the operators’ bus fleets. It will also contribute to a reduction in the Council’s Carbon Dioxide emissions and contribute to the Council’s climate change commitments.
9.1 An Operator of a Qualifying Bus Service may only use the Facilities in the Scheme Area if each Qualifying Bus Service is provided by that Operator to the Standards of Service except for any period during which that Operator is in respect of one or more local services temporarily unable to do so owing to circumstances beyond its control, provided that the Council is notified in writing as soon as practicably possible as to the reasons and period of such non- compliance.
9.2 Any Operator of a Local Service who fails to comply with paragraph 9.1 above (including failing to give any undertaking required by the Traffic Commissioners in relation to the registration of any new or variation to an existing service) may be subject to action by the Traffic Commissioner in accordance with section 26 (Conditions attached to PSV operator’s licence) of the Transport Act 1985 and section 155 of the TA 2000.
10.1 The EP Scheme will be reviewed at intervals as described at paragraph 2.2, which will include an assessment of the EP Scheme’s benefits in order to determine if any action is required to maintain or develop the Facilities, commit the Council to taking further Measures and vary or add to or remove Standards of Service.
10.2 The Council reserves the right to monitor compliance with the Standards of Services in respect of a Local Service which is using any of the Facilities. Bus Operators of such Local Services will allow the Council (including its officers and employees) reasonable access to any such Local Service for this purpose, and provide any reasonable assistance required for this purpose.
10.3 Instances of Bus Operators failing to comply with the Standard of Services may be reported to the Traffic Commissioner and may be subject to action as detailed in Paragraph 9.2
10.4 The Council is required to provide, maintain and ensure availability of Facilities and continue to take or procure that any third party continues to take Measures throughout the life of the EP Scheme as required under section 138J of the 2000 Act subject to any temporary unavailability of any Facilities or Measures, postponement of an implementation date for a Facility or Measure as permitted by the EP Scheme where necessary and to any variation of the EP Scheme that may arise.
11.1 Variations to the EP Scheme shall be brought into effect through the formal making of the variation to the EP Scheme by the Council.
Variations considered for implementation may include variations to this variation procedure and in particular the Voting Scheme for the EP Scheme in the event that there is (in the opinion of the Council (acting reasonably)) a material change in the ownership of route registrations relating to the provision of Qualifying Bus Services including the introduction into the EP Scheme area of any new Bus Operator.
The making of a variation shall be subject to the following:
Variations to the EP Scheme may be made applying the provisions of this section 11 of the EP Scheme applying in turn the provisions of s.138E of the TA 2000 where the following conditions (required to be specified under that section of the TA 2000) exist namely:
The Council and, where appropriate, other parties as provided for in the EP Plan may from time to time bring forward proposals for variations to this EP Scheme reflecting, in particular, investment opportunities that arise that will lead to enhanced and/or new Facilities intended to improve the quality of bus services operating in the County to which the EP Scheme relates or which if implemented are calculated to increase patronage or meet other objectives within the EP Plan.
The Council and, where appropriate, other participants in the EP Scheme may from time to time bring forward proposals for variations to this EP Scheme reflecting, in particular, Facilities that the Council is able to commit to that will lead to enhanced and/or new Facilities intended to facilitate the improvement of the quality of bus services operating in the County to which this EP Scheme relates, or which if implemented is calculated to increase patronage or meet other objectives within the EP Scheme or the EP Plan.
The Council and, where appropriate, other participants in the EP Scheme may from time to time bring forward proposals for variations to this EP Scheme reflecting, in particular, Measures that the Council is able to commit to or, with co-operation from third parties, secure that will lead to enhanced and/or new Measures intended to facilitate the improvement of the quality of bus services operating in the County to which this EP Scheme relates, or which if implemented is calculated to increase patronage or meet other objectives within the EP Plan.
All participants within the EP Board are accordingly encouraged to bring forward for consideration by the EP Board potential EP Scheme variations and the Board shall also have regard to proposals remitted to it by the EP Forum also established under the EP Plan. The proposer of a variation should demonstrate how the variation is calculated to contribute to achieving the objectives set out in the EP Plan and current local transport policies.
Other variations to the EP Scheme may be brought forward where through the implementation of the variation any of the objectives of the EP Plan will be more effectively achieved or for the purpose of varying any other matter that is the subject of this EP Scheme.
All proposals for Variations shall be set out in writing and submitted to [email address]. The administrator responsible for the conduct of the affairs of the EP Board shall provide copies of the proposal to all members of the Board within three working days of receipt of the proposal.
The EP Board shall be entitled to comment on proposals for variations to and new Facilities and Measures (or variations to or the removal of existing Facilities and or Measures) to be implemented under this EP Scheme proposed under the variation in accordance with the foregoing procedures.
Any proposal brought forward may require to be taken through the internal procedures of the Council in the manner envisaged above and will in all cases include considerations of competition law, in particular to ensure that the competition test provided for at Part 1 to Schedule 10 of the 2000 Act is still satisfied.
If there is a majority agreement (applying the Voting Scheme) the proposed variation is to be regarded as agreed by the EP Board and, if practicable, taken forward by the Council to become a variation to the EP Scheme. The Council in taking forward any variation shall have regard to any views expressed by the EP Board as to the timing of implementation of any revised Standards of Service that may form part of the proposed variation.
Should any category of Bus Operator not be represented either by its nominated representative or any authorised substitute or with another party authorised to exercise its vote on a proxy basis, then the proposed variation shall be put to a vote (again applying the Voting Scheme) under arrangements to be made by the Chair of the EP Board for votes to be given by email to be received by such date and time as the Chair (acting reasonably) determines. Should the votes cast present to the Chair a majority in number under the Voting Scheme the proposed variation shall be taken forward in the manner envisaged above.
If the LTA or another member of the EP Board believes it is necessary to revoke the EP Scheme, the EP Board will be reconvened. If the decision is taken to revoke the EP Scheme the Council will give consideration to and if thought appropriate apply the legislative procedures for revocation. If at any point in the future, any area covered by this EP Scheme is included in a bus franchising scheme, the relevant requirements set out in this EP Scheme document will cease to apply to areas covered by the franchising scheme, in line with the arrangements set out in the franchising scheme.
13.1 Any Operator or other person wishing to communicate with the Enhanced Partnership concerning the administration of this EP Scheme should address the communication to Chairman of the Enhanced Partnership Board with a copy provided to the firstname.lastname@example.org inbox.
The facilities, measures and Standards of Service outlined in this Schedule reflect what is currently provided using existing resources. Should additional funding be secured, the Facilities, Measures and Standards of Service may be amended following the bespoke procedure for variation set out at section 11 of this EP Scheme or, where relevant, the Variation Mechanism outlined in the EP Plan.
Facilities proposed to be provided and referred to below are subject to detailed development and to funding being secured in order to implement.
RBC will continue to provide:
(B1) RBC will develop detailed delivery programme of bus priority measures for all corridors based on level of funding available.
(B4) RBC will, subject to funding, implement an inbound Bus Lane on A327 Southampton Street benefitting 16 buses per hour.
(B5) RBC will, subject to funding, implement an inbound Bus Lane on A4 London Road between borough boundary and Cemetery Junction benefitting 15 buses per hour.
(E1) RBC will work with Wokingham Borough Council to provide a service between Reading and the new Thames Valley Park P&R site.
(A1) RBC will work with bus operators on each key corridor to develop detailed proposals to improve on a commercially sustainable basis service frequency through the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(E6) RBC will continue to review parking charges in Reading to ensure bus ticket pricing offers a competitive advantage.
(F1) RBC will work with bus operators to develop a plan aimed at simplifying and developing services through the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(G1) RBC will work with bus operators to develop plans for socially necessary services through the Enhanced Partnership process.
(J1) RBC will work with bus operators to review fares structures through the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(K1) RBC will work with bus operators to agree principles for multi-operator ticketing to be made available where more than one operator’s services are available through the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(L1) RBC will work with bus operators to develop a preferred high specification for buses in Reading through the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(L2) RBC will continue to work with bus operators to implement agreed accessibility improvements to further cater for wheelchair users and for parents and carers with pushchairs.
(N1) RBC will develop a service specification for Bus Stop infrastructure throughout Reading.
(O1) RBC will continue to work with event organisers to expand the provision of bus services serving events to persuade even more visitors to travel sustainably to these events.
(Q1) RBC will work with bus operators to develop and introduce a Passenger Charter alongside establishing the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(Q2) RBC will work with neighbouring authorities to ensure alignment of our Passenger Charters.
(Q4) RBC will continue to regularly review progress and publication of targets as set out in our EP Plan / BSIP
(R1) RBC will continue to promote a strong network identity for services running in the borough including providing a network map showing all bus operators’ services.
(T1) RBC will continue to work with bus operators to ensure best use of town centre Bus Stops and bus stands balancing provision of facilities for buses alongside other demands for kerb-space.
(T2) RBC will continue to work with Bus Operators and other stakeholders to ensure there is provision for expansion of existing bus services and frequencies and for new services to be developed such as BRT services.
(A1) Bus Operators will work with RBC on each key corridor to develop detailed proposals to improve on a commercially sustainable basis service frequency through the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(F1) Bus Operators will work with RBC to develop a plan aimed at simplifying and developing services through the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(G1) Bus Operators will work with RBC to develop plans for socially necessary services through the Enhanced Partnership process.
(J1) Bus Operators will work with RBC to review fares structures through the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(K1) Bus Operators will work with RBC to agree principles for multi-operator ticketing to be made available where more than one operator’s services are available through the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(L1) Bus Operators will work with RBC to develop a preferred high specification for buses in Reading through the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(L2) Bus Operators will continue to work with RBC to implement agreed accessibility improvements to further cater for wheelchair users and for parents and carers with pushchairs.
(Q1) Bus Operators will work with RBC to develop and introduce a Passenger Charter alongside establishing the Enhanced Partnership arrangements.
(T1) Bus Operators will continue to work with RBC to ensure best use of town centre Bus Stops and bus stands balancing provision of facilities for buses alongside other demands for kerb-space.
(T2) Bus Operators will continue to work with RBC and other stakeholders to ensure there is provision for expansion of existing bus services and frequencies and for new services to be developed such as BRT services.
Operators shall only operate Local Services that are Qualifying Bus Services using vehicles that meet the requirements of the Public Service Accessibility Regulations subject to exceptional circumstances as provided for under this EP Scheme.
The following services are exempt from the requirements of the EP Scheme:
N.B. the requirements of the EP Scheme do apply to a service or any part of a service provided under arrangements made under sections 89 to 91 of the Transport Act 1985 in any case where the authority retains all the revenue from that service.
|Operator||Service No||Route||Day of Operation|
|Reading Buses||1||Reading to Newbury||daily|
|Reading Buses||2/2a||Reading to Mortimer & Tadley||daily|
|Reading Buses||3||Reading to Arborfield & Wokingham||daily|
|Reading Buses||X3||Reading to Shinfield Park||Mon-Fri|
|Reading Buses||4/X4||Reading to Bracknell||daily|
|Reading Buses||5||Reading to Northumberland Ave||daily|
|Reading Buses||6/6a||Reading to Whitley Wood & Tesco Depot||daily|
|Reading Buses||7||Reading to Riseley||daily|
|Reading Buses||8||Reading to Spencers Wood||daily|
|Reading Buses||9||Reading to Whitley Wood & Spencers Wood||Mon-Sat|
|Reading Buses||10||Reading to Kennet Island||daily|
|Reading Buses||11||Reading to Coley Park||daily|
|Reading Buses||13/14||Reading to Woodley circulars||daily|
|Reading Buses||15/15a||Reading to Dee Park & Calcot||daily|
|Reading Buses||16||Reading to Purley||daily|
|Reading Buses||17||Wokingham Road to Tilehurst Water Tower||daily|
|Reading Buses||19a/c||Reading to Loddon Bridge circulars||Mon-Sat|
|Reading Buses||19b||Reading to Lower Earley||Mon-Sat|
|Reading Buses||21/21a||Reading to University & Lower Earley||daily|
|Reading Buses||22||Reading to Caversham Heights||Mon-Sat|
|Reading Buses||23/24||Reading to Emmer Green circulars||daily|
|Reading Buses||25||Reading to Peppard Common||daily|
|Reading Buses||26||Reading to Calcot||daily|
|Reading Buses||27/29||Reading to Lower Caversham||daily|
|Reading Buses||33||Reading to Tilehurst & Little Heath||daily|
|Reading Buses||42||Kenavon Drive to Rivermead||Mon-Sat|
|Reading Buses||50||Reading to Green Park||Mon-Sat|
|Reading Buses||400||Thames Valley Park P&R to Reading||Mon-Sat|
|Reading Buses||500||Winnersh Triangle P&R to Reading||suspended|
|Reading Buses||600||Mereoak P&R to Reading||daily|
|Reading Buses||702||Reading to Legoland & London||daily|
|Thames Valley Buses||127-9||Wokingham/Maidenhead to Reading||Mon-Sat|
|Arriva||800/850||High Wycombe to Reading||daily|
|Oxford Bus Company||X39/40||Oxford to Reading||daily|
|Thames Travel||143||Goring/Upper Basildon to Reading||Mon-Sat|
The Council will develop in conjunction with the EP Board and the Enhanced Partnership will introduce a bus passenger charter to give passengers more of a voice and a say in the future of bus services in Reading, putting passenger at the centre of bus service improvements.