Woodley Lib Dems are shocked to hear that Reading Buses are planning to stop serving Woodley Airfield and other parts of Woodley with the 63/64 bus routes.
Under plans currently out for consultation Colemansmoor Road, Woodley Airfield and the Glendevon Road areas will no longer be served by the 63/64 route and the 62 route will be modified to provide a very limited service in some of the areas that are destined to lose the 63/64 service. Until recently the number 62 bus route was supported by Wokingham Borough Council as a “socially necessary” service, but it was transferred to Reading Buses to run as commercial venture (Mon to Fri).
Gareth Epps, Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Reading East said, “These proposed changes will have a huge impact on residents who for one reason or another do not have access to a car for example young people trying to get work; older people that don’t drive and others who are already suffering financially in this challenging economic climate. I have already made representations to Reading Transport on this cutback and believe Wokingham Borough Council need to discuss with Reading Buses how to ensure a service continues to be provided.”
Phil Challis, Lib Dem Wokingham Borough Councillor for Loddon said, “When the 62 service was transferred to Reading Buses I was given assurances by the Tory Executive in Wokingham that they would evaluate any future changes to the route and timetable and consider taking the No 62 back into council control as part of the statutory 56 day consultation period. I will be pressing for this commitment to be honoured and also proposing that the council discusses the social necessity of the 63/64 route to residents of the Woodley Airfield Development with Reading Buses.”
Local residents and Liberal Democrats are celebrating success on a key campaigning issue in Woodley.
A government appointed planning inspector has recently told the developer of eight houses in Lytham Road that he must build the pedestrian crossing that was a condition of the original planning permission to build the houses.
The planning condition stated that the pedestrian crossing should be installed by the developer before any of the houses were occupied. This was not enforced by Wokingham Borough Council and the developer went ahead and sold the houses anyway. Once the houses were partially occupied the developer then applied to have the condition to install the crossing removed. This application was refused by Wokingham Borough and the developer appealed against the council’s decision.
Jenny Lissaman, Lib Dem Borough Councillor for Bulmershe and Whitegates said, “I am pleased that the inspector agreed with local residents and the Lib Dems that this pedestrian crossing is essential to provide a safe crossing point for the new and existing residents”. She went on to say “This decision by the government inspector should be the end of a long campaign by local Lib Dem borough and town councillors to ensure that the developer meets his commitment, but I won’t relax until the crossing is actually in place”.
Phil Challis, Lib Dem chair of Woodley Town Council Plans Committee said, “I have been concerned for some time that conditions attached to planning permissions are not being enforced, so I am pleased that this pedestrian crossing has the support of the inspector. The Lib Dems will be checking to make sure the council enforces the condition to build the new pedestrian crossing as soon as possible; Woodley has waited long enough!
Wokingham Liberal Democrats are dismayed that the Tory Executive of Wokingham Borough Council has decided to go ahead with the statutory public consultation during the summer holidays about their plan for on-street car parking charges. This will be before they have reviewed all of the evidence being presented to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee by Wokingham traders, town councillors and residents alike who have strongly opposed the whole concept of charging for on-street parking.
Councillor Phil Challis (councillor for Loddon ward and member of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee) said, “Holding this important consultation during the summer holidays proves yet again that the Tory Executive can’t listen and won’t listen.”
Both Tory and Lib Dem members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which has been looking at the proposal, asked the Tory Executive to delay the statutory consultation until September so that more members of the public and businesses could give their views. David Lee, the Tory leader of the council, refused to discuss this proposal, and at a meeting last night, the Tory Executive confirmed they would go ahead with the consultation in August as planned.
Phil Challis added, “This makes a mockery of consultation. The Tories have been heavily criticised in the past for holding important consultations during holiday periods, but they just won’t listen. I urge everyone to respond to this consultation if they can so that the Tories will be in no doubt about what people think of their proposal to charge up to £1 for half an hour’s parking.”