THE first operational changes since Reading Buses acquired Newbury and District last September will come into effect on Tuesday, April 23.

Reading Buses chief executive officer Robert Williams says the companies have been reviewing how they can work closer together and maximise the benefit of being under the same ownership.

He said: "By making these changes, we can consolidate all our operations in the area and provide an integrated network that is financially sustainable for the long term future."

It will also make it easier for customers as they will be able to use their tickets across different buses.

New timetables will be coming to routes 1a and 1c to coordinate them with Reading Buses’ jet black 1 to provide a combined 15 minute frequency between Newbury Wharf and Thatcham Broadway via West Berkshire Community Hospital.

As part of these changes, routes 1b and 1d will no longer run as they are covered by the 1, 1a and 1c.

There will be very minor changes to Newbury and District’s route 103 timetable.

Routes 123 and 124 will no longer run as Kennections buses already serve these areas.

Customers who use service 123 can use Kennections route 8 or route 103 between Newbury and Greenham, including for Tesco, or Kennections route 9 for the Racecourse.

Customers of the 124 service can use Kennections route 4 for Speen, and the more comprehensive Kennections route 2 for Wash Common.

At the same time as the timetables changing, Newbury and District fares will be brought into line with Reading Buses and Kennections in Newbury and Thatcham.

All Newbury and District routes (1a, 1c and 103) will become part of the Reading Buses ‘simply Newbury and Thatcham’ area.

Customers can buy smartcards online or from the Reading bus shop as well as mobile tickets from the Kennections app, and use them on both Reading Buses and Newbury and District services in the area.

Newbury and District are also introducing the Reading Buses Boost scheme to allow more young people to access cheaper fares.

Customers aged 18 and under can buy and use Boost tickets without needing ID and customers aged 21 and under in full time education can also use Boost providing they show a valid University or college ID.

Full details of the Boost scheme can be found online at

Mr Williams added: "Contactless payment is a huge bonus for many customers who aren't sure of their bus fare or have not had the opportunity to get cash.

"So we are really proud to be able to offer this facility to Newbury and District customers for the first time.

"We are also bringing Newbury and District services into the Kennections app meaning customers can buy their simply Newbury and Thatcham products on their phone and scan them when they board."

The app also gives Newbury and District customers the opportunity to view timetables and see live departure times from their favourite stops as well as track buses on a live map.

Customers can search Kennections in the app or play store and download for free.