A vital service for people with restricted mobility has been granted a two-year contract extension.

The council’s Policy committee approved another two years onto Readibus’ contract on Monday, praising it as “second to none”.

Readibus is a dial-a-ride bus service offering transport for people with restricted mobility in and around Reading.

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Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Transport at Reading Borough Council (RBC), continued the praise, said the the service is “second to none” and “continues to provide good value for money”.

He added: “I was a young member many decades ago that moved the resolution to apply for an urban aid grant to establish Readibus.

“I’m delighted that all those decades since, Readibus is going from strength to strength and is probably one of the finest examples of the service in the country.”

In papers ahead of the meeting, council officers said the contract extension was recommended “as a result of the high level of performance in fulfilling the contract requirements to date and the good value for money demonstrated when benchmarked against similar operations”.

A registered charity, ReadiBus is supported by community grants from local authorities as well as through individual fundraising and legacies.

The contract between Reading Borough Council (RBC) and Readibus includes the dial-a-ride service for people of all ages who cannot make use of mainstream bus services.

The ReadiBus dial-a-ride bus service is free for Access and Older Person Pass holders in Reading and for those with companion passes who are travelling with disabled people.

In 2018, this aspect of the service was put under threat but the council reversed proposals to reduce the times during which these passes could be used in 2019.

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Readibus also provides for council services including adult social care and social services transport.

As well as voting on renewing the contract, the committee are also set o approve undertaking a review to establish what is needed in the community from April 2023 onwards, when the next contract would end.