Call for extra measures to help buses beat jamsBy Linda Fort
January 02, 2009
The new chairman of Reading Buses is calling for more bus priority measures to help the buses beat traffic congestion in town.
Stuart Singleton-White, 45, was giving his first New Year message since taking the wheel at Reading Transport Limited on December 1.
He said he would be building on the “transformation” of the service which has taken place over the last three years.
He said: “There has been tremendous progress across many areas of the company of which we are very proud, but there is a great deal more to do and these are very challenging as well as interesting times.
“I am looking forward to working closely with the local authorities – and the people of Reading – to improve bus priority measures which will help us to improve both the reliability and frequency of services.
“As a company we can only do so much, but working in partnership with local authorities and local businesses we can do so much more to deliver continuous improvements in the services we offer customers. Quite frankly, Reading needs more bus priority measures so that we can overcome the traffic issues which dog our town. In short, we need to give the bus priority over other forms of transport.”
He added: “It is my aim to make public transport the mode of choice for as many people as possible. I am keen to build on the excellent product we have got and to continue to grow the company both in terms of passenger numbers and in terms of its finance.”
As a municipally owned company, he said Reading Transport was not driven solely by profit – though it had to be profitable – but by offering value for money to its customers and the people of Reading more widely.
He said he hoped environmental and corporate social responsibility would mark his tenure as chair.
He went on: “Public transport has a key role to play in helping people make better environmental decisions and in supporting the economy of the town to grow in a low carbon direction.
“But only if we, as a company, continue to strive to improve our own environmental performance.
"One of the biggest challenges any company faces at the moment is how to balance these social and environmental responsibilities, while remaining profitable. But it is a fact that unless business does, then the whole basis of any growth as we move out of the recession will be utterly unsustainable and very short term.”
He said this would mean Reading Transport working with other organisations, including businesses, to encourage greater use of the bus in their day-to-day activity.
He concluded: “We have a highly talented senior management team led by James Freeman and a professional staff to deliver those objectives.”
Mr Singleton-White has been a member of the board since 2001.