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Festive Cheer with Free Bus Travel in West Berkshire this Christmas!

Get ready for a jolly holiday season filled with free bus travel in West Berkshire!

Posted by: Communications team on 15 November 2023 10:24
2022-free bus travel xmas

This year, we're again excited to announce a fantastic opportunity for residents to embrace the festive spirit without worrying about transport costs.

For a series of Saturdays in November and December, all bus journeys within West Berkshire will be FREE, providing an excellent chance to explore and enjoy various seasonal events and activities in the run up to Christmas!

Mark your calendars for these special days:

On these Saturdays, you can travel all day, any time, completely FREE (do check the timetables) within West Berkshire. It's the perfect opportunity to shop for gifts, enjoy in the festive lights, catch the panto at the Corn Exchange, dine at local eateries, embrace the scenery, or spread the holiday cheer with pre-Christmas visits to family and friends.

We have worked in partnership with our bus operators Reading Buses, Newbury & District, Thames Travel, and Stagecoach, along with the Council's Connect buses, to bring you this initiative over the festive period. Don't forget, Concessionary Bus Passes are welcome as usual.

But that's not all! Free travel extends beyond West Berkshire to our neighbouring areas such as Reading, Basingstoke, and Swindon. If you start your journey in West Berkshire, your return journey is also FREE! But you need to request a return ticket from the driver when boarding to take advantage of this offer.

Cllr Denise Gaines, Executive Member for Highways, Housing, and Sustainable Travel at West Berkshire Council, expressed excitement, saying:

"We're delighted to offer free bus travel to residents again, both within and beyond West Berkshire.

"As we navigate the cost of living crisis, this gesture not only eases travel expenses but also reduces our carbon footprint. By filling our roads with fewer cars, we aim to boost footfall in local towns and villages to enjoy all the activities taking place and support our local businesses during these challenging times."

Robert Williams, CEO of Reading Buses, said:

"We are delighted to be working with West Berkshire Council to highlight the many journeys that are possible using the local bus network, and to be supporting local businesses in an environmentally sustainable way through this free travel offer."

Prepare to spread festive joy without worrying about transport costs! Hop aboard and make the most of these free travel days this holiday season.

The full list of routes is as follows: 

Public bus services that operate entirely within West Berkshire: 

Route Number




Newbury & District

Newbury to Thatcham


Newbury & District

Newbury to Wash Common/Tesco


Newbury & District

Newbury to Hungerford


Newbury & District

Newbury to Lambourn


Newbury & District

Newbury to East/West Ilsley


Newbury & District

Newbury to Tesco, Greenham, and Pigeons Farm


Newbury & District

Newbury to Racecourse


The following routes will offer free bus travel in West Berkshire, whatever the destination.  Should you travel beyond the West Berkshire boundary, the return journey back to West Berkshire will be free. 





Stagecoach South

Newbury to Basingstoke

Jet Black 1

Reading Buses

Newbury to Reading

Lime 2/2a 

Reading Buses

Mortimer/Burghfield to Reading


Stagecoach South

Andover/Burghclere to Newbury

Sky Blue 15

Reading Buses

Theale/Calcot to Reading 

Sky Blue 16

Reading Buses

Purley on Thames to Reading 

Yellow 26

Reading Buses

Calcot to Reading

Royal Blue 33

Reading Buses

Turnham's Farm to Reading


Thames Travel

Newbury to Harwell Campus/Didcot


WBC Connect

Lambourn to Swindon


Thames Travel

Upper Basildon to Reading


This initiative has been made possible by funding from HM Government, given to West Berkshire Council after submission of a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) in October 2021.

Last modified: 01 December 2023 08:32

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