Reading free bus travel 'could be reinstated'

Hybrid bus in Reading
Image caption Buses travelling on some south Reading routes will have reduced fares

Free 24-hour bus travel for pensioners in Reading could be reinstated, the council has said.

Reading Borough Council changed the rules in April 2011 when it was run by a Lib-Dem-Conservative coalition, meaning concessionary passes were not valid before 09:30 BST.

The council, now run by Labour, is extending the time to 09:00 BST, but says a full reversal is on the cards.

The half-hour extension will come into effect on 1 October.

It said the cost of the half-hour change would cost between £29,000 and £46,000 per year and would be funded from bus lane fines.

The authority has already said it will fund a 20% fare cut in part of south Reading in a trial scheme aimed at boosting passenger numbers.

In July 2011, the Labour administration reversed a decision to charge disabled people to use the bus network at peak times at a cost of £65,000 a year.

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