THE AVERAGE Bracknell resident took the bus nearly nine times less than their Reading counterpart last year.

In 2017 people in Bracknell made 15.2 bus rides each, slightly more than Wokingham's 14.7 and Windsor's 11, but significantly less than the 131.3 trips the average Reading resident made.

Overall 1.8million bus journeys were made in Bracknell compared to 21.4milllion in Reading in 2017, Department for Transport figures show. 

Councillor Chris Turrell, Bracknell Forest Council's lead member for transport, argued the comparatively low bus take up was in part due to the town's suitability for driving, while admitting that more demand was being put on Bracknell's roads.

He said: "The main reason is Bracknell is quite dominated by roads. The main distinction between the two towns is it is easy to get about by roads in Bracknell and people can find somewhere to park.

"Roads in Reading are notoriously congested.

"We have seen road traffic go up by 30 per cent since 2000 in Bracknell. There is only so much we can do to the roads to accommodate that. The busses play a very important part in that."

When asked whether the council would look at setting up a bus company like in Reading, where the public owned service is regularly ranked as one of the best in the country, Councillor Turrell ruled out the possibility.

He did suggest however that Bracknell's operator Courtney Buses might soon look at introducing contactless payment and that the council could invest more money into public transport, depending on the state of its finances.

"I would think it could be introduced in the not too distant future," Councillor Turrell said.

"It is a matter for them but it is certainly the way that travel is going. They will be looking at the price of equipment to do it.

"We will have to see how the finances work out. It is quite possible with the increased numbers coming into the Lexicon. We will also have to look very carefully at how we are spending money on our busy roads."