BUDGET cuts across the board has resulted in the council gradually decreasing bus services across the borough.

Over the past four years, Bracknell Forest has been struck with the biggest decrease in bus travel across the entire country, figures show.

A BBC investigation revealed that within the borough, there is more than 25% less bus miles travelled compared to the same time in 2014.

Across the country, however, the scale of the bus network has plummeted to dire levels last seen in 1991, despite passenger numbers being 8% higher than they were then at that time.

Wokingham was also among the areas most affected and it stands as the seventh worst in the country, with 21% less bus miles.

Bracknell Forest Council has said that the bus services in the borough are sufficient for residents, despite the reductions and that work will continue to ensure that residents requiring bus services are efficiently supported.

Vincent Paliczka, director for environment, culture and communities, said: “The borough benefits from an extensive bus network provided through commercial operators and some of these services are supported by council funding where needed.

"We actively encourage residents to make use of the bus services as a sustainable form of transport.

"However, due to financial pressures, the council has had to reduce the frequency and modify some supported bus services but this still provides an extensive bus coverage in the borough."

The completion of the Lexicon understandably triggered a need for further services on weekends and evenings, but despite the introduction of these services, the decrease in bus miles is still extreme.

Mr Paliczka, added: "Understandably, while the town centre regeneration was underway and the retail offer was reduced, there was a decrease in bus usage.

"As anticipated, since the new town centre opened in September 2017, and additional evening and Sunday bus services were made available, we have started to see an increase in usage across all services.

"The council will continue to promote bus travel through partnership working with bus operators in the area and hope to build on the results we are seeing as a result of the new Town Centre.”