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Being picked up at National Express Reading, Mereoak stop?

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gray1404

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Is it possible to be picked up/dropped by someone at the National Express Reading Mereoak stop without that person having to pay to enter the park and ride car park?

Also, if my friend is unable to pick me up/drop me off is it possible for me to use local buses to/from there using my ENCTS pass without having to pay? I ask this as I know many of the Mereoak buses charge you assuming you've parked a car.
 
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Bletchleyite

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Doesn't look like you can get onto the site, but there don't appear to be any restrictions on stopping on the road outside if that is enough?

(Ref: Google Maps street view)
 

Gloster

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It does appear from the information on Reading Buses website that you can travel free on your ENCTS pass, but you must also buy a £1 parking ticket. There is no qualification saying that this only applies if you have parked a car there. Admittedly, if there was half the passengers with passes would claim that they had been dropped off. Why not try e-mailing the operator to ask?
 

gray1404

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Thank you both, truly!

I emailed Reading Buses, who replied very fast, confirming that the £1 fee only applies to users of the car park and can use my ENCTS Pass without paying anything. They said to just explain to the driver I am not using the car park when boarding. Good that I have their email too as proof.

If my friend if able to collect/drop me off though, I see what @Bletchleyite means. The enterence for the bus stop is coaches/buses only but I can get off the coach and walk a few steps to Mereoak Lane and my friend can park up there and wait for me. Likewise he can drop me off there and I can walk in by foot to the bus stop. Looks easy enough! Thank you both!
 

embers25

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Thank you both, truly!

I emailed Reading Buses, who replied very fast, confirming that the £1 fee only applies to users of the car park and can use my ENCTS Pass without paying anything. They said to just explain to the driver I am not using the car park when boarding. Good that I have their email too as proof.

If my friend if able to collect/drop me off though, I see what @Bletchleyite means. The enterence for the bus stop is coaches/buses only but I can get off the coach and walk a few steps to Mereoak Lane and my friend can park up there and wait for me. Likewise he can drop me off there and I can walk in by foot to the bus stop. Looks easy enough! Thank you both!
Worth noting that Nat Exp show overnight coaches such as 404 etc (when they run again) as stopping at Mereoak but they still stop in the layby by the field just past Calcot Sainsbury's (Which is completely unmarked and has nowhere to wait!). Also, prior to the new lockdown I vaguely remember Nat Exp only had one service a day each way serving Reading although that may change again after lockdown.
 

PeterC

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The Reading Borouch Council website says:

For drop off and pick up (up to an hour) the ANPR system will allow free exit from the car park.

Considering that StreetView shows the exit as barriered I probably wouldn't take the chance myself.
 

gray1404

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Worth noting that Nat Exp show overnight coaches such as 404 etc (when they run again) as stopping at Mereoak but they still stop in the layby by the field just past Calcot Sainsbury's (Which is completely unmarked and has nowhere to wait!). Also, prior to the new lockdown I vaguely remember Nat Exp only had one service a day each way serving Reading although that may change again after lockdown.
This is very concerning. The place the coach stops and the stop printed on the ticket should match.

The Reading Borouch Council website says:

For drop off and pick up (up to an hour) the ANPR system will allow free exit from the car park.

Considering that StreetView shows the exit as barriered I probably wouldn't take the chance myself.
Can you provide a link for this please as I can't find it on the site.
 

Daniel740

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If you’re that concerned about taking the coach from London to Reading, don’t. Why are you messing about with a service that only runs once a day when there are plentiful rail services.
 

cactustwirly

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If you’re that concerned about taking the coach from London to Reading, don’t. Why are you messing about with a service that only runs once a day when there are plentiful rail services.

Agreed, especially if you're heading to central Reading, the train is by far the best way to go.
I wasn't actually aware that Nat Ex actually went to Reading tbh.
When I've searched before it puts you in the Railair from Heathrow and the tickets for that were horrifically expensive!!
 

extendedpaul

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From a previous thread OP is travelling From Liverpool so it is understandable to wish to complete the journey by National Express if possible rather than get a train from Paddington or Waterloo to Reading
 

Daniel740

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From a previous thread OP is travelling From Liverpool so it is understandable to wish to complete the journey by National Express if possible rather than get a train from Paddington or Waterloo to Reading
But he doesn’t even need to get a train, at certain times of the day the Green Line 702 runs from Victoria to Reading, if the OP is arriving in the evening this would be a much better option than National Express, and it would be free because they have a ENCTS pass.
 

busken

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Worth noting that Nat Exp show overnight coaches such as 404 etc (when they run again) as stopping at Mereoak but they still stop in the layby by the field just past Calcot Sainsbury's (Which is completely unmarked and has nowhere to wait!). Also, prior to the new lockdown I vaguely remember Nat Exp only had one service a day each way serving Reading although that may change again after lockdown.
The layby you mention, although no longer having a sign, is a public area, not a bus stop, and no reason you can't park in it.
 

embers25

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The layby you mention, although no longer having a sign, is a public area, not a bus stop, and no reason you can't park in it.
True but the bus doesn't stop unless the passenger is physically waiting out of their car in my experience. Several times the coach has been chased around the roundabout by cars with passengers wanting to board when it didn't stop and it ends up stopping in the bus layby on the other side to pick up the rather disgruntled passenger. I've no clue why it can't just stop in that bus stop layby anyway and be on the bus stop. Also, although the overnight services are turn up and go, they skip Calcot completely if no-one has pre-booked. Didn't the daytime Liverpool one stop at Chieveley Services instead to avoid having to divert from the A34 via Reading?
 

Boo_

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Currently READING (M4) Mereoak Park is not on the Current Network by National express (pictured below)

network-map-091120.jpg

 
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Boo_

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Wow, a network map. How long did they whine for that it would be too complex to create, er, a network map?

I don't think it shows all stops, though.

They have more or less cut most stops out of the network. just hope they put all stops back on the network afterwards.

Manchester Airport has 2 coaches each day calling but that missing off the map. but I do. know Reading is pulled for sure.
 

gray1404

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Is it just the overnight services that don't use Mereoak? There is an issue if a customers ticket is saying one place but the actual pick up point is another. Please let me know as I'll get this corrected if so.

But he doesn’t even need to get a train, at certain times of the day the Green Line 702 runs from Victoria to Reading, if the OP is arriving in the evening this would be a much better option than National Express, and it would be free because they have a ENCTS pass.
Sadly, although the Greenline 702 runs London to Reading in the evenings, there is no "return" option Reading back to London at a time when the ENCTS is valid. The Reading to London though journeys are all pre 09.30am. It is a shame really.

Also, I can't find a viable option for using my pass for a day trip into London from Reading while I am down there.
 
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Bletchleyite

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They were talking about lopping out the unremunerative single-journey-per-day routes (Southport via Ormskirk being one of those), so those won't be back. I'd imagine some others will return, though. Depends what will make a profit.
 

Boo_

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They were talking about lopping out the unremunerative single-journey-per-day routes (Southport via Ormskirk being one of those), so those won't be back. I'd imagine some others will return, though. Depends what will make a profit.
I can see them asking for money to service some towns. well they could go for bus tenders
 

gray1404

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It always annoyed me how the National Express service from Southport always ran via Ormskirk and Old Roan rather then Formby as it would have been a very useful stop. I agree it most likely won't return now.

Let's hope the Reading stop does return though. More likely as higher population.

I guess time will tell with National Express. I still have a free journey voucher code to use up with them. Once their offering a decent service I might be able to do that.
 

Bletchleyite

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It always annoyed me how the National Express service from Southport always ran via Ormskirk and Old Roan rather then Formby as it would have been a very useful stop. I agree it most likely won't return now.

My parents actually used that (from Ormskirk) once. The trouble is that people using it once don't build a sustainable business. (No reason it wouldn't be sustainable if they actually filled it - coaches aren't like railways, the cost of operating 10 coaches is roughly 10 times the cost of operating 1 coach give or take the backoffice support they will have anyway).

I would expect more potential custom via Ormskirk and Maghull than via Formby. Most notably students at Edge Hill.

I'd be fairly surprised if Reading didn't return.
 

Roger1973

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Sadly, although the Greenline 702 runs London to Reading in the evenings, there is no "return" option Reading back to London at a time when the ENCTS is valid. The Reading to London though journeys are all pre 09.30am. It is a shame really.

Also, I can't find a viable option for using my pass for a day trip into London from Reading while I am down there.

The Reading journeys are really only depot journeys and don't think Reading Buses try that hard to sell the service in the Reading area. (Some 702 journeys to / from Reading now run direct via the M4 rather than via Bracknell, in the previous timetable some were quite close to 703 journeys between Bracknell and Slough.)

And (just in case you have an old timetable) the 702 that started at Bracknell about 0930 no longer runs.

If you really want to do Reading to London on a concessionary pass, then it's going to be long winded - the only option I can think of (and apologies if you've already come to the same conclusion) would be 4 or X4 to Bracknell, 703 to Windsor or Slough then 702. And it looks as though for much of the day, even headway between Legoland and Langley has taken priority over 703 feeding in to 702.

Courtney / Thames Valley Reading - Maidenhead 127 only runs Saturdays. Going far enough in to Arriva land to get back to Maidenhead then on to Slough is probably going to take longer than the option via Bracknell and Slough.

Some of the Berkshire councils did relax the time limits on concessionary passes during lockdown, but I believe they have now all reverted at least to 0900 if not 0930 on weekdays.
 

Deerfold

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The Reading journeys are really only depot journeys and don't think Reading Buses try that hard to sell the service in the Reading area. (Some 702 journeys to / from Reading now run direct via the M4 rather than via Bracknell, in the previous timetable some were quite close to 703 journeys between Bracknell and Slough.)

And (just in case you have an old timetable) the 702 that started at Bracknell about 0930 no longer runs.

If you really want to do Reading to London on a concessionary pass, then it's going to be long winded - the only option I can think of (and apologies if you've already come to the same conclusion) would be 4 or X4 to Bracknell, 703 to Windsor or Slough then 702. And it looks as though for much of the day, even headway between Legoland and Langley has taken priority over 703 feeding in to 702.

Courtney / Thames Valley Reading - Maidenhead 127 only runs Saturdays. Going far enough in to Arriva land to get back to Maidenhead then on to Slough is probably going to take longer than the option via Bracknell and Slough.

Some of the Berkshire councils did relax the time limits on concessionary passes during lockdown, but I believe they have now all reverted at least to 0900 if not 0930 on weekdays.

It'd probably be as easy to do Reading - High Wycombe (routes 800/850, 3 an hour, takes 90 minutes), High Wycombe to Uxbridge (routes 102/102, 2 an hour, takes 45 minutes), Uxbridge to Ealing Broadway/Shepherds Bush/White City (route 607, every 10 minutes, takes 70 minutes) then to wherever you're heading - C1 in under an hour if you're actually heading for Victoria Coach station.
 

MedwayValiant

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Looking at a map this sounds ridiculous, but it would take no longer to travel via Oxford. X39/X40 from Reading to Oxford (half hourly), then Oxford Tube.
 

GusB

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I think this thread has run its course. Any general discussion about National Express should be continued in the relevant thread.
 
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