Reading Buses buys out Courtney Buses

Company pledges to keep existing routes – to Waltham St Lawrence, Twyford, Sonning and Norreys – operating as normal

A BUS company that runs services to the northern parts of the borough has announced a takeover by another local operator.

Courtney Buses will become part of the Reading Buses network after the retirement of the company’s founder, Bill Courtney-Smith.

The independent company was launched as a taxi firm in 1973 and now services stops in Waltham St Lawrence, Shurlock Row, Twyford, Norreys estate, Crowthorne, Sonning and Binfield.

For the moment, Reading Buses intends to operate all routes as normal, but has said a full review of the routes will be undertaken as the two companies start to merge operations. Ultimately though, the company will be incorporated into the existing Slough operations under Courtney Buses’ general manager Simon Fisher.

Courtney Buses operates smaller shuttle buses, compared to Reading Buses’ main fleet of double and single deckers.

Today, Reading Buses said it has agreed terms to purchase Courtney Buses, which includes a fleet of 57 buses and the Courtney Bodyworks business, which offers a range of vehicle repairs and a full-size bus paint shop.

Also included in the deal is Courtney Authorised Testing Facility which can conduct MoTs on large vehicles.

And Reading Buses, which operates the Orange routes to Woodley and Earley, the Leopard and Lion buses and services to Lower Earley, is delighted with the newest member of its family.

In a statement, Robert Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Reading Buses, said: “We see this as a significant fit for Reading Buses, both in terms of complementary local bus network, high quality, high profile operations, our expansion into the wider Thames Valley, and also the supporting businesses.

“This well-run business will provide a return to our shareholder over time that will justify and repay the initial capital outlay and will allow the wider Reading Buses group – consisting of Reading Buses, Newbury & District and Courtney Buses – to become more efficient by integrating routes and tickets and sharing overheads.”

And as Mr Courtney-Smith prepares to enjoy his well-earned retirement, the founder and managing director of Courtney Buses, felt that the takeover was a good fit.

He said: “Courtney Buses has prided itself on quality, value and integrity. Our motto – Driven by Service – really says it all. I am pleased to be passing the reins to another company which holds these values in such high regard, and one that has been recognised as such by the wider industry on numerous occasions.

“I wish the team well.”

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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