Big group retrenchment has provided new opportunities for Reading Buses to expand into other parts of Berkshire, reviving the name of a state-owned fleet that once served this area, as STEPHEN MORRIS reports

The four Optare Solo SRs that Reading Buses has leased for the Thames Valley town services in Slough, led by 198 (YJ62 FEU), parked up for the night in the micro-depot.

For those of us of a certain age, Thames Valley immediately conjures up images of Tilling red Bristols running around Berkshire or bashing into London on trunk routes A and B.

Thames Valley Traction was registered in 1920 as part of British Automobile Traction ‘to carry on and develop motor omnibus services and motor chars-a-banc tours in Berkshire and neighbouring counties’. It became part of the National Bus Company in 1969 and three years later was merged with its former BET neighbour Aldershot & District to form Alder Valley.

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