COUNCILLORS are calling for a cracked Woodley road to be resurfaced after it was labelled as the “worst” in the area by Reading Buses.
In a letter to Woodley Town Council, the bus company said that Fairwater Drive, in South Lake ward, is “broken, peeling, cracked and unevenly patched for the entire length in both directions” and now town councillors want an overhaul to mend it.
The council asked Reading Buses to investigate the 0.8-mile long road after residents’ complaints, and using a training bus — which is lighter than a bus used for commercial routes — the company found conversations were “impossible” due to road noise, despite travelling between 20 and 25 miles per hour.
The letter also said: “The surface is undulating and uneven. There is no section that appears to be particularly worse or better than any other.
“The whole road in both directions is exceedingly worn.
“The general effect was to make the journey along the road uncomfortable for both driver and passengers even though the vehicle has air suspension.
“Fairwater Drive was by far the worst surfaced road that we drove along during the whole morning’s driving of over three and a half hours around Reading, Woodley and Lower Earley.”
South Lake ward councillor, frequent bus passenger and resident Beth Rowland has called the road “disgraceful” and is urging Wokingham Borough Council to take action quickly.
She said: “I can’t imagine what it must be like for drivers who have to drive on the road daily. It must be resurfaced.
“I drove down the Wokingham Road from Shute End recently, and that’s a lovely road. Once again, all the money is being spent in Wokingham and not in Woodley.”
Fellow councillor Kay Gilder, who lives in neighbouring Kingfisher Drive, does not believe Fairwater Drive has been completely resurfaced for the 45 years she has been in South Lake.
She added: “It’s pretty appalling. It’s been patched and patched and patched for years.
“Driving along it can be pretty horrendous, and one man told me he doesn’t take the bus any more from Fairwater Drive because it hurts his back and neck.”
A borough council spokesman said: “Fairwater Drive, Woodley will be resurfaced between Woodlands Avenue and Antrim Road. This will be completed during the Easter holidays with work starting on Thursday, April 9.”
In a further statement, a Reading Buses spokesman said that the road was yet to become an “operating issue” for the company but urged the authorities to make repairs.
He added: “In the interests of the comfort of customers, as well as other road users, and the upkeep of our vehicles, we would always support the maintenance and renewal of road surfaces in order to keep them in the best possible condition.”