THE only bus service directly linking Woodley and Earley to Royal Berkshire Hospital is under threat.

Wokingham Borough Council has launched an online consultation, asking residents to submit their views on the number 19 route.

The 19 routes are part funded by the council, which suggested a consultation to see how often the service is used, according to service provider Reading Buses.

Residents are being asked if they would consider changing buses in Reading town centre to access the hospital.

The only other way of reaching the hospital by bus is to take either the number 17 or 21 into the town centre, and swap to the number 9 bus towards Shinfield.

The consultation launched yesterday (Monday November 9) and will run until December 18.

The council will report their findings when they "review the service" with Reading Buses.

Questions include whether people would be happy swapping buses to get to the hospital, and what the council should prioritise given its "limited funding".

Another question reads: "Given that there is no additional funding to support the bus service, any amendments to the route would require an existing part of the route not to be served or a reduction in frequency. Do you believe the route of service 19a/c should be amended in anyway?".

Jake Osman, marketing and communications manager for Reading Buses, said: "The 19s are part-funded by Wokingham Borough Council and we obviously have constant dialogue with them about the route.

"They suggested a consultation to see how people are using the route and why - which would be undertaken by them."

Councillor John Kaiser, lead member for transport at Wokingham Borough Council, said there are no plans to cut the service at this stage, and it will be reviewed early next year.

He said: "The aim of the survey is to ensure that the service, that is provided by Reading Buses, is routed correctly, operates to time and delivers the service that our residents require. The results of the survey will be discussed with Reading Buses in early 2016.”