Public Transport

Recieved by email on Wednesday  2nd February:

SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL
Economy, Skills and Environment
 ____________________________________________________

 Chris Mallett
Passenger Transport
Endeavour House
8 Russell Road
Ipswich
Suffolk

IP1 2BX

Enquiries to: Mr S Harvey
Tel:  01473 260838              
Fax: 01473 216884

Email: stephen.harvey@suffolk.gov.uk

Web: http://www.suffolk.gov.uk

Your Ref:

Our Ref: 605/CON/
Date: February 2011

Dear Parish Representative
CANCELLATION OF SERVICES 62A & 62B

Suffolk County Council Passenger Transport is advising bus users that services 62A and 62B are to be withdrawn from Sunday 27th February 2011.

Service 62A operates between Ipswich, Woodbridge and Wickham Market, whilst service 62B operates between Ipswich, Woodbridge and Rendlesham.

Both services operate Monday to Saturday in the evening and all day Sunday.

 Daytime services 63/64/65 operated by First and service 165 operated by Anglian will not be affected by this withdrawal.

I would ask that this information is made available to residents of your parish, as you feel appropriate. May I also suggest that you arrange for the placement of these changes in your parish letter/magazine or on any public notice boards available to you. Any other timetables or information for these services should also be removed at this time.

For further information on public transport in Suffolk, visit www.suffolkonboard.com

 I hope that this information will be of help to you and your fellow residents.

Yours Sincerely

Chris Mallett
Passenger Transport Officer (Data & Information)

Passenger Transport Group

This letter is finished with a little tag saying “We are working to make Suffolk the Greenest County.”  Do the people who run this county have no sense or irony? or maybe they have an overdeveloped one!

 ____________________________________________________

Please read this letter in connection with my page (below,  written February 2010), which it glosses:

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Things are not looking good for the bus services in Woodbridge. From a ‘high’ of 4 Ipswich buses an hour back in the heady mid-nineties, we are now making do with 2 which come fairly reliably as long as you don’t wish to travel in the evenings or on Sundays and public holidays.  As if, eh?

And, to be fair,  travel to Ipswich hospital remains possible within working hours Monday to Saturday just  as long as you don’t mind a half mile walk to South wards. Although the new Garrett Anderson block incorporates   a bus  turning circle , no Woodbridge buses pass near that way. It adds too long to the timetable, explained the operator’s Suffolk County Council apologist. I wonder if they realise  that the bus timetable is meant to serve the public’s needs rather than the other way round.

This is, of course, in work times.  If you wish to visit the hospital in the severely restricted evening visiting hour be resigned to the fact that there is NO BUS AT ALL that goes anywhere near.  Woodbridge’s evening, Sunday and bank holiday bus  the 62a/b  – the one subsidised by Suffolk County Council – doesn’t follow the  daytime routes of the 63,64 and 65. Instead it makes its way from the Buttermarket in Ipswich,  along the Nacton Road and manages to avoid the hospital completely. You could almost think it was happening on purpose..

A cynic might suggest that the 62a/b is travelling THE  least populated route because it will make  it easier to cut the service in future… (after all, if it doesn’t pass the hospital it can’t be counted an essential service, can it?)

Remember folks, when it comes to buses its use it or lose it. Its fine to disregard them when you have a car – but there are times when people can’t – or can’t afford to – drive. And where is your bus then? We are reaching a Beeching situation with local buses – if we lose them now we may never get them back.

On a brighter note, we’re having better news with the rail service locally, in that – twenty years after it was first announced – it looks as if we may finally have an hourly service to and from Ipswich at the end of 2010.

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One thought on “Public Transport”

  1. I must be the only regular bus user (564, 64 and 521) who is not in possession of the full facts of the proposed cuts. I have only heard devastating rumours. My life would be completely turned upside down if all that I hear is true. Are you able to enlighten me? amn


    Dear Angela
    ,
    I’m afraid that the news is a bit like the curate’s egg – though the status of bus 64 is currently fine and will nmot currently be changing. The problem lies with the buses that Suffolk County council subsidises – services outside 9-5 weekdays and those along rural routes. You can find the background to this problem on another of my blog pages: http://carolinepage.blog.suffolk.libdems.org/public-transport/suffolk-the-death-of-the-rural-bus/

    The council says that in future it envisages:

    “a remodelling of public transport services along the lines that we have been piloting in parts of Suffolk over the last couple of years. The pilots that we have put in place in the Wilford Peninsula and in the area between Haverhill and Bury are based on the premise that the best way of enabling people in rural areas to access learning opportunities, employment and services will be to use demand responsive services to access a core of scheduled bus and rail services running on fixed routes. Equally demand responsive services can meet scattered journey patterns more flexibly. We will now be looking to roll this approach out across rural Suffolk.”

    A list of services “which would not be a priority for continued subsidy under the new model” was attached to this message, and I’m afraid it included both the 521 and the 564. HOWEVER, I’ve had a look at the services 521 and 564 and they appear to be only daytime services. This may be good news.

    The SCC officer said: “In drawing up this list we have prioritised core daytime services and those services that maximise accessibility and connections with rail. The aim is to provide a core network with which demand responsive services can interconnect. ”
    This would seem to mean that you ought to be able to get demand-responsive transport to replace the 521 AND 564 services because they are both daytime services.

    Users of the 62a and 62b which provide the evening, Sunday and Bank Holiday serives for Woodbridge and beyond are less lucky. I asked whether this meant demand-responsive transport would help people by replacing services outside 9-5 weekdays (eg evening, Sunday and Bank Holiday services) and those along rural routes and the reply was:

    Demand responsive transport operates between 0700 and 1900 Monday to Saturday and we are unable to offer any extension to these hours

    So a demand-responsive service doesn’t mean a service that responds to demand!

    I hope this helps answer your question

    Caroline

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Caroline Page, County Councillor for Woodbridge