Changes to Bus Services
Many of you will have heard that significant changes to First Eastern Counties’ services in the Ipswich area taking effect from Sunday 1st September. This is an extract from the ‘news item’ which appeared on their website in early August. First has also brought in a new local identity for their Ipswich depot. You may have noticed some buses in the new “Ipswich Reds” livery.
From 1st September we’re making changes to some of the times and routes of our buses around Ipswich. These changes are based on feedback from passengers, local stakeholders and our local driving team as well as extensive analysis of passenger journeys and punctuality of our services.
Our new ticket machines, introduced in May 2018, allow us to collect more detailed data on where and when people travel than has ever been possible in the past and we have carried out a detailed analysis of all of this information when designing these changes; many of which are intended to bring simpler, quicker and more direct journeys for the majority of passengers as well as ensuring the long-term sustainability of our network that is operated almost entirely without any sort of local authority subsidy.
Printed copies will be available from our Ipswich Travel Shop in Old Cattle Market Bus Station and all of our usual outlets around two to three weeks before the new services begin.
Despite the impression given by the news item, there has no discussion of consultation with East Suffolk Council or the many town & parish councils along the routes, nor with the local branch of the Campaign for Better Transport. By law, Suffolk County Council should have been given the full details on or before 5th July, but they too have neither informed nor consulted local councils.
The local services affected are:
63 Framlingham – Woodbridge – Ipswich.
An additional Mondays – Fridays journey from Framlingham to Ipswich, returning at 14:05. The current schooldays only journeys to/from Thomas Mills High School will remain.
64 Aldeburgh – Saxmundham – Woodbridge – Ipswich.
This will remain hourly, but after the Turban Centre they will run via Warren Hill Road & Old Barack Road direct to the Duke of York, omitting Drybridge Hill, Bullards Lane, Peterhouse Crescent & Naunton Road. After that, they will go straight down the A12, bypassing the Red Lion and Black Tiles; none will call at TESCO (but see 65 below). Early morning (e.g. 06:45 from Melton) and ‘late’ evening peak buses (e.g. 18:20 & 18:50 from Ipswich) will cease.
65 Aldeburgh – Rendlesham – Woodbridge – Ipswich.
The replacement for service 800 (see below) is four journeys Rendlesham – Woodbridge – Ipswich Mondays to Fridays (but only two from Ipswich) with just two each way on Saturdays. There will be an additional two starting from and finishing at Melton on Mondays to Fridays.
The good news for Melton is that all 65s will run via Station Road, Woods Lane, Bredfield Road & Pytches Road, but this will mean no buses along Melton Road.
The bad news for Woodbridge is that, like the 64, all journeys will omit Drybridge Hill, Bullards Lane, Peterhouse Crescent & Naunton Road. From the Duke of York they will follow the existing route via TESCO.
800 Copdock Park-&-Ride – Ipswich – Martlesham Park-&-Ride – Woodbridge – Rendlesham.
Will remain every 15 minutes, but the hourly extension to Woodbridge & Rendlesham will be withdrawn. See service 65 above.
Outside our immediate locality;
66 Ipswich – Kesgrave – Martlesham Heath.
The former Superoute 66 will omit Eagle Way, thus cutting off the many inhabitants of Martlesham Heath. 12% of the 1,440 households there have no car; it has a population of about 3,000 of which about 18% are aged 70 and older.
68 Kesgrave – Ipswich Hospital (Garret Anderson Centre) – Ipswich.
This recently introduced service, First’s response to repeated requests for buses to serve the specially built bus terminal within Ipswich Hospital grounds, will cease. So whilst all Ipswich Buses (the ‘green buses’) passing the hospital will serve the Garret Anderson Centre, none of First’s will.
Now that I’ve managed to build up a complete picture of the changes, I will finish updating the ‘new look’ Local Transport Guide, which was on the verge of publication when this news broke.
If you wish to complain about these cuts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:-
Mr SA Wickers,
First Eastern Counties Buses Ltd.,
Please try to copy to your county and district councillors and Parish Clerk:
Cllr Rachel Smith-Lyte – District Councillor
Cllr Alexander Nicoll – County Councillor
William Grosvenor – Melton Parish Clerk
Melton Parish Council
Local Transport Officer
22nd August 2019