December 9 2013 Latest news:
BY RICHARD CORNWELL, Felixstowe editor
Monday, March 4, 2013
VILLAGERS who lost half their services due to “bus wars” are set to have the routes restored, it was revealed today.
Bus company officials have listened to people’s complaints and have now decided to take action.
In what travel experts claimed was the result of a “bus war” between companies in Ipswich, services in Felixstowe saw major timetable delays and in Trimley St Martin services were halved last autumn.
Felixstowe Town Council asked the Traffic Commissioners to investigate the issue and both Trimley St Martin Parish Council – angry after services were reduced from 46 buses to 21 a day – and Felixstowe Travel Watch made complaints.
One major concern was the lack of consultation over the changes.
Bryan Frost, of Felixstowe Travel Watch, said First Eastern officials had announced the move to reverse the changes at the watchdog group’s recent meeting.
He said: “We are very pleased indeed, although we are still waiting for the detail. It does sound very positive though.”
Mr Frost had severely criticised the changes to the 76 and 77 services for “wasteful journeys along the A14, where there can be no prospect of custom, not to mention the largely superfluous ‘double runs’ around the roundabout at The Havens on Ransomes Europark”, which achieved nothing but excess consumption of fuel.
A spokeswoman for First Eastern said: “Following conversations with Felixstowe Town Council, Travel Watch and Trimley St Martin Parish Council our plan is to restore services 76/77 to their previous route serving all stops in Trimley St Martin and the old A45 to Warren Heath, and then serving the new Waitrose/John Lewis development.
“We do not have a definite start date for this yet, but it will be before the end of May.
“The 76 will also be revised to serve the site of the new medical centre in Felixstowe due to open later in the year.”