Bus fare reductions in Ipswich

JUST weeks after bus fares across Ipswich shot up, some are being reduced after the government reinstated a crucial subsidy.

JUST weeks after bus fares across Ipswich shot up, some are being reduced after the government reinstated a crucial subsidy.

The basic single fare of £1.70 will remain and the cost of a green saver seven ticket will not be changed.

But the cost of weekly and monthly season tickets will fall - which will be covered by the renewed subsidy from the government.

Ipswich Buses bosses partly blamed the government when it put up bus fares early last month.

Until the beginning of October the government had refunded all the vehicle excise duty paid by public transport operators.

However, in the pre-budget announcement there was no mention of this subsidy, which prompted bus companies across the country to fear they could be forced to foot the bill for vehicle excise duty.

Most Read

That combined with the general increase in fuel prices forced Ipswich Buses to put up the cost of its basic fare from £1.50 to £1.70 in a move which prompted anger in the town.

Now the government has announced the rebate will be retained, and backdated to October 1, after MPs including Chris Mole took up the issue with ministers.

Mr Mole met transport minister Rosie Winterton who said the government appreciated the importance of rebating the fuel duty to bus operators and was preparing to clarify the situation.

Mr Mole said: “I appreciate there are cost pressures on transport operators at this time - but they cannot blame the government because the subsidy has been confirmed.

“I think that was always on the cards - it was just a matter of time before the announcement was made and Ipswich Buses maybe were a bit hasty in putting up the fares.”

Ipswich Buses managing director Malcolm Robson said: “The subsidy we get back will be about £40,000 and that will cover the reductions we are making in our weekly and monthly season tickets.

“But the fuel increase has hit has very hard - it's gone up 9p a litre and every a penny a litre we spend costs us £20,000 a year.”

N Are you happy with the fare reduction? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

N Did the government overlook the subsidy? See Paul Geater's column on page 10

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter