Bus passengers driven round the bend

THIS is the £180,000 bendy-bus which could transform public transport in part of Ipswich and on the town's park and ride routes.The 150-capacity bus was being trialled in Ipswich today (Weds) to see whether it could be the answer to the town's congestion problems.

THIS is the £180,000 bendy-bus which could transform public transport in part of Ipswich and on the town's park and ride routes.

The 150-capacity bus was being trialled in Ipswich today (Weds) to see whether it could be the answer to the town's congestion problems.

"We are looking at whether it might be appropriate for the new Park and Ride bus service to Martlesham," said Ipswich Buses' managing director Malcolm Robson.

"And it could also be used on the park and ride service to Copdock and on services in the Chantry area."


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He said the buses to Copdock were often full, but double-deckers were not an option because of a low bridge at the park and ride site.

The Ancaster Road bridge prevents double-deckers operating to Chantry – and these buses could be a solution to overcrowding there.

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"We have great problems in recruiting drivers, so putting on extra services isn't really an option.

"But this might be a way of increasing capacity without needing new drivers," he said.

The bus being trialled today was a Scania owned by Nottingham City Transport – Mr Robson's main concern was the lack of seats.

"Although it has a capacity of 150, which is very good, there are only 59 seats – other people would have to stand.

"That's probably all right for a 10 minute journey from Chantry, but it might not be so good for a longer journey from Martlesham – but we could get different seating layouts," he said.

NDo you think bendy-buses are the answer to congestion. Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Bendy facts:

The new buses cost £180,000 each. A single-deck bus costs £100,000 and a double-decker £150,000.

Martlesham Park and Ride is due to open just before Christmas this year, Ipswich Buses is bidding for the contract to operate the service.

Bendy buses already operate in London, Nottingham, Newcastle, and other cities across Britain.

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