Bus stopping at awards

IPSWICH Buses are today hoping for a double jackpot after being nominated for two major national awards.

IPSWICH Buses are today hoping for a double jackpot after being nominated for two major national awards.

The borough council-owned transport company has been shortlisted for the Independent Operator of the Year Award at this autumn's national bus awards.

And it has also been nominated for a special award for managing to increase the number of passengers on its routes between Ravenswood and the town centre.

Those routes have been so successful in attracting new passengers and keeping cars off the road that planners at Ipswich council have given permission for a further 200 new homes to be built on the estate.

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The success has led to the company being nominated for the Winning New Business Award in November.

Ipswich Buses managing director Malcolm Robson said: “We will be going to the awards in the running for two of the most prestigious prizes - it has given everyone here a big boost.”

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The nominations come at the end of a difficult year when there were fears of large scale service cuts.

The company has been asked to repay dividends totalling around £1million and is due to make the payment later this year.

There had been fears that this would force it to adopt a cost-cutting programme which could lead to service cuts.

But increasing passenger numbers has eased those fears and it is now more confident it will be able to resist any such cuts.

Minor changes to the timetable were introduced today with the service two being extended to the Thrasher roundabout to replace Service 20 which is being discontinued.

Service three buses are being extended from the Warren Heath Sainsburys to the Suffolk Showground and Suffolkbus service 22 is being extended from Tuddenham to Woodbridge.

N Does Ipswich Buses deserve an award? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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