Buses not delivering, say public
GROWING discontent over bus services in Felixstowe has today led campaigners to set up a meeting with transport chiefs.Complaints have been made over a lack of services in several parts of the town – with residents organising a petition to show their feelings.
GROWING discontent over bus services in Felixstowe has today led campaigners to set up a meeting with transport chiefs.
Complaints have been made over a lack of services in several parts of the town – with residents organising a petition to show their feelings.
Bus companies though have to run services on a commercial basis unless they get subsidies to help finance them.
East Suffolk Travellers' Association (ESTA) and Felixstowe Town Council will meet county transport chiefs on October 6 to discuss the situation and to see if a bid can be made under the Urban Bus Challenge to improve services.
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The main aim is to provide a service which goes around the seafront and town.
Mayor Doreen Savage said: "People are very concerned all over the town about the bus services – people in Walton want to reach the leisure centre, and the seafront and south of the town is very poorly served.
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"The services in Old Felixstowe and Walton are also not as good as they could be and the biggest concern is the elderly and how they reach the town and other services they need to access.
"The open top bus service which ran during the summer showed what sort of service we could have to link up different parts of the town."
Bryan Frost, chairman of ESTA's public transport committee, has spoken to Ipswich Buses, county council, and Anglia Railways' managing director Tim Clarke to discuss a service to link the station, town, seafront, and Old Felixstowe.
"Our research indicates that Felixstowe is very poorly provisioned with town buses as compared with other towns in the country with similar or even smaller populations, and little attempt is made to link the services which do exist with rail and ferry services," he said.
"Having said this, if a town service is to be introduced, a good deal of thought needs to be given to its route and timing to try and secure the most attractive provision available, encourage its use by linking with as many parts of the town as possible, and take advantage of the hourly rail service to enable a link to be made with the object of encouraging integration.
"The service is unlikely to pay its way in strictly commercial terms and it is envisaged that support either via local authority direct subsidy or via the urban Bus Challenge would need to be sought."
It is hoped that if the service can be provided it would use 25-seater vehicles with low floors suitable for prams and wheelchairs
n What do you think – are you happy with the bus services in Felixstowe? How could they be improved? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk