Crash driver backs bus route ban

AN IPSWICH man today backed a bus company's decision to axe services through a Suffolk village, after he had a serious crash caused by an overhanging branch.

AN IPSWICH man today backed a bus company's decision to axe services through a Suffolk village, after he had a serious crash caused by an overhanging branch.

Neville Colley, of Spenser Road, Whitton, said Beestons were right to cut 24 daily stops at Stanstead, near Sudbury, after the coach firm was involved in two serious accidents on the village's narrow roads in the last year.

The Hadleigh-based company said it had no choice but to look at re-routing some buses in the county - including part of a service in Hintlesham - after a series of accidents.

They also claimed they had to fork out £3,000 in one day after two bus windscreens were damaged by overhanging trees, although the decision on services in Stanstead was made prior to these incidents.


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Mr Colley, 53, said he was left fearing for his life driving down Duke Street, Hintlesham, last May, when a lorry in front of his car clipped a branch.

Mr Colley, who was in the car with his wife and sister-in-law, said: “I think we are lucky to be alive. When the lorry hit the branch the whole tree came down.

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“If it had gone through the windscreen I wouldn't be here today.”

Mr Colley's car careered across the road and ended up in bushes. He suffered severe whiplash in the accident, which some 16 months on still causes him pain.

He said: “Beestons are 100per cent correct in axing this service because the main priority must be the safety of the drivers and passengers.”

Despite Mr Colley's support for the bus company's action, disgruntled residents have described the move as “another nail in the coffin” for the community.

They said it left them cut off from neighbouring areas and called on Beestons to meet them to reach a compromise. The parish council has also called a meeting to discuss the problem.

All Beestons-run services in the village, via the 236 bus, will stop from September 3.

The Stanstead public meeting was due to be held today in the village community centre from 8pm.

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