Efforts to stamp out racism on route 66

A MEETING to resolve problems of racial tension on a bus route from Kesgrave to Martlesham has resulted in several new moves aimed at resolving the issues.

A MEETING to resolve problems of racial tension on a bus route from Kesgrave to Martlesham has resulted in several new moves aimed at resolving the issues.

Suffolk County Council bosses, First buses, the Indian Association and Suffolk police came together to discuss the problems which have arisen on the route 66 bus.

Residents of Kesgrave have complained that the bus is overcrowded as a result of the workers using the busy service to get to and from work at BT's Adastral Park.

As reported in the star last week, Kesgrave town councillor, Luke Payne, said he thought the town of Kesgrave had become a “hotbed” of racism because of the bad feeling associated with the overcrowding, prompting an emergency meeting.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “First buses are going to work with BT to monitor their transport needs and re-shape the timetable to meet demand.

“There will also be posters displayed on First buses offering advice on the issue of racism, which have already been used in other places, from the social inclusion team at the county council.

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“There will also be surgeries in the BT canteen offering advice and support to workers of BT, which will include members of the safer neighbourhood team, officers from our social inclusion team and representatives from the Indian Association, as well as from the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality.”

These surgeries will take place every six weeks and it is hoped they will go some way to improving the current situation.

John Klaschka, county councillor for Kesgrave and Rushmere St Andrew, said: “There are going to be a number of target meetings roughly every month or six weeks until we've sorted this problem out.”

First buses have now put on an extra bus from Martlesham to Ipswich to cope with the overflow of passengers using the number 66 service.

The next task meeting is to be held in September.

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