Fear of bus loss in Dickens Road

VIOLENT attacks on bus drivers could leave residents of an Ipswich estate stranded.Residents fear buses may be completely withdrawn from the Dickens Road estate if an assault on a bus driver is repeated.

VIOLENT attacks on bus drivers could leave residents of an Ipswich estate stranded.

Residents fear buses may be completely withdrawn from the Dickens Road estate if an assault on a bus driver is repeated.

Ipswich Buses stopped services to the area on Thursday night after one of their drivers was attacked in Dickens Road.

A young thug attacked the driver with what was believed to have been an artificial snow spray while the bus was moving.


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And residents fear the gangs of yobs who gather outside Dickens Road community centre could repeat the attack.

Residents association representative Alan Sparrow, of Dombey Road, said the youths often climb shelters so they can jump onto the bus as it passes.

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He said: "It would have a big effect on elderly people if they stopped bus services.

"There's been some talk that buses might just stop at the top of London Road and then skip us out before going in to town.

"But you come out on the side of the bus driver every time, I've got a lot of sympathy for them.

"It's a small gang of young people who are ruining the area for everyone. There's graffiti all over the place."

Mick Finnigan, of Copperfield Road, called for anti-social behaviour orders to be imposed on the thugs.

He said: "I use the bus all the time to go into town, I'd be knackered without it.

"The kids climb on to the community centre roof and shout at the old folks who go in for bingo.

"You tell them to get down, but you just get a mouthful of abuse."

Judith Croft, manager of religious charity shop Living Water, said it was the elderly and those on benefits who would struggle if bus services were stopped.

She said: "The bus stop normally has a good queue at it for most of the day.

"Most people are going into town to pick up their pensions or benefits because there's no post office in the area."

n Thursday's incident was the second night running bus staff had come under attack in the area – on Wednesday a driver was punched in the face by youths.

Managing director of Ipswich Buses, Malcolm Robson said they have been having problems in the area for some time.

Youths climb on to bus shelters and jump on to buses. Engine covers of buses had also been opened causing them to stall.

Vandals had also damaged seats in the new gold bus which was introduced a few weeks ago.

Police were called to Thursday's incident and a 16-year-old boy was arrested. He was released on police bail and is due to return to Ipswich police station today .

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