Felixstowe: New bus service to connect surrounding towns will counter budget cuts

FELIXSTOWE: Villagers can breathe a sigh of relief today after a new bus service was launched connecting them with the surrounding towns.

The Feeder bus service, a pilot scheme run by Suffolk County Council, was launched on March 30 to give residents of Nacton and Levington a route into Felixstowe.

The service works in a similar way to dial-a-ride. Residents will ring up and book a bus to pick them up at their nearest stop at a certain time.

It will run each Monday, Wednesday and Friday and will drop passengers off at a link road in Trimley St Martin. From there, passengers can catch regular services to Woodbridge, Ipswich, Martlesham and Felixstowe.

It will also run from Felixstowe Ferry to Great Eastern Square and the cinema or from Felixstowe Ferry to the pier and leisure centre from Monday to Saturday.

Will Marshall, transport development officer, said: “A timetabled service got cut back and as a result there was a demand there for public transport – this is a service which does that.”

The move to introduce the service came after the passenger transport budget was cut at the start of the financial year from �4million to �2m.

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This meant private bus companies stopped going to more rural areas as it was not a viable.

Felixstowe Travel Watch (FTW) welcomed the move as a good solution being found to a local need.

Richard Holland, chairman of the FTW, said: “We were a bit worried that cuts in the county council budget would badly affect our local bus service.

“Thankfully that’s not going to happen other than the final part of the route to the Ferry. For many people, this could give them a better service than under the old system.”

The scheme will run from April 4 to October 1.

To reserve a ride, call 01394 270339 or for more information on the service, visit www.suffolkonboard.com.

n What do you think of the new bus service? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk