Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 7°C

min temp: -0°C

Search

First Group takes over Ipswich park and ride in July with fewer buses

PUBLISHED: 16:40 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:40 26 April 2017

First Eastern Counties is to take over Ipswich Park and Ride from July. Picture: GREGG BROWN

First Eastern Counties is to take over Ipswich Park and Ride from July. Picture: GREGG BROWN

First Eastern Counties is to take over Ipswich’s park and ride service on July 3 – running a service with a smaller subsidy but fewer buses than at present.

Ipswich Buses have run the service since 2013, but it came under threat last year as the county council tried to cut its £700,000 a year subsidy.

After negotiations with both Ipswich Buses and First Group, it was announced in December that First would be taking over the services from this summer.

The subsidy will be cut to £200,000 a year – the cost of maintaining the car parks at Martlesham and at Copdock Mill – but the bus services will have to be self-sustaining.

The number of buses an hour will be cut from five to four – meaning they will run every 15 minutes rather than ever 12 minutes.

The service will operate Monday to Saturday between 7am and 7pm, linking the sites at Copdock Mill and Martlesham with the town centre and Ipswich Hospital.

Buses will carry a new livery that First hopes will be easily recognised. A new range of tickets will be introduced including new off-peak fares aimed at shoppers, leisure travellers and visitors to the town.

The new range of tickets will be available on the bus and through First’s “mTicket App” which allows customers to buy tickets using their mobile phone – and Endeavour cards used by young travellers will be accepted.

Steve Wickers, Managing Director of First Eastern Counties said “We recognise that Ipswich Park and Ride provides a valuable service for commuters, businesses, shoppers and tourists alike and we are delighted to be able to further develop and enhance the service for both existing and new passengers.”

Suffolk County Cabinet member for transport James Finch said the deal with First would last for at least five years: “This is good news for the town. I needed to cut the costs of the service but I was very keen to retain a park and ride service for Ipswich.”

Labour transport spokeswoman Sandra Gage said she was concerned about the future of the service: “I do not think park and ride can survive without subsidies. It does not survive without subsidies anywhere else in the region.

“I think James Finch is deluded if he thinks it has a long-term future on this basis.”

Comedian Griff Rhys Jones has invited an 11-year-old boy receiving care at a Suffolk hospice to visit him and his pet alpacas.

Prosecco lovers will be fizzing with delight to hear a three-litre bottle of their favourite beverage is currently on sale.

Ipswich’s newly revamped Cornhill was given an extra touch of glamour today, as filming for a new reality series came to town.

After suffering from a heart attack ten years ago, Davide Gasparin recalls being struck by a terrible fear that the same thing might happen again.

Train services between Ipswich and Cambridge will be delayed for up to 40 minutes due to a trespassing incident.

While most people tend to think of online offers when they think of Black Friday deals, some independent stores in Ipswich are also getting in on the act this year too.

Contemporary ballet director Holly Noble is premiering a new take on the Snow White legend at DanceEast this weekend. Arts editor Andrew Clarke spoke to her about the contemporary concerns reflected in the timeless story

A college in Suffolk has said it believes the popularity in crime dramas on TV has helped boost take up in science subjects, after demand for places has quadrupled.

A customer at an Ipswich McDonald’s restaurant has described seeing a 16-year-old boy “writhing” on the ground in the car park after an alleged stabbing.

Campaigners have shared their views on the sudden resignation of a mental health trust chief – just days before a new inspection report is due to be published.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24