Ipswich Buses to finish earlier as part of New Year service shake-up

Ipswich Buses services will change in February. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Buses services will change in February. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Bus services in Ipswich are set for a major shake-up in early 2018 with fewer evening runs, changes to some routes, and a fare rise.

Ipswich Buses is preparing for a major change from February 18 – and has had to lodge the service alterations with the Traffic Commissioners now because there has to be a 56-day notice period.

There will be major changes to some bus routes in all parts of the town – but many of the busiest routes to Chantry, Whitton/Castle Hill and Whitehouse will only have minimal changes.

One route to disappear altogether is the Service 14 to the Wallers Grove/Coltsfoot Road area of Chantry. The company says that is no longer commercially viable.

The last buses in town will leave Tower Ramparts between 10pm and 10.30pm Mondays to Saturdays – there will be no 11pm departures from the town centre. And on Sundays the last buses will leave the town centre at 8pm.

Some bus routes will be consolidated – new Service 7 will replace Service 19 and provide a link from the town centre to Asda via the Dales – while others will be split.

The current 6/6A circular service to the hospital, Ravenswood and Rushmere will be split into new Service 2 and Service 6.

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Single fares will have three pay points – £1, £1.50 and £2 – but there will still be discounts for multi-purchase tickets.

A spokesman for Ipswich Buses, which is one of only six transport companies in the country still owned by a local authority, said the changes were necessary to maintain the company’s commercial health.

He said the services being cut only carried a handful of passengers. The company will be able to operate with five fewer drivers – but as there are more than five vacancies for drivers at present there was no threat of redundancy.

He said: “As part of the review, the company has looked at some services that are under-used by passengers. Service reductions will be made in some areas, while more buses will operate in others as we try to meet the changing needs of the majority of our customers.

“This review will ensure a brighter future for the company, its employees and, above all, for our thousands of passengers. New timetables will be available from the end of January 2018. We shall be holding a number of ‘meet our customer’ events in the new year.”