Join us to save the buses

TODAY your Evening Star issues a clarion cry to everyone in Ipswich concerned about the town's traffic and environment generally - Save Our Buses.The town's bus service that is the pride of Ipswich and the envy of other towns and cities across the region is under threat.

By Paul Geater

TODAY your Evening Star issues a clarion cry to everyone in Ipswich concerned about the town's traffic and environment generally - Save Our Buses.

The town's bus service that is the pride of Ipswich and the envy of other towns and cities across the region is under threat.

Its finances are being raided by its owner - the borough council - leaving many routes under threat.


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All this comes at a time when councillors have been telling everyone who will listen how good buses are for the environment by taking cars off the roads.

Not only do they help ease congestion, they also cut down on the amount of harmful exhaust being pumped into the atmosphere - especially if you have modern, efficient, clean buses like Ipswich Buses.

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But now it seems while some councillors in the administration were telling the world how much they liked buses, others were working behind the scenes to grab the cash that the company had generated over recent years.

They see the company not as an environmental asset. Not as an instrument to cut congestion on our roads. They see the bus company as a cash cow - as a way of providing money to knock a pound or two off our council tax bill.

And while our bills may fall a tiny amount, large areas of Ipswich will lose out from the cuts. If you live at the top of the Dales or in Wallers Grove you will lose your buses altogether.

That is not right. It makes no environmental or social sense to penalise our bus company - that is why today we are pledging to do all we can to Save our Buses.

Ipswich Buses has been successful because it has a fleet of modern, comfortable buses. Surveys have shown that what attracts passengers out of their cars is the prospect of attractive, comfortable buses.

They don't come cheap - the six buses delivered last week cost £860,000 - but saving the planet and saving our town from being choked by traffic doesn't come cheap.

We cannot win this campaign alone - we need your support to show the council that it is wrong to squeeze the bus company.

We need to hear from how important the bus service is to you. Are you losing your lifeline to the town centre? Will you have to wait 30, rather than 20, minutes between buses? Are you worried there will be more cars on our roads as passengers are driven off the buses?

Or is the council right to squeeze the company? Is it more important to have a small amount knocked off your council tax than a first-class bus service?

Let us know your views. Write to: Save Our Buses, Evening Star Newsdesk, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk using the subject line Save Our Buses.

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