Ipswich last buses set to be axed in September

Tower Ramparts bus station

The last buses of the day in Ipswich are likely to axed because of a subsidy cut - Credit: Ipswich council

The last buses from Ipswich town centre to most of the town's estates are likely to be cut from the end of September as part of a cost-cutting package from the borough council.

At present, the last buses from Tower Ramparts run at about 11pm on Mondays to Saturdays - but the numbers using the last buses are relatively small.

These services are subsidised by the borough council which pays between £3.11 and £7.62 for every passenger buying a £1.80 ticket for the service.

The last buses would run from 10pm.

The changes are likely to be introduced from September 25.

Ipswich Council's executive will make a final decision on the changes at its meeting next week.

Until now it has been spending £138,000 a year subsidising services on Sunday and bank holiday evenings - and the last buses of the day throughout the week.

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However, if that level of service was to be retained the subsidy would need to go up to £196,000 a year - a 40% rise. 

The borough is planning to use an extra £30,000 a year from parking fees at Cromwell Square to support the bus subsidies - but that does not cover the total cost of maintaining existing services.

So the last service of the day on routes 3E, 5E, 8, 9 and 13 will be cut, however, the council said it would seek to reinstate these services if additional funding can be found at a later date.

Phil Smart, portfolio holder for the environment said: “The council remains committed to bus services in Ipswich but with the funding required so much higher than budget – even with the additional Cromwell Square money - we cannot afford to fund all the bus service that we do at present.

"I am pleased that we are able to continue supporting most of the existing services. If additional funding becomes available or costs come down sufficiently in future, we will reinstate the other services.”

Ipswich Buses services have been cut during the evenings since the lockdowns of the last two years - with services to most parts of the town cut from two and hour to one after 8pm.