Mixed reaction to night bus service
AN EXTENSION to Ipswich's late night bus scheme has met a mixed reception from taxi drivers and night clubbers.The soon-to-be-reinstated bus service has brought despair for taxi drivers, fearing the loss of business, while night-time revellers have welcomed what they see as a free and safe service.
AN EXTENSION to Ipswich's late night bus scheme has met a mixed reception from taxi drivers and night clubbers.
The soon-to-be-reinstated bus service has brought despair for taxi drivers, fearing the loss of business, while night-time revellers have welcomed what they see as a free and safe service.
The buses were first introduced over the Christmas period as part of an initiative called Nightsafe and was judged a success. Now there are plans for 20 journeys across the town each Friday and Saturday night from Friday. .
However the scheme has not met with universal approval.
"Some of the drivers around here have invested thousands of pounds in their taxis and now we are set to lose money," said taxi driver Ken Mason.
"There would be no problem if we really needed the buses."
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Another taxi driver Martin Catt said: "We are all individual businesses and we are set to lose a lot of money if this late night bus service is put on. There is nothing wrong with fair competition but this is not fair. They put it on over Christmas and as I believe there was only an average of ten people per bus – what would it be like at this time of year?
"Private hire companies will also have to lay off staff if the buses take customers. Also young women will not be dropped off at their doors but up the road so they have to walk home in the dark."
Although taxi drivers fear the buses will have a damaging effect on their business some people think the buses are a good alternative.
Zoe Hobbs, 16, of Ipswich said the night buses were a good idea.
"I would use them because often I can not afford to get a taxi back home and when I can not get a lift home I can use it."
Her friends Melissa Williams and Cassie Crane, also 16 agreed.
"They are a good idea and means it will be easier for us to get home."