Search

MPs debate Ipswich Buses' plight

PUBLISHED: 12:15 20 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Buses' failure to win a grant enabling it to improve services throughout the town was today being debated by MPs in Westminster.

The borough-owned company had hoped to win funding through the Urban Bus Challenge to provide late-night services and improve the number of buses it runs to the Whitton and Castle Hill areas of the town.

IPSWICH Buses' failure to win a grant enabling it to improve services throughout the town was today being debated by MPs in Westminster.

The borough-owned company had hoped to win funding through the Urban Bus Challenge to provide late-night services and improve the number of buses it runs to the Whitton and Castle Hill areas of the town.

However the application was rejected. The late-night buses will go ahead – subsidised by a partnership led by Suffolk County Council.

And while new buses will be introduced on the Whitton and Castle Hill routes towards the end of next year, they will not be able to run as frequently as had been hoped.

The situation in Ipswich was today brought up in a debate in Westminster Hall by North East Cambridgeshire MP Malcolm Moss – following inquiries about the snub by The Evening Star.

The late-night buses, which will run half-hourly between 11.30pm and 3am will take passengers to different areas of the town.

It is hoped the pilot service, which will run on Friday and Saturdays throughout December as well as Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, will become permanent in the future.

The Urban Bus Challenge also turned down an application from Ipswich Buses for a grant to improve its services to the Whitton and Castle Hill areas

Borough and county councillor Keith Rawlingson welcomed the introduction of the late-night buses: "We are introducing these buses for a trial period as part of the Nightsafe initiative, which is all about making the town centre a safer place to live and work, " he said.

"There has been a huge expansion of nightlife in Ipswich in recent years and research shows local residents feel threatened by the resulting rise in the number of people out on the streets in the early hours."

Nightsafe is an Ipswich Community Safety Partnership initiative. The partnership includes Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council, the Police, the Ipswich Partnership and a range of voluntary groups and businesses.

Passengers will be charged a nominal fee for their journey, but for the trial period the buses will be subsidised by funding from the partnership and the clubs themselves.

The news that Ipswich had been unsuccessful in obtaining Urban Bus Challenge funding for the next three years was released yesterday by Prime Minister Tony Blair in his answers to questions posed by The Evening Star.

"We have just announced the winners of the last round of the bid but there will be another round next year, and if Ipswich applies I'm sure it will be seriously considered," he said.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists