New bus boss has big hopes to develop services in Ipswich
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
The new managing director of Ipswich Buses is looking to the future with the aim of boosting services and attracting more of the town’s residents out of their cars and on to his vehicles.
Jeremy Cooper, 47, took over as managing director of the borough council-owned company in May, and has been looking at how to improve its services around the town.
He arrived at the town from Stagecoach in East Kent where he was commercial director – helping to boost services around the Canterbury area. His experience there could serve him well in Ipswich.
Mr Cooper said: “Canterbury is a historic city with serious congestion problems. By increasing services we made the buses much more popular – especially those to the university campus outside the city centre.”
He had enjoyed his work with Stagecoach – although it is a large company based in Scotland it remained committed to increasing services and attracting more passengers. Unlike some other companies, seeking short-term profit was not its main aim.
However he was enjoying running a council-owned bus company which was committed to improving services for passengers.
He said: “I think Ipswich is a wonderful place and Ipswich Council has been very supportive towards our moves aimed at making our bus services as attractive as possible.”
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Mr Cooper feels it is important to make services accessible to as many people as possible – and to therefore maintain services during evenings and on Sundays.
He said: “Those services are very important for people working shifts – in conveniences shops and in pubs and restaurants. They are often the kind of people who don’t have access to a car so the bus service is vital.”
There is an irony that the best way of boosting passenger numbers is if congestion becomes too bad to make car journeys viable – but then buses can be caught in the same congestion unless special lanes are made available.
This summer there are special offers on the buses to attract more travellers – and this is national “Catch the Bus Week” so there are special deals for all-day tickets and the group save ticket offer has been extended.
Full details are available at www.ipswichbuses.co.uk