New Ipswich bus route to Anglia Retail Park angers some passengers
PUBLISHED: 06:20 10 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:13 10 September 2017
Changes to the Ipswich Buses’ route to the Whitehouse area of the town have angered some passengers after a loop going near the Whitton estate was cut out.
Until now the Number Eight bus to Asda returned to town with a loop to Norwich Road and a stop near the Shell garage.
However the redevelopment of the Anglia Retail Park and the opening of the new Bounce and Billy Beez indoor leisure centre has prompted Ipswich Buses to re-route the service.
It now goes into the retail park where it completes its journey before returning to the town centre through the Whitehouse estate.
That has left some residents of the Whitehouse area feeling cut off from the shops at Meredith Road and local services in Whitton like the Chesterfield Drive surgery.
Patricia Lacey is a carer who visits some people on the estate and uses the bus herself.
She said: “That part of the route was absolutely vital for people who wanted to go from here to Whitton, to Aldi and the post office in Meredith Road.
“They’ve been left completely abandoned. And it’s nonsense to go into the retail park, it doesn’t even go right into the shops – only to the entrance to where the restaurants and cafes are.”
However the bus company insisted there was little demand for the loop to Whitton, and the Anglia Retail Park was becoming increasingly popular.
It is set to become even busier when the play centre fully opens in the autumn.
An Ipswich Buses spokesman said: “The changes to service eight meet the needs of the vast majority of passengers who want to go to Anglia Retail Park.
“We acknowledge that some users will no longer be able to get on or off at Norwich Road but 98% of passengers did not use them to either get on or off the bus.”
The changes were introduced at the start of this month as the growing popularity of the retail park has started to attract an increasing number of shoppers.
As well as Bounce and Billy Beez, the park has also seen the opening of The Range, Go Outdoors, B&M, and Smyths Toy Superstore over recent months.
And its restaurants and cafes including Costa, KFC and Pizza Hut have become increasingly attractive for shoppers coming by car or public transport to the retail park.