Night bus looks set to stay

NIGHT buses could become permanent in Ipswich by the summer following a successful pilot project.Almost 3,000 passengers used the weekend service to four areas of the town during the four-week trial over the Christmas and New Year period.

NIGHT buses could become permanent in Ipswich by the summer following a successful pilot project.

Almost 3,000 passengers used the weekend service to four areas of the town during the four-week trial over the Christmas and New Year period.

Suffolk County Council will be told on Tuesday the trial was a success and a permanent service was being planned subject to agreement from bus operators and financial criteria.

Some of the lessons from the pilot have already been taken on board in the planning of the night bus service between Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

The trial, a "Nightsafe" initiative, was funded by the Ipswich Community Partnership and aimed at getting clubbers home quickly and safely.

The service was well-used and popular with passengers, 82 per cent of whom said they felt safer as a result.

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Suffolk police reported an 8pc reduction in the number of public order and assault offences during the trial period.

Peter Monk, portfolio holder for protection at Suffolk County Council, said: "It had such a huge beneficial impact over the Christmas period. People were still looking for it afterwards.

"I would like to see it permanent as quickly as possible for the summer period. We will need to look at the logistics of the operators and adequate funding - we don't want a start and stop."

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