Park and ride closed due to losses, says transport chief

IPSWICH: A decision to close a park and ride service in Ipswich was made because the facility was losing money, a transport chief revealed today.

The Evening Star reported yesterday how the decision to close the Bury Road park and ride site had been rubber-stamped at a Suffolk County Council meeting on Monday despite strong objections.

But Guy McGregor, the county councillor with responsibility for transport, said keeping the site open was not viable in the current economic climate.

He said: “Fundamentally the site is costing more in terms of excess of expenditure over income and that money is being made up by council taxpayers.

“In these stringent times we questioned whether it was right that people who have got means of transport should be subsidising those people who don’t.

“We all recognise the desirability of park and ride services – they reduce Co2 emissions and traffic congestion. And the Bury Road site is a quality service – there’s no doubt about it. But in the current circumstances it’s very difficult to carry on funding that level of subsidy.”

Mr McGregor said the council had tried out different schemes to try to make the site run more effectively.

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He also rejected claims by Liberal Democrat councillors who argued that a survey they carried out showed the site was well-used.

Mr McGregor added: “We tried different options to make the Bury Road site work like offering special discounts but none of these proved significant.”

The site is expected to close at the end of January.

n What do you think about the decision? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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