Passengers' bus fury

ANGRY passengers have today vowed to battle with the bus company they claim is leaving them stranded at bus stops.Residents of Stowupland have collected an eight-page petition complaining about the poor service provided by First.

ANGRY passengers have today vowed to battle with the bus company they claim is leaving them stranded at bus stops.

Residents of Stowupland have collected an eight-page petition complaining about the poor service provided by First.

Teresa Langford, 64, of Reeds Way, has led the petition. She said: "The buses just don't turn up.

"When they used to run half hourly and not come it wasn't quite as bad but since the end of August the buses only run every hour - if it doesn't turn up you are stranded.


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"I've waited in Stowmarket before and neither the 12.15pm or 1.15pm service came. I wasn't even given an explanation."

The petition is for the number 87 buses, which run between Ipswich and Stowupland, via Stowmarket, although residents are also having problems with the number 88 buses which run via Claydon and Needham Market.

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John Burggy, of Gipping Road, Great Blakenham, said: "Since the timetables changed I have only had one full week when nothing went wrong.

"The service is just getting worse and worse."

Pat Knightingale, 88, of St Peter's Close, Claydon is registered blind and uses the route 88 bus. She said: "There are lots of elderly and disabled people on our route and the service is making me more and more angry.

"I have to go to the hospital this week but dare not rely on a bus."

Sarah Moore, 50, of Flatford Close, Stowmarket, is a user of the number 87 bus. She said: "It's an absolutely diabolical service.

"One time when a bus was cancelled I got three separate excuses from three different people - there were not enough buses, drivers were off with flu and there was a shortage of drivers.

"I pay £14.80 for a 10 journey ticket which is a lot for a dreadful service."

The complaints follow a story in The Evening Star which revealed passengers had been stranded at Great Blakenham after the number 88 bus broke down twice and a driver failed to turn up for work.

Shaun Daw, traffic superintendent for First, said: "We have checked our lost mileage reports and over the past couple of weeks only one service was unable to run to timetable on route 87 due to staff sickness. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

"If people do have specific complaints, we would advise them to call our customer services centre on 08456 020 121."

First declined comment about the route 88 buses.

Are you experiencing problems with your local bus service? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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