Passengers: Hands off our buses

FURIOUS commuters today issued a hands-off message in their bid to save one of the Ipswich bus services facing the axe.

FURIOUS commuters today issued a hands-off message in their bid to save one of the Ipswich bus services facing the axe.

Residents in the Dales area have created a petition in response to the threat of losing the number 19, which runs between Whitton and Ipswich.

The service, along with the 14 and 22 routes, could be shelved early next year because the Ipswich Borough Council is demanding Ipswich Buses pays a dividend and rent - requiring it to make £400,000 of cuts.

The petition, which has 87 signatures, has been handed to The Evening Star, which broke the news of the potential cuts last month, and will be passed to the council.

Rosalyn Brett, 56, of Dales Road, coordinated the petition. She said: “I use the number 19 every morning and every evening to get to and from work.

“If it's stopped I will have to walk to the bottom of the road which is three quarters of a mile away.

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“I'm fairly capable of walking but any elderly people are going to find it much harder, especially if they have shopping with them.

“I think what the council is doing is stupid, it's pathetic.

“It's a well-used service. When it gets to my stop, you are taking the last seats and then it's standing room only.

“Hopefully the petition will help to save the service. Even if they only cut the number of buses down to one an hour, it would be better than losing it completely.”

Since the story broke last month, scores of angry readers have sent in letters and special cut-out coupons citing their opposition to the proposals.

And the rival Labour group claim to have made a petition of their own with 800 names.

Borough transport spokesman, Paul West, said: “I'm pleased that people have got together and created a petition because it shows the strength of feeling.

“I do accept what the users are saying, that if the service is removed they will be exposed.

“It adds to the weight of the decision which will be taken later this year.”

How would the loss of services 14, 19 and 22 affect you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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