Pensioner wins bus battle

PENSIONER Kathleen Harris today thanked officials who have helped her regain her independence.Mrs Harris, 82, struggled to leave her Nacton Road home as there were no bus connections to her Post Office or shops further down the street.

PENSIONER Kathleen Harris today thanked officials who have helped her regain her independence.

Mrs Harris, 82, struggled to leave her Nacton Road home as there were no bus connections to her Post Office or shops further down the street.

She had stopped driving her car last year after a minor accident but then had to rely on lifts from her relatives to get anywhere.

The south-east Ipswich forum worked in conjunction with Ipswich Buses and Suffolk County Council to change the bus routes so they covered Mrs Harris' part of Nacton Road.

She said: "At 82 I think it was time to get off the road. I cannot walk very far but now I get on the 10am bus and do what I want to do.

"The bus is the only way I get to go down to the shops and get my pension.

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"I could not get there and I had to ask my daughter to get it for me but we all like to be a bit independent."

Mr Quinton said: "There are lots of elderly people down Nacton Road.

"One of their main concerns was the fact that they could not get down to the Post Office and do a bit of shopping.

"We spoke with the bus company and the borough and county people to try to get a bus there.

"The residents requested it and we came up with the goods."

Mrs Harris added: "I am very grateful for what they did. Without their help I would still be pushing for it.

"It is a real treat to be able to get down the road. If I want to go to the butchers I can and I am near my newspaper shop.

"Nearly everybody has a car but when you have not got your car, you do miss it.

"I had to call my daughter to drive me somewhere but I like to be independent like everybody else.

"Most of the people here are pensioners and they could not get down the road."

Ipswich Buses spokesman Malcolm Robson said: "Service 163 has been diverted to serve Nacton Road near The Thrasher roundabout and Lindbergh Road to provide a link with the post office.

"We have all worked together but it is being paid for by local authorities so they deserve most of the credit."

Normally bus companies have to give 56 days notice to change the routes but this was granted special dispensation so it could be completed quickly, as the community needed it.

Service six has also been improved and there are now more buses at evenings and on Sundays.

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