Petition launched to save free Ipswich town centre shuttle bus

The free number 38 shuttle bus in Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT

The free number 38 shuttle bus in Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT - Credit: Archant

Suffolk County Council (SCC), which has run the service since 2004, said the move was part of a new campaign to get more of its staff who drive to work to instead use a Park & Ride service or cycle.

The shuttle bus originally transported SCC staff around town between its former offices, which have now closed. The public and SCC staff now use the number 38 service, which ends on July 28.

The authority’s multi-storey car park has also reached full capacity due to other public sector bodies moving into its headquarters Endeavour House, SCC said.

Passengers spoke of their frustration after the announcement last month.The service runs every 20 minutes, Monday to Friday. Bus stops include the Old Cattle Market and Tower Ramparts.It cost SCC £73,000 a year and was financed by the car parking fees paid by SCC employees.Just over half (52%) of SCC staff drive to work (about 800).• Sign the online petition here.

Sandra Gage, deputy leader at Suffolk’s Labour Group, has collected over 100 signatures from bus passengers.

She said: “I can confirm that I will be proposing at full council July 20, with the Count Labour Group, that the Ipswich Free Shuttle should continue. There has been no consultation.

“Passengers told me today that the Ipswich Free Shuttle bus is more than a bus. For regulars, it’s a place to socialise, get to work, the shops, take children to school with friends. And people do, in their hundreds every day.”

A SCC spokesman said: “This service was financed by the car parking fees paid by SCC employees each year – not through council tax.

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“The money from staff parking charges will now be used to subside staff use of the Park and Rides service to get to and from work.”

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