Posters put on buses to curb racism

POSTERS translated into nine different languages are today on buses in Kesgrave in a bid to stamp out an undercurrent of racial tension.Although there is said to be undertones of racism, springing from the overcrowded route 66 bus, the county council insist that there have been no official complaints made to either them or the police.

POSTERS translated into nine different languages are today on buses in Kesgrave in a bid to stamp out an undercurrent of racial tension.

Although there is said to be undertones of racism, springing from the overcrowded route 66 bus, the county council insist that there have been no official complaints made to either them or the police.

However, in a bid to quash any feelings of unease, copies of posters are now being displayed on the bus so those who cannot speak English well, will know what to do in such situations.

The decision was made at the second - and final - meeting of a task group, made up of BT, First Buses, The Indian Association and the police, designed to address issues of racial tension.

It was formed following murmurings of discontent over the number of Asian workers using the bus, which is claimed by some to have led to the buses being full and the residents of Grange Farm not being able to use them.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “The idea of the posters is that if someone feels they are being intimidated, they will know what to do. The police and the county council have not ever had a particular complaint.

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“By putting them on the buses if anyone did feel they were being unfairly treated, they can know where to go for advice or help.”

The posters, designed by the Racial Harassment Initiative and Refugee Council, have been translated into nine different languages, including Hindi, Turkish and Portuguese.

As well as the posters, it was also agreed that a second bus stop will be established at the other end of Ropes Drive to alleviate overcrowding.

There will also be surgeries in the canteen at BT's Adastral Park every six weeks where the area's Safer Neighbourhood Team and the council's social inclusion team are on hand to speak to anyone with concerns.

John Klaschka, Suffolk County Councillor for Kesgrave and Rushmere St Andrew, said: “Prompt action was taken over this issue and various initiatives have now been started.

“The group has done whatever we can do. We will continue to be vigilant to see if anything more transpires.”

Have you experienced racism on the buses in Kesgrave? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.