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Single bus station scheme ditched

PUBLISHED: 23:00 28 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:57 02 March 2010

AMBITIOUS proposals to create a single bus station for Ipswich are set to be abandoned because there's nowhere in the town centre large enough.

However the town's existing bus stations are likely to be given a major makeover – and the Tower Ramparts bus station could be extended.

AMBITIOUS proposals to create a single bus station for Ipswich are set to be abandoned because there's nowhere in the town centre large enough.

However the town's existing bus stations are likely to be given a major makeover – and the Tower Ramparts bus station could be extended.

Suffolk County Council is putting in a bid to the government for major improvements to Ipswich's public transport network.

If the bid is successful, the improvements would be funded through Suffolk's Local Transport Plan.

The work would be completed between 2006 and 2011 – and would be expected to take into account Ipswich's transport needs until 2021.

Although the bid comes through the county council, much of the work would be carried out by the borough – and Civic Centre engineers have been involved in drawing up the proposals.

Head of transport services Stephen Auld said: "We did look at the possibility of creating a single large bus station – the Mint Quarter was mentioned.

"But now there are other plans for that site and a new bus station is not part of the thinking.

"And there is nowhere else to create a single bus station large enough for all the vehicles that need to use it."

But the Tower Ramparts bus station could still be extended – possibly as far as Peel Street.

That would involve the demolition of one of the town's best-known buildings, Electric House.

That is currently occupied by solicitors Ashton Graham but they are planning to move to new premises at Waterfront House in September.

Ipswich Buses managing director Malcolm Robson said it was important to extend the Tower Rampart bus station to give vehicles and passengers more space.

He said: "I wouldn't say it's unsafe at present – but it could be much safer if there was more space and you didn't have passengers and buses all on top of each other.

"The station certainly needs some attention and hopefully it will get the expansion that has been talked about."

Mr Auld was hopeful that both the town's bus stations would get a new look as part of the local transport plan bid.

He said: "We have to look at the transport needs of the town well into the future and there does need to be work on both bus stations – hopefully this will happen."


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