Stranded shoppers get new bus service

SHOPPERS have today been promised a new market day bus service to Stowmarket– less than a week after The Evening Star revealed they were regularly being stranded on one of Suffolk's busiest roads.

SHOPPERS have today been promised a new market day bus service to Stowmarket– less than a week after The Evening Star revealed they were regularly being stranded on one of Suffolk's busiest roads.

Villagers in Mendlesham lost their bus link into Stowmarket when Suffolk County Council changed its timetables.

Shoppers, many of them elderly, were told they had to go more than four miles out of their way to Stoke Ash to catch the bus – and the return service dropped them on the wrong side of the A140.

But Mendlesham Parish Council has today announced it is providing a temporary free bus to try and shame the county council into action.

Joan Barker, chairman of Mendlesham parish council, said: "Unfortunately we can't run it for long, and why should we?

"But we wanted to help in some way and can fund this bus each Thursday until Christmas."

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Shopper Trevor Thorpe, 72, of Braybrooke Close, said: "It's excellent news.

"I'm glad the parish council acted as quick as they did as going there every week is a part of our lives.

"For the past few weeks we have felt very cut off."

Andrew Stringer, Mid Suffolk district councillor for Mendlesham, said: "It's all very well for the county council to tell villagers they have a bus route to Ipswich but what good is that when they are registered to dentists and doctors in Stowmarket?"

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council, which provides the bus service, said: " We have made many changes to our bus services across the county which is good news not only for Mendlesham but for many parts of the county.

"We recognise this has left a gap in the service to Stowmarket and will be introducing a taxi-bus to cover this route.

"We welcome this local parish initiative which will provide a weekly service until the taxi-bus service is introduced later in the year."

The parish council's temporary bus service will pick up from The Kings Head, Old Market Road, at 9.45am, and Mendlesham Green bus shelter at 9.50am.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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