Ticket sales show park and ride success

HUGE ticket sales for Park and Ride show that more than three quarters of a million cars have been kept out of Ipswich centre.Ticket sales for the two successful park and ride sites in Ipswich have now passed 777,000.

HUGE ticket sales for Park and Ride show that more than three quarters of a million cars have been kept out of Ipswich centre.

Ticket sales for the two successful park and ride sites in Ipswich have now passed 777,000.

The news comes the day after The Evening Star revealed some residents' protests against a third park and ride site proposed for the town in Martlesham.

Suffolk County Council has also awarded contracts to Ipswich Buses to operate both existing sites for another five years.

The ticket sales mean that pollution would have been cut and congestion eased in the centre of town. The scheme has also recently been awarded a Charter Mark by the Government for quality of service.

The park and ride scheme was introduced in Ipswich on an experimental basis in November 1997 at the London Road/Copdock Mill site.

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It was initially designed to run for five years to establish whether the system could operate effectively.

The experiment was a success and a second site opened at Bury Road in November 2000.

The new five-year contract has been awarded to Ipswich Buses following a tendering exercise.

The company has run the two routes under contract to the county council since the scheme was set up and is keen to improve the service offered to users.

Seven new buses have been ordered to upgrade the vehicles currently in use and these will be operating in time for the busy Christmas period. Further improvements will be made over the next five years.

Priorities

Joan Girling, member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee, said: "It is one of the county council's 11 key priorities to encourage more people to use public transport and I am delighted the park and ride scheme has been successful. We are pleased to be able to continue with the excellent working relationship we have developed over the last five years running park and ride."

Malcolm Robson, managing director of Ipswich Buses, said: "Our company is delighted to have acquired the contract to operate the two present Park and Ride services in Ipswich for a further five year period. We look forward to developing these services to provide a high quality alternative to driving your car into Ipswich town centre."

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