Experts told Suffolk County Council to reopen Bury Road park & ride

Bury Road park & ride

The county's list of projects discussed at cabinet did not include Bury Road park & ride although the report recommended it should reopen. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Suffolk County Council has not ruled out re-opening the Bury Road Park and Ride site, even though it was not discussed when the "Bus Back Better" proposals were debated by councillors.

The news comes after it emerged that experts from consultants WSP called in by the county to produce a bus strategy said: "The strategy includes demand analysis for park & ride services and supports the reopening of the Bury Road Park & Ride site."

When the proposal was discussed by the county's cabinet last month, a new "pocket park and ride" off Nacton Road was included in the list of proposals, but there was no mention of re-opening the Bury Road site which had been the most successful in the town before it was closed in 2011.

Bury Road closure

Bury Road park and ride closed more than 10 years ago. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Borough Council - which owns the Bury Road site - has been attempting to reopen it for years and councillors were disappointed when it was apparently ignored when the new strategy was drawn up.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said: "We thought it was going to be included in the bid, but then saw Bury Road wasn't in the list of projects they are going for which was a surprise and a disappointment.

"Now we find this reference in the Appendix saying that it should be included and are left wondering whether they've changed their mind, whether this is an old proposal or what. The county hasn't discussed this with us at all."

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “We have not said that the former Bury Road site will not be re-opened as no decision has been made.

“It must be emphasised that at this stage we do not know how much funding we will get. We have bid for £50 million from the Government’s Bus Back Better initiative, but how much we receive will not be known until the new year.

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"The Enhanced Partnership will then prioritise measures based on how much funding is provided by the Department for Transport.”

Usually government bids for cash have to be linked to specific projects - and Bury Road was not mentioned in papers that the cabinet voted on .

But the spokesman said this was a bid for cash that could then be spent on projects once it was allocated. The park and ride scheme had never been ruled out by the county council.