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Newsletter, April 2013 (Issue 191)

Bus Loops: More for Less

In these times of increasing cuts, our bus services have declined, particularly in the evenings and on Sundays. Apart from the 'bus war' areas in town, our daytime services are threatened with further cutbacks. Had the buses not been deregulated, a transport planner might be making the most of what we have, rather than leaving it to commercial pressures.

Many of the Ipswich town routes sensibly employ a loop, but the economic advantages of this fail to be grasped by those that provide the longer distance out-of-town services. An instance of this insanity is provided by the services to Shotley, which comprise two routes run by the same provider, one via Chelmondiston, the other via Holbrook. Each runs every two hours and returns by the same route every two hours. Anyone travelling from Ipswich to Freston (where the loop starts) or on through to Shotley thus has an hourly service, but for anyone else on what could be a loop it remains two-hourly. The same applies to return trips. A simple solution requiring the bus out via Holbrook to return via Chelmondiston, and vice versa, would improve the frequency to those on the loop to an average hourly service, and all without any additional drivers or buses. More service for no additional resource. Surely this is the sort of thing we should be doing when resources are tight.

A similar situation exists with the hourly services to Aldeburgh and Leiston. One route goes via Saxmundham, the other via Snape, each returning its own way, when a continuation around the loop would provide a better service for all. Here admittedly the two services are in the hands of different providers, but is it not about time this deregulation was ended and this sort of anomaly removed?

Patrick Taylor

    Front cover of issue 191 Cover, issue 191

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