max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: First Eastern Counties’ investment pledge welcomed by East Suffolk Travellers’ Association

13:00 05 March 2014

First Eastern Counties bus

First Eastern Counties bus


A bus operator’s pledge to end “slash-and-burn” service cuts and begin a new era of investment has been welcomed by public-transport users.


David Squire, managing director at First Eastern Counties, told the East Suffolk Travellers’ Association that his company was trying to “ditch its old image” by appointing a number of new people with “bright ideas”.

Speaking at the meeting in Woodbridge, Mr Squire said: “We‘ve suffered from a lack of investment, but this year we are going to turn that around.

“We want to move from a vicious cycle of cuts into a virtuous cycle of growth, with the right people, the right vehicles and the right back-up.”

The company had been “stuck with some extremely large debts”, he said, but had managed to cut those by working with shareholders.

Outlining company-wide proposals to bring 425 new buses under the fleet, Mr Squire stated his intention to bid for a share of those vehicles to serve Suffolk and Norfolk. Part of that fleet, he said, could be made up of hybrid buses that run on a mixture of diesel and electricity.

“These vehicles are far more economic that conventional diesel buses and I hope that we see a number of new buses in the fleet this year,” he said.

Other innovations announced at the meeting included the introduction of “smart ticketing” devices, similar to the Oyster cards used on London Transport. “It’s all about simplifying things to make it easier to get around,” said Mr Squire.

Trevor Garrod, the association’s chairman, said he was “quite encouraged” by the comments made.

“It will be interesting to see whether the reforms put forward over recent months will bear the fruit we’re hoping,” he added.

“In the past we’ve sometimes found that when dealing with very distant management things don’t necessarily move very fast, so hopefully the changes will improve that. He gave us considerable cause for hope.”



  • So broken down into the truth is that. A. more cherry picking routes against Ipswich Buses. B. make a mess of it as normal. then bugger off onto another route. mess that up repeat till every route in Ipswich has been destroyed.

    Report this comment

    mr angry

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • It would be wonderful if the Smartcard technology could involve some kind of computer wizardry which allowed the inter-availability between operators eg Ipswich Buses, Anglian Buses), with the correct distribution of fare-box receipts. Shouldn't be impossible!

    Report this comment

    Baptist Trainfan

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • I had to giggle... "could be made up of hybrid buses that run on a mixture of diesel and electricity" doesn't necessary relate to a hybrid, they all have batteries too. I think First might be on a winner here, they renamed the FAILING route 53 from Brookwood that no one understood where it was... but weren't clever enough just to have Chantry. I have to say they appear to be quite punctual Ipswich Man, but the issue with them is they are always empty or have a few free bus pass users on them. However like you have experienced, for the rest of their routes its a completely different story. First have always promised improvements but people never got them. Hybrid buses will be Norwich only.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Let's hope some of the 'new era of investment' is directed towards the buses operating from Ipswich. I have heard that they very rarely get new buses, only hand me downs from other depots.

    Report this comment

    G Rumpy

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • The worst thing with First Buses is they never turn up. Route 66, one doesn't turn up. Then if another one turns up 30 mins ish later, the drive know nothing and basically does give a gnats. Very unreliable service., and they have just put the prices up!!!!!

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Man

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Makes me wish for the old days (1960's) of Eastern Counties and their Lodekkas. In those days lots of Suffolk villages were on a bus route and the buses ran on time. First Bus are the pits!

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Pictured is Tim Yeo

Former Tory MP Tim Yeo has lost his libel action over a “cash-for-advocacy” claim which he said trashed his reputation.

Essex public sector cuts

Public sector bodies in north Essex have had more than half a billion pounds cut from their budgets over the past five years.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A Framlingham company has been left with a bill of more than £10,000 after pig muck from a farm polluted a 10 kilometre stretch of river.

Delays on the A12.

There are severe delays on the A12 at Stratford St Mary this morning after a mini bus broke down in the second lane.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

A motorist who was seriously injured in a crash on the A134 on Tuesday evening has died.

Cyber fraud suspect rebailed

A 32-year-old arrested on suspicion of conning an east Suffolk business out of more than £1million in cyber fraud has been re-bailed.

Lorry which caught fire on A12 near Chelmsford. Picture: Sgt Colin Shead

Motorists travelling on the A12 are being advised of severe delays at junction 17 for Great Baddow/Southend, due to a lorry fire.

Over 65s Christmas party in Red Lodge. Lance Standbury, Linda French and Carol Lynch are pictured.

Volunteers will serve a free Christmas lunch to senior citizens in Red Lodge next month as part of a community event backed by Forest Heath district councillors.

New choirmaster Peter Tryon hopes to resurrect a Lavenham choir.

A grand church in a picture-postcard Suffolk village could once again be filled with the sound of united voices, if plans to resurrect a local choir are successful.

Students from West Suffolk College slept rough outside the main entrance to the college.

Ten teenagers braved the cold, wet weather for a night to raise awareness of homelessness and gain first-hand experience of what it is like to sleep rough.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24