July 24 2014 Latest news:
Monday, May 19, 2014
Newly-approved plans to build a £30,000 bus hub in north-east Suffolk will not be used by the region’s main service provider, it can be revealed.
Philip Eden, operations manager at Anglian Bus, told a transport users’ group on Saturday that operating from the proposed hub in Halesworth would cost the company an extra bus in lost layover time and was therefore unacceptable.
“None of our buses terminate in Halesworth any more so there’s no operational need for it,” he said.
“We won’t be going into the new station because the extra costs will make the service unsustainable.”
The proposals, put forward by Tony Goldson, a Waveney district and Suffolk county councillor for Halesworth, will see part of the Angel Link car park transformed into a new hub for buses and coaches. It is hoped the facility will improve passenger safety and encourage visitors to the town.
Welcoming the scheme’s approval, last week Mr Goldson said: “I’m extremely pleased that it is going ahead and the people of Halesworth will really benefit from it. It will help bring tourists to the town and make it easier to travel.”
Malcolm Smith, a bus user who quizzed Mr Eden about the hub during Saturday’s East Suffolk Travellers’ Association (ESTA) meeting in Halesworth, said the people of the town also supported the scheme.
“We want it as a town – and part of the reason is that we feel that the bus stop at Saxon Way is extremely dangerous and not well placed for passengers,” he said.
Although Mr Eden accepted Mr Smith’s concerns over Saxon Way, he said the best solution was to improve the existing bus station, rather than create another.
“We told the county council that we don’t want it,” he added.
The scheme, which is expected to cost around £30,000 will be funded from Suffolk County Council’s highways budget.
It will require up to 30 spaces to be removed from the existing car park, owned by Waveney District Council.
ESTA chairman Trevor Garrod said there seemed to have been a “lack of joined up thinking” in planning the hub, though he was hopeful it may still serve a useful purpose at some point in the future.