The borough is expected to step in to subsidise bus services to Stoke Park, Chantry, and the north of the town which Ipswich Buses has decided are no longer economically viable.

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The company has “de-registered” three commercially operated bus routes – 14/14A, 16 and 22 – which means that these services will stop on July 20 unless another commercial operator takes them over or they are subsidised by a council.

Ipswich Buses is a commercial company owned, but not managed, by the borough.

Phil Smart, Transport Portfolio Holder at the borough, said this does not mean the buses will stop running – the council will discuss them at its executive meeting on June 25.

He said: “I hope that the future of these services will be known before the Executive meeting.

“If necessary, I will propose to the meeting that we use part of the Council’s new £140,000 annual public transport budget to support the services so they will not be lost and that work can be done to make them commercially viable in the medium to long term.”

Already, there are plans to replace Services 22 and 31 (an existing subsidised service that is not operated by Ipswich Buses) in the north east of the town with a new service 39 covering much, but not all, of the same route. Suffolk County Council has determined the new route and timetable for Service 39.

Should unprofitable bus services in the town be subsidised? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

18 comments

  • The real question not covered here is... why as an Ipswich tax payer (now paying 2% extra per year thanks to Labour) do I have to own a bus company in this day and age? Of course, that question also leads onto another question... why do I as a tax payer have to pay the costs of running a bus company (including public sector wages and pension), pay to subsidise the routes of that bus company and then pay to use the services of that bus company... Ipswich Tax Payer hit three times by IBC.

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    Fat Lady Sings

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • Public transport throughout the UK is a total disgrace especially when compared to the service provided by most of our European neighbours. Their public transports is largely, affordable, realiable, clean and thus well used. Ours is expensive, unrealiable, dirty and mis managed. If the UK authorities want to tempt motorists out of their cars and onto public transport, then they are light years away from ever doing so, until they can make fares cheaper, get their timetables to actually reflect the times their transport will actually arrive, and provide a much more comprehensive service that the public do want to use.

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    england1770

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • So Ipswich Buses didnt sell to a private company the other year for fear of them then stopping the less busy routes, and its exactly what they are doing anyway? Maybe they should stop wasting money on fancy paint jobs and pointless "bus wars" on routes where there is already frequent bus services, and use that money for these routes!

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    BigAzz

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • Well well well. Ipswich Buses to stop doing routes and the Borough to give them some money to put them back? Why not just stuff an envelope and pass it to them in the pub? This smacks of the bale out some years ago when the borough sorted out their pension fund for them. Not very fair on the other bus companies - will they get a chance to run these routes? Maybe a bit cheaper? Is the Borough getting value for money with my council tax? We may never know unless someone does a bit of digging. And why didn't Ipswich buses do some work to " make them viable in the medium to long term"? If a truly private firm did this the MD would be shown the door, this company appears to have a door leading straight to the people with our purse strings. A total disgrace all round when other council services are being cut. Us residents of Ipswich are being fleeced.

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    Citizen

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • Public transport throughout the UK is a total disgrace especially when compared to the service provided by most of our European neighbours. Their public transports is largely, affordable, realiable, clean and thus well used. Ours is expensive, unrealiable, dirty and mis managed. If the UK authorities want to tempt motorists out of their cars and onto public transport, then they are light years away from ever doing so, until they can make fares cheaper, get their timetables to actually reflect the times their transport will actually arrive, and provide a much more comprehensive service that the public do want to use.

    Report this comment

    england1770

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • We Ipswich taxpayers should be relieved that those supposed to be running Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Buses are not involved in running a brewery !

    Report this comment

    Brian Betts

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • this sickens me that yet again the number 1414a bus is set to go, we were threatened with this a few yrs back.people on chantry have a fair walk up a hill to get to the 13 12 bus stops which isnt easy for alot of older passengers, what i find a joke is we have the free shuttle bus where any1 can get on if u live near the council offices, buses going to john lewis when there are other buses that go right near there, and also the X3 and X5 bus going along similar routes as the 5 bus route, tell me how they need all these buses going along that route. also putting new bus routes along the first bus route what a waste of time, i say save the 14 bus as there is alot of people who will be put

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    Vicky Hart

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • THE BUS PASS SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN STARTED AT 60 YEARS OLD.NORMALLY PEOPLE WHO RETIRE AT 60 GET GOOD PENSIONS AND ARE BETTER OFF.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • The number 16 is never on time it's always late. So if it does stop then it wouldn't suprised me. It means people would have to walki to the number 15 stop. I agree free bus passes are killing our bus service!

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    Mr DJ

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • Can someone please tell us - is what they (the Borough Council) are planning to do legal? Reading these comments and some other websites that are running this story I am starting to think that it might not be. An investigation by a fine journalist is needed.

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    Citizen

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • Seems Ipswich Buses are trying to be the next First... but this bus company is being ran into the ground, to be sold, but they canceled this objective a few years back. It would be nice for smaller companies to gain back some of the market share. I say smaller companies, First is bad enough... we do not want the stagecoaches etc. getting involved. Ipswich people have their heads in the clouds. Except those who rely on First services, I don't think people can grasp the concept of different operators (Ipswich + Bus = Ipswich Buses) but its about time competition got involved in lowering bus travel costs and improving services. I think the former is achievable but the latter wont be done.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • Ipswich Buses are adding a service 7A and 15A from 18th August - these will probably deviate from the usual 715 route to serve Fountains RoadBelstead RoadHalifax etc, ie, the present route 16.

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    DP

    Saturday, June 15, 2013

  • As another poster has said , our Public Transport is disgraceful , Europe wide the service is dramatically better and cheaper by a long way . The Privatisation of many areas over the years has been a disgrace. Some Bus routes will never be commerically viable due to the numbers using them , but then this was the reason to have them run by the state and not by businesses only interested in profit .

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    Poppys Dad

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • Can someone please tell us - is what they (the Borough Council) are planning to do legal? Reading these comments and some other websites that are running this story I am starting to think that it might not be. An investigation by a fine journalist is needed.

    Report this comment

    Citizen

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • Regarding the comments about the bus passes I find quite offensive, I suffer from epilepsy and have had a few seizures, in the last few years. As a result I understandably have had to give up my driving licence. My hours of work mean that I still have to pay to get into work in the morning but I do get a free journey home. At the end of the day I am entitled to this 'benefit' just like other people who are difficult circumstance and need it.

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    Matt Nicholls

    Saturday, June 15, 2013

  • As I understand it, Ipswich Buses are in a complex legal situation. They have to act as a commercial company as the Council is not allowed to "run" them directly as they did in pre-deregulation days. But we want them to run a public service which does not necessarily make a profit. This fiasco is not of either the Council's or Bus Company's making, but a direct result of changes in the law made back in the 1980s. There are, as I see it, two other issues. One is that most passenger flows in Ipswich are "tidal" - I.e. into town in the morning and out in the evening. That is of course true in large cities too, but they would also have a lot use around the town during the rest of the day. The other issue concerns the compensation that bus companies receive for carrying pensioners; I believe that it is much less than the full fare meaning that a bus can be full of older people (and provide an essential service) yet still struggle financially.

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    Baptist Trainfan

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • Can I still catch the No1 Trolley to Bourne Bridge?

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    Tractorboy

    Friday, June 14, 2013

  • Routes such as route 14 will be ideal for a small independent bus company. They serve a good service to the community... but that doesn't equate to money. When you have a monopoly like Ipswich Buses do in Ipswich, they seem to care less about the minor routes, all too much management (despite the monopoly, there isn't really that many routes to manage i.e. its more than possible) to do for little overall profit.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, June 14, 2013

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