Ipswich: Anger as number 19 bus service is cut back - meaning it will no longer visit Whitton and Castle Hill estates

Ipswich Buses have come under fire for cutting the No 19 route. Ipswich Buses have come under fire for cutting the No 19 route.

Paul Geater paul.geater@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
2:38 PM

Residents of part of the Castle Hill and Whitton estates in north west Ipswich are up in arms at the axeing of bus services to some roads in their part of the town.

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The extension of Service 19 to Larchcroft Road was cut at the end of last month – leaving some residents feeling they have been left abandoned by council-owned Ipswich Buses.

The bus company has said that only a few passengers used that part of the service – it continues to run around Dales Road and Dales View Road – and that buses operating on the Nos 9 and 10 services nearby offered an alternative.

However Castle Hill Conservative councillor Chris Stewart said it was difficult for many of the older bus users to walk to the stops for the Nos 9 and 10 buses.

He said: “I know they say people can walk to those stops, but they are up to 400 metres away from homes and that is a long way for older people.

“It might be all right for those who are younger – but there is quite a high proportion of people living there who are quite elderly and this is no good for them.”

The issue was brought up at a recent meeting of the North Western Area Committee where there was a heated debate with an Ipswich Buses official.

Area committee chairman and Labour councillor Stephen Connelly said the authority was still talking to Ipswich Buses about bringing back buses to the Larchcroft Road area.

He said: “We were told that the cost of an extra bus on the service was £54,000 a year, and that on average there were only 3.75 passengers on each service in that part of the town.

“However it was a very important service for many people – for instance those who live at Stratford Court (sheltered housing). They would now have to walk to Congreve Road or Shakespeare Road to get a bus and that is a long way.”

The Star has heard from several passengers angry about the loss of the service.

Margaret Parry, of Larchcroft Close, said: “I have been told that the decision to close our stage of the No 19 bus route was based on a survey of the number of passengers using the route, and that numbers were insufficient to justify the service.

“I find this a mystery – when I have used the No 19 bus at any time of any day, including Saturdays, there have not been many empty seats.

“I have also noted that this change has been made during the summer, when, for those people prepared and physically able to tackle the trek to the nearest bus stop, the pavements are, hopefully, dry and not slippery.

“In winter months, in rain, ice and snow, the same people will probably not be able to venture out.”

No-one from Ipswich Buses was available to comment on the decision, but it is understood that further talks are expected soon.

18 comments

  • baptist trainfan thank you for pointing out the facts to err vote tory Geater.Privatisation would lead to less services

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    JC

    Sunday, August 17, 2014

  • I used to use the No 2 service almost everyday before it was axed. Having spoken to people on the bus it is obvious that the main usage of this bus was for the first part of the journey along Spring Road & Cauldwell Hall Road. Several people (some elderly) I have some names and addresses used this part of the service. I wrote to Ipswich Buses about this and suggested that as there were so many buses going along Foxhall Road that Spring Road & Cauldwell Hall Road could be served by diverting the X5 bus to follow that route. This would seem an easy and logical way to keep a service to Spring Road & Cauldwell Hall Road. However Ipswich Buses didn't want to know.

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    Neil G

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

  • As the Ipswich Buses representative said at the meeting, they are a business and that part of the route is not profitable. There are many streets in Ipswich which are not immediately accessible to a bus route, why should Larchcroft Road be any different.

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    Tolly

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • I was trying to point out that this service is valued by a great many elderly residents who have no other means of freedom. The bus is as a previous poster stated often with very few spaces, the problem is that the seats are filled with customers who after a life time of paying taxes, now qualify for a free pass. This is of course not financially viable for the bus company. Its a sad state of affairs, there are a lot of people sitting lonely in their homes tonight in tears due to the fact that their lovely bus has gone. These people deserve their service, they spent their lives paying taxes and some even fought in wars for our freedom, to prevent prisoners being taken, now they have become prisoners in their own homes. A few have lost everyone they hold dear, and the bus is their only way of visiting the graves of friends and family lost. Come on Ipswich Buses, lets spend less on dodgy stops and livery and give these people the service they needdepend on.

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    richie w

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • Don't know what happened to my previous comment, lets try again!

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    richie w

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • This is a terrible call by Ipswich Buses, it has been made purely for a financial reason. The route passes by Stratford Court Sheltered Housing, it is here that quite a few residents board, as a previous poster stated there were often not many seats, the problem for the bus co is that they are pensioners and of course they travel free, so of course the company does not want them on board using up valuable diesel. What the company fail to realise is that for some of the elderly residents this is their only means of transport, they get excited at the thought of a trip out on a bus, but alas due to the company their freedom is gone. Tonight there are many in the housing complex and surrounding areas who are sitting there in tears at the loss of their service. These people worked all their lives fought in wars for us and now they sit, prisoners in their homes, and you deny them a ride into town, or the chance to visit the grave of a loved one. Shame on you IBC. I speak the truth, if I am doubted please dispatch a reporter to this area and see how much sadness has been created.

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    richie w

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • The writing was on the wall for bus services the day they got rid of fare stages. Who in their right mind wants to pay full fare to go half the journey.

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    Sarky Sage

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • Last week I took the bus into town for the first time in many years. The exterior and interior were dirty, the ride was noisy and uncomfortable, the driver seemed to have no idea what passenger comfort means because he went round corners far to fast and braked late so there was a jolt every time we stopped and it was far too expensive. I for one will not be bothered if all buses were abolished from the roads.

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    spike martin

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • Four thoughts. 1. IBC do not run the buses or make decisions about services, Ipswich Buses do. However IB is owned by IBC, this may mean that IBC cannot legally subsidise them, only SCC, as it could be construed as "unfair competition". 2. The Government subsidy for elderly folks does cost IB money, if what the are getting per passenger is less than what they would get if those people paid the full fare. This is a problem right round the country. 3. IB are fighting a full-on battle with First, who are trying to take their routes. First, a national company, can throw more money at this than IB. It is costing IB real money to fight back. This is a direct result of deregulation. In the "bad old days", Councils decided things like that and competition was banned. 4. I was at the meeting at Castle Hill - it took place three weeks ago!

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    Baptist Trainfan

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • The majority of people who use this bus service from bottom of ColeridgeStratford Road are Elderly as they are residents in the Flats at Stratford Court? What are they supposed to do - Hike to Defoe Road or Meredith Road? I hope some day menbers of the bus company are elderly and need help getting around. It is a sure fact that the number of times I have got on the bus in Coleridge, you can count the number getting on at 'The Dales' or stops immediately after - you could cound on the fingers of one hand! Stop being stupid and get on with running the bus company to the benefit of those in that area you serve.

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    Scooby Doo

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • The simple reason this has happened along with the cutting of service 2 is simply to meet the costs of running the new service to Felixstowe & the longer service to Tesco at Martlesham. Last time I looked, these 2 place are NOT in IPSWICH! First Eastern Counties serve most of the country routes, so why they Ipswich Buses are running buses to places the are not in Ipswich is beyond me. It also misreads the name of the company "IPSWICH BUSES" Adding to that, they also have the 202 service top Shotley although that is a successful service as it's the only service to go there! & 61 & 61A are served by First.

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    Blue and true

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • Unfortunately through out the country bus services are being continually cut back. Outside of the larges towns there is very little in the way of bus services at all. I don't see the situation changing. There are more services cuts coming at the end of the month The only viable way to get around is by car

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    BobE

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • Last nights Star, people angry with railways, today buses. In Europe public transport is cheap, comfortable, and is very reliable, . we pay the highest taxes in the world, we get some of the worst services, our M P get the biggest expenses. and council chiefs get paid as much as premier footballers. Where has it all gone wrong?

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    this is what we pay tax for

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • Ipswich Buses claim that there is a 9 10 service every 10 minutes! That is political spin if ever I heard it! There is a 9 OR a 10 every 10 mins travelling in opposite directions, but the individual services are every 20 mins! Try standing at say the 9 stop, and seeing the 10 appear. It is too late to cross the road, the stops are staggered, so Ipswich Buses are using fantasy facts! I've measured the distance from my house to either the Dales, or Fircroft, and in the each case it works out to be nearly half a mile! What a prospect on a wet or icy day. They also claim to make a "loss on every bus pass passenger"! Rubbish, that statement would only be true if a Bus Pass passenger was preventing someone boarding paying full fare and was turned away because the bus was full! Come on Malcolm, if you want to use feeble excuses then please get your facts straight!

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    Paranormal Pete

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • MALCOLMS MATE

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • Malcolm Robson does this every 34 years . Then the Ipswich council will pay towards this service . It's all about votes ??? Some parts of Ipswich are over bused like service 5 or x5 put better management in charge off our buses then this won't happen

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    MALCOLMS MATE

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • I can not believe yet another service has been axed that is mostly used by elderly from sheltered housing or disabled people. It is the same as service 2 needed by those of us less fortunate in our health or for those of us who age. I take it that the person who makes these decisions will neither become ill or age or expect has a chauffeur driven rolls Royce. It is always the smaller routes that go through the estates that are axed which disabled & elderly rely on the most to still have as much independence as we can. Now this is being taken yet again by the fat cats sitting behind their desks earning more than any of us can ever dream of whilst running this town into the gutter. I also thought IBC wanted us to use buses because of congestion although I can not understand the congestion as we hardly have any descent shops in the town to visit it is the traffic lights causing the problems. So come on you who sit behind your desks making ludicrous decisions for this poor state of a town you try getting about on buses and give up your cars. Although I suppose you all live in areas where the buses run past you houses or on the outskirts where you can get on a first bus.

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    marlyn

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • Do what I do, use your car or get a taxi, go to Town once every two weeks to do everthing. Less shopers and less spent in town. It is typical of IBC that they state their aim is to reduce car use in Ipswich so more outsiders can drive in unhindered by traffic caused by all the traffic lights, then withdraw the buses. They have done the same on Whitehouse with the 8b being completely withdrawn and then trying to charge you for 2 journeys if you go up Waterford Rd to go around Asda and back down Lovetoffts Rd to Town. Nope you need to walk for 10mins in the pouring rain to Lovetofts Road to meet the same bus. And that is why IBC's plan of getting people out of Cars will never work and they should give it up and remove the traffic lights and priovide fee parking in Town so people shop in town rather than the internet or getting their Grandaughter or Son to do that for them. IBC making a complete mess of it again.

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    The Ginge

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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

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