Sudbury: Market day bus services to town cut due to low passenger numbers
16:46 29 August 2014
A number of market day bus services to Sudbury have been cut because they are no longer considered viable.
Jeff Clayton, general manager of Hedingham and Chambers bus company, said Thursday services from Ashen and Greenstead Green into Sudbury would be cancelled from September.
The changes will be made as part of an overall rethink of the bus network to enable the company to concentrate on its more profitable mainlines services.
The move is as a result of customer and demand feedback, along with re-tendering of contracts by Essex County Council. Mr Clayton said: “Given that contracts for occasional and market day services mean these buses and drivers cannot be used on other, more regular services, we decided to transfer resources into developing our mainline commercial services.
“With this, we are introducing changes to services and fares from September, including on the 753/754 Bury St Edmunds-Sudbury-Colchester service, and we are also enhancing the 88/89 Braintree-Halstead-Colchester service. We understand that Thursday service 1 – Ashen to Sudbury – could be taken over by another operator, but aren’t aware that other operators submitted bids for the other contracts that came up for tender.”
In addition to the changes to services, there will be alterations to pricing and ticketing, with passengers given an opportunity to buy return, day and week tickets for the first time.
New stops will also be added on popular routes including Ormiston Sudbury Academy and the Tesco superstore.
Jane Hatton, Sudbury’s town manager, said: “Services are being cut is because they are not being used enough to make them viable.
“It will be inconvenient for people who do use them and the knock-on effect will be that they may then think about going somewhere else where they can get to.
“But if buses are not used, the bus companies can’t keep them in service if they are not profitable.”
Full details of services running into Sudbury and in Essex that have been de-registered are at www.hedingham.co.uk