Anger as park and ride closure rubber-stamped
IPSWICH: Angry councillors have hit out after it was finally confirmed that a park and ride site in Ipswich is to close down.
The closure of the Bury Road park and ride site had been anticipated for months but was finally agreed at a meeting of Suffolk County Council’s scrutiny committee yesterday.
The decision was voted through by the Conservative majority on the cabinet, despite objections from opposition councillors.
Labour councillor Sandy Martin said: “The Conservative councillors on the committee did not ask a single question or make a single statement until after we had finished.
“They then queued up to say that they agreed with the original cabinet decision, while making it clear in everything they said that they didn’t understand the justification for any such decision.
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“I think this whole process was an absolute farce.”
Kathy Pollard, leader of the Liberal Democrat and Independent Group, added: “We understand the need to save money in these very difficult financial times.
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“However there are other ways of generating income and making the park and ride service pay for itself, instead of having to subsidise it.
“We carried out a survey at the Bury Road site on Saturday and found that people were angry and could not understand the decision, when it is such a popular and well used service.
“We are so concerned about the inaccuracies in the original report to cabinet that we are seeking advice on a judicial review.
“We will continue to ask the most searching questions about the operating costs of the service. We also found that concessionary pass holders were prepared to pay to keep the service open, which would generate a considerable amount of extra income.”
County councillor with responsibility for transport Guy McGregor was unavailable for comment last night.
However Mr McGregor had previously stated that the rise in cheap town centre parking had led to a “lack of incentive” to use park and ride facilities.
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