Blaxhall: Anger over loss of vital bus service
A SUFFOLK village has been left feeling isolated after a bus operator chose to drop it from a revised route.
As of September, the 165 service, operated by Anglian Buses, will no longer visit Blaxhall, near Snape,
The news has been met with unease from the parish council, which fears the cancellation could make the village less attractive to live in.
Residents will still be able to use the demand responsive Suffolk Links service – available to areas where no scheduled bus operates – but that proposition is of little consolation to Graham Bowles, vice-chairman of Blaxhall Parish Council, who said: “We are extremely concerned. It’s a vital service for the village.
“We don’t have any other bus routes that pass through here so now we are completely isolated.
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“There are elderly people who can’t drive that rely on that service. There is also a youth hostel and a lot of people come and go by using the bus.
“There are people who work in Blaxhall that use the bus and there are people who live here and work elsewhere who use the bus.
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“It makes the village less attractive for people to live in. It just seems ridiculous. They have said we can use the demand responsive service but that’s not the same as a regular bus route.”
Anglian Buses, which in April was sold to the Go Ahead Group but retained the brand, staff and routes, said the decision was made for commercial reasons and as a result of the competitive tendering process applied by local authorities.
As part of amendments to the 165 service, which starts in Ipswich and terminates in Aldeburgh, will also no longer be stopping at Thorpeness.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said people without a scheduled bus in their village could instead use the Suffolk Links service which operates flexibly at the price of a normal bus fare. She added: “The county council is aware of Anglian Bus’s amendments to the 165 route so that it no longer stops in Blaxhall.
“However we are unable to provide an alternative route that serves Blaxhall but does not provide undue competition with the 165 route.”
For more information on the Suffolk Links service call 08456041802 or visit www.suffolkonboard.com and follow the link on the left of the page.