Bus service change comes under fire

By David GreenA CHANGE in a bus service that will leave pupils facing a mile-long walk to school has been criticised as "unreasonable".As part of a reorganisation in county transport, the bus that normally brings students from Debenham to Northgate High School in Ipswich is to be re-routed to benefit commuters who also use the service.

By David Green

A CHANGE in a bus service that will leave pupils facing a mile-long walk to school has been criticised as "unreasonable".

As part of a reorganisation in county transport, the bus that normally brings students from Debenham to Northgate High School in Ipswich is to be re-routed to benefit commuters who also use the service.

Instead of dropping students about half-a-mile from the school gates in Chelsworth Avenue, the bus will instead head into Ipswich town centre via Henley Road.


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Pupils going to Northgate High School will either have to walk the extra half-a-mile from Henley Road or go into the town centre and catch another bus to reach the school.

Gerry Baxter, a Debenham parish councillor whose daughter, Samantha, 18, has just completed her A-levels at Northgate High School, said the changes were "unreasonable and unacceptable".

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He added: "It will make travelling times longer by at least half-an-hour each way.

"It seems to have gone unnoticed by those concerned that the service, as it is now, is very well used. During term time, the bus is full both ways and requires people to stand at times."

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said only the morning journey would affected by the changes to the county bus network, which were aimed at making it more user-friendly.

"This is a commercial service, not a school bus, and we have to come up with a balance which gives best service," she added.

"Students using the bus will be in the town centre by 8.30am in plenty of time to get another bus to Northgate."

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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