EADT launches battle for the bus

THE EADT launches a campaign today to get a bus operator and two councils to extend a bus service just a few hundred yards to improve the lives of thousands who live in one of Suffolk's most densely populated areas.

Laurence Cawley

THE EADT launches a campaign today to get a bus operator and two councils to extend a bus service just a few hundred yards to improve the lives of thousands who live in one of Suffolk's most densely populated areas.

Residents in the western estates of Bury St Edmunds currently have to make four separate bus journeys to go to and from locations such as their GP surgery, the newly built council offices and their nearest supermarket.

Their plight was first revealed by the EADT a few months ago when it emerged a new bus service part-funded by one of the biggest recent developments close to affected residents' homes - the new Asda store in Western Way - would not actually pick up those who had campaigned for the store.


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The recently introduced 80 service travels from Moreton Hall into town and onto the newly opened West Suffolk House council HQ building in Western Way.

But rather than carrying on a few hundred yards down the road towards those who live in the Howard estate, the 80 service then turns back again.

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The operator First is in discussions with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which received �1.5million from Asda for community improvements, the highways authority Suffolk County Council and residents. But despite months of talks, residents fear they are no closer to a breakthrough.

Ernie Broom, chairman of the town's Over 60s Club, said: “We support this EADT campaign. We live in a town by we are isolated like a village.

“Our estates have a lot of elderly people and a lot of mums with children and push chairs. We have a low level of car ownership. We are the people who really need help because the need is there. The two bus routes that make the most money are on our estate. It beggars belief that they won't extend this route for us.

“To get to our doctors', Asda, B&Q or even to the new council offices, we have to make four bus trips which means we use our bus pass four times and that means the council will be billed four times.”

Mark Ereira, ward councillor for the area, referred to the current situation as a “fiasco”.

Bury MP David Ruffley said: “I will be taking this up with the authorities to ask why this incredibly modest change to the timetables cannot be delivered rapidly.”

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