East Suffolk: Passenger group claims bus changes are still causing confusion

Concerns have been raised about changes to First bus services in east Suffolk

Concerns have been raised about changes to First bus services in east Suffolk - Credit: Archant © 2004

Confusion remains over changes to certain bus routes – a week after they were introduced, a passenger group has claimed.

The East Suffolk Travellers Association (ESTA) believe many people are still in the dark over alterations to the Ipswich network run by First. The group acknowledges that some of the changes have been for the better. But they are particularly concerned about routes in the Saxmundham, Leiston and Aldeburgh areas.

Among the changes is a new 64A service that runs from Saxmundham to Aldeburgh, via Leiston, which bosses say will connect hourly with the 64, allowing passengers to go from Saxmundham to Ipswich.

But in a statement ESTA says a lack of information at timetable boards in Leiston only show buses going to Aldeburgh and Saxmundham, with no indication of the final destination.

This has led to people feeling cut off, the group says.

It also claims people are seemingly unaware that bus routes 64, 64A and 65 interconnect at Saxmundham and Aldeburgh, while last buses from Ipswich do not run late enough.

“This could be resolved if the last buses to Aldeburgh and Saxmundham operated to set down only as far as the last passenger on the bus needs them, that is Saxmundham rail bridge or Aldeburgh High Street,” the group’s statement says.

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Members would also like to see the 65 service travel via Leiston Road and Linden Road when it leaves Aldeburgh.

However the group does acknowledge there are good aspects to the new service, including possibilities for new destinations from Saxmundham and Leiston via Aldeburgh to Snape and Rendlesham and vice versa.

The 64A now connects with trains at Saxmundham, while the 65 goes right into the Tesco Martlesham car park.

“These new services have the potential to improve public transport for both local residents and visitors, if well marketed,” the statement says.

A spokesman for First said the details provided at bus stops were installed by Suffolk County Council. He said they were working together to find a solution that made it clearer for passengers. He said all connections were guaranteed and that through fares were available so people only had to pay once.

He also said if there was enough demand they would consider a later service to Aldeburgh, while changes would come into force on July 1 that would see the 65 go via Linden Road in Aldeburgh.

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