East Suffolk travellers pleased with connections at Saxmundham but still more could be done

The customer waiting room at Saxmundham railway station. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The customer waiting room at Saxmundham railway station. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Archant

The independent association asked members and the general public for their views on transport in the region.

The East Suffolk Travellers Association has released its annual survey of bus and rail users.

92 responses were given on train journeys with 46 responses from those who used the bus.

Overall train users were found to be mostly business users whilst those on buses were travelling for leisure. Almost half of journey’s were made to locations beyond Ipswich.

Only 58% of trains surveyed by ESTA ran on time with further complaints being made about train toilets.

A Greater Anglia spokesperson said: “Our stakeholder team regularly meets with ESTA to address their concerns. We, along with Network Rail, monitor the punctuality and performance of our trains on a daily basis. On average 90% are on time.

“We are working with Network Rail to improve punctuality. Last year, on average, just under 90 per cent of our trains were on time.”

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Bus users complained about poor stop facilities and a lack of information at shelters.

However, both train and bus users were pleased with the improved connections at Saxmundham.

ESTA chairman Trevor Garrod said: “Ideally every rail station and bus stop should at least have a sign, timetable board, shelter and seat.

“Yet 41% of the bus stops surveyed lacked one or more of these four basic facilities.”

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties Buses, said: “After working with a number of parties around the Saxmundham area its pleasing to see the results have been noticed regarding the connections with the train. “

Suffolk County Council’s deputy leader, Cllr Jane Storey said: “We are pleased to hear the feedback about improved bus/train connections at Saxmundham which the council worked with ESTA and the bus company to achieve.

“We do endeavour to provide bus stop facilities.

“It needs to be recognised that this survey is a small sample, representing only nine stops in the area.

“Of the nine bus stops mentioned, only one had none of the facilities requested.

“This is because there is insufficient space at the location.”

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