Ipswich: Passengers dealt bus blow as weekend route travelling via Sainsbury’s at Warren Heath is axed

A First bus

A First bus - Credit: Archant

USERS of a weekend bus service have been dealt a blow after part of its route was scrapped.

The 4/4A service, an Ipswich Borough Council subsidised service run by First, ran on Sundays from Broke Hall, via Sainsbury’s and into the town centre.

County councillor Alan Murray said the service was withdrawn without notice from April 7.

“I have been informed that for fear of ‘competing’ with First’s 56 route from Broke Hall via Foxhall Road into town, the Broke Hall loop was removed from the tender,” he added.

“IBC decided that the statutory 56 days notice period should not be enforced so the first that residents knew about the change was a fortnight ago when a driver asked a local if anyone had been told.

“I suspect that only relatively small numbers of our elderly residents used the service but it did given them access to Sainsbury’s.

“I feel strongly that stopping the Broke Hall loop aspect of the service on the grounds of ‘competition’ is a wholly spurious argument.” However bosses at First confirmed the bus service will retain the same routing along Felixstowe Road in both directions and will additionally serve Futura Park.

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A First spokeswoman said: “The 4/4A service is a tendered contract service with Ipswich Borough Council.

“That contract ended on April 6 and we won the tender again to restart from April 7.

“The request was that we withdraw from Broke Hall and instead we serve Futura Park.”

The spokeswoman was keen to reassure bus passengers that the 55/56 service serves Broke Hall on Sundays.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokeswoman said: “The council fully subsidises the 4/4A service and this is an operational and legal issue.”

- How have the bus changes affected you? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starletters@archant.co.uk