MP calls for more joined up thinking on services

Dr Dan Poulter wants to see more co-oridantion with public transport services.

Dr Dan Poulter wants to see more co-oridantion with public transport services. - Credit: Archant

Bus companies should be compelled to co-ordinate their services better, especially with rail operators, to make it easier for people to use public transport, Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter has said.

His Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency covers some of the most rural parts of the county – as well as Ipswich suburbs such as Kesgrave, Blakenham and the north-west estates in the borough.

Dr Poulter said people living in Framlingham found it difficult to catch a bus to the railway station at Campsea Ashe – and there were similar problems for people living in places such as Claydon, Barham and Great Blakenham heading to Ipswich.

He said: “This is something I would like to see the county council take up. It isn’t a question of money – there just needs to be better co-ordination.

“Sometimes when buses do go to a railway station people have to wait 50 minutes for a train which makes the whole trip pretty pointless.

“It should be possible to run services so they connect with each other.”

Dr Poulter also pointed out that the bus route from Stowmarket through Needham Market, Blakenham and Claydon did not go to Ipswich station.

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“That means if you catch a bus to reach the train you either have to change buses in Ipswich or face a long walk from the town centre – that is not good to attract people to use public transport,” he said.

And Dr Poulter also pointed out that an increasingly wide number of people needed access to good public transport.

He said: “You have young people needing to get to work or college and older people for whom buses are a lifeline – but they need to be able to co-ordinate their journeys.”

“A well co-ordinated system is essential for people reliant on public transport, particularly those living in rural areas and I have written to Graham Newman from Suffolk County Council and asked him to look into the best way of improving rural transport links.”

The county sponsors some local bus services although the route from Stowmarket to Ipswich through Claydon is run as a commercial route with no subsidy.

A spokesman for the county council said they welcomed Dr Poulter’s interest in rural buses and hoped to speak to him about improving co-ordinating public transport services in the future.