Eastern Counties buses in Suffolk set for major September shake-up
- Credit: Archant
First Eastern Counties are planning a major shake to its bus network in the Ipswich area.
Services to the Woodbridge, Felixstowe, Martlesham, and Stowmarket areas will have changes - and the town's park and ride system will also have changes.
The changes will all be introduced from September 1 - and are being made after the bus company studied its passenger figures to work out which routes were most popular.
The park and ride services will now only operate between the two centres at Codock and Martlesham Heath through the town centre and hospital - they will not continue from Martlesham to Woodbridge and Rendlesham.
Instead Service 65 will be introduced to provide a limited service from Rendlesham and Woodbridge to Ipswich.
There will be changes in Woodbridge to the Service 64 from Ipswich to Saxmundham, Leiston and Aldeburgh - these are aimed at speeding up the service.
An extra "shoppers service" will be operated Monday to Friday between Framlingham and Ipswich leaving at 9.30am and giving shoppers three hours in the county town before its return.
There are minor changes to the Service 66 buses to Martlesham and Kesgrave - and from September their journey in the town centre will use Civic Drive rather than Museum Street where congestion has been a problem.
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The Route 66 buses will no longer serve the Copdock park and ride centre in the evenings - although they will continue to run to the Martlesham
The greatest changes will be on the Service 88/89 services from Ipswich to Stowmarket and Stowupland. These will be simplified with some estate routes being scrapped - they will all use the Old Norwich Road bus route between Claydon and Ipswich, missing out Bramford which is served by Ipswich Buses.
David Jordan, Marketing Manager for First Eastern Counties said, "We're making these changes following a long period of detailed analysis of where and when people travel on our services, with the aim of meeting the needs of the majority of travellers as closely as possible, both now and in the future.
"It is our ongoing aim to ensure our core Ipswich area network is commercially sustainable, operating without local authority subsidy, through attracting increasing numbers of new passengers to choose the bus with links that as far as possible are frequent, direct, simple and both time and cost effective.