Villagers transport lobby boost
PEOPLE living in a north Suffolk village were not prepared to take a back seat when it came to public transport.The residents of Wenhaston, near Halesworth, were determined that more people should take advantage of local buses and pressed for improvements to waiting facilities in the heart of their community.
PEOPLE living in a north Suffolk village were not prepared to take a back seat when it came to public transport.
The residents of Wenhaston, near Halesworth, were determined that more people should take advantage of local buses and pressed for improvements to waiting facilities in the heart of their community.
Many people were particularly concerned that youngsters waiting for school buses had no shelter if the weather was wet and cold.
A campaign to encourage more people to use the buses was led by the parish council, and was also backed by the East Suffolk Travellers' Association (ESTA) and Suffolk Acre.
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A "Transport for All" campaign and support from the Halesworth and Blyth Valley Integrated Transport Society (HABITS) also promoted better use of public transport in the area.
Wenhaston Parish Council was convinced that more people would use public transport if timetables were more readily available and there were better waiting facilities in the village.
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"The parish council has now produced a leaflet giving timetables of local bus and train services with help from ESTA and the Suffolk Rural Transport Partnership," said Michael Gasper, a parish councillor.
Copies of the new timetables have now been delivered to every home in Wenhaston. The parish council also provided funds for a new bus shelter in the centre of Wenhaston and a seat for people to use when the weather allows.
"The new seat and shelter, together with more detailed timetables is certainly proving popular with residents and we hope to see an increase in the use of public transport," said Mr Gasper.
The shelter was made by local craftsmen David Cox and Tony Canham, and Peter Leech designed and built the seat.
Brenda Roberts, Wenhaston parish transport representative to Suffolk County Council said the improvements at Wenhaston were a result of everyone working together.
"The recent changes have made a great deal of difference and it is lovely to see the parish council working with other local authorities and the travel companies so that everyone benefits," said Mrs Roberts.
The 99 bus service meets trains at nearby Halesworth Railway Station so that passengers from Wenhaston can travel to Ipswich, Lowestoft or London much more easily.
There are also regular bus services from the village to and from Halesworth and Southwold with a bus stop close to the Cutlers Hill doctors' surgery and Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth.
Full train and bus timetables, along with bus pass application forms, can be obtained from local council offices or at Wenhaston Post Office.