Woodbridge: Fears that bus cuts will leave people stranded

TRANSPORT chiefs came under fire last night for a decision to stop two bus routes that it is feared will leave passengers stranded in the evenings and at weekends.

Suffolk County Council has sent out a letter warning that the 62A and 62B services in Woodbridge will be withdrawn from Sunday, February 27.

Service 62A operates between Ipswich, Woodbridge and Wickham Market, while service 62B goes between Ipswich, Woodbridge and Rendlesham.

Both run Monday to Saturday in the evening and all day Sunday.

It has led to serious fears that people who are dependent on the service will be left stranded.

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Former ballet dancer John Raven is a regular visitor to Ipswich in the evenings, attending performances at the town’s Regent Theatre and Corn Exchange.

The 76-year-old does not drive and the bus is his only means of transport.

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“By stopping the service the county council is taking away my greatest pleasure,” he said. “I just won’t be able to go to the theatre any more. It’s my life. It makes me very angry.

“I understand there have got to be cuts but now we are getting no service at all.

“It’s not just me - what about those who work in Ipswich but don’t have a car? It could ruin their livelihoods.”

Caroline Page, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Woodbridge, described the withdrawal of the service as “tragic”.

“I am deeply saddened about this cut because it represents a very, very retrogressive step,” she said. “Residents in Woodbridge will have no sustainable transport in the evenings, on Sundays and on Bank Holidays.

“Those residents who do not have, cannot afford to, or are unable to drive a car, will be stuck. This is a cut that will impact very heavily on the very people a civilised society needs to provide for.”

Daytime services 63, 64 and 65 operated by First and service 165 operated by Anglian will not be affected.

Suffolk County Council is currently reviewing a number of bus routes in a bid to save millions of pounds.

Last night a spokesman said because of the few people that used the 62A and 62B services they were no longer judged to be financially viable.

To sign a petition against the cuts visit http://petitions.web-labs.co.uk/suffolkcc/public/Save-Woodbridge-Buses.

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