This is slightly belated (I’ve been rather lax recently, so apologies) but I wrote to Malcolm Robson about the threatened No. 16 service that is going to mean that things are going to be a lot more inconvenient for the residents of Heatherhayes, Laurelhayes and Belstead Road. In Stoke Park there is a real battle going on as Labour are trying their hardest to unseat the last Tory councillor in the seat, Nadia Cenci, and this is proving an acute embarrassment.
In Bridge where all the Labour Councillors consider themselves safe, not so much – although Phil Smart, who’s decision this really is, is known to dislike the Tory voters in the Hayes so will not be too unhappy.
Anyway this email from Malcolm Robson, the managing director from Ipswich Buses sets the scene and the current state of play quite well:
Thank you for your e mail of 11 June regarding the future of service 16.
As the economics of running commercially viable bus services becomes even more difficult with reductions in Bus Service Operators Grant ( £108.000 less to us in this year than last) and inadequate rates of reimbursement for carrying senior citizen permit holders we have examined all our routes and have looked to withdraw or reduce services where they are no longer viable. This has affected services across all our network and I fear that if the economic situation does not improve it may not be the end of bus service changes as we go forward.
Service 16 has been deregistered from 20 July and will now be replaced by an off peak Monday to Saturday hourly service along the same route as now( timetable attached). This replacement off peak service has been introduced with the support of Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council. We are continuing to talk to Ipswich Borough Council about funding a replacement peak hour service 16 but will not know the outcome of those discussions until early next month.
I hope we are able to reach an agreement for financial support to keep as many services running as possible although with tight local government funding this may prove challenging.
I will keep you informed of any developments as they occur.
Malcolm Robson, Managing Director, Ipswich Buses Ltd