Evening buses: a slight improvement?

I am happy to report that after all my lobbying over the last years,  the situation for bus-users in Woodbridge has seen a marginal improvement.

Two weeks back saw the unheralded  addition of one later Monday-Saturday bus service  in each direction:  the new 64a – an evening service that passes the Ipswich Hospital. Woodbridge residents haven’t had this luxury since the evening 64 buses were renamed  62a and b,  rerouted to ensure they did not pass the Ipswich Hospital – or anywhere near – and then, as I predicted,  finally cut 18 months back “because usage was not sufficiently high” (you can read my report of this here).

As careful and neat piece of constructive dismissal as you can imagine!

Unfortunately the new later bus for people in Woodbridge – the 64a – only extends travel times to mid- evening,  an hour later than is currently available and  is at the expense of bus-users in Kesgrave. These were the Bixley residents who were serviced when the previous 64 services became the 62a/b services and were rerouted away from Ipswich Hospital and through Bixley.

(Confused? I think we were all meant to be. It made protest so much harder).

Even more unfortunately the direction  of the 64a is not ideal for Woodbridge users, because it goes to and from Woodbridge instead of the other way round. This  means that the  last 64a bus from the Ipswich hospital to Woodbridge is at 19.17 , yet the last bus from Woodbridge to the hospital and Ipswich is at 19.58).  As usual we in Woodbridge are easier to reach than to leave.

And of course the 64a does nothing whatsoever to solve the problem of Sunday and bank holiday travel.

Ah me. Seven years ago there were five or six buses an hour travelling from Woodbridge to Ipswich (and returning) four that wentvia the hospital  and a regular hourly service (from Ipswich out to Woodbridge and beyond, again via the hospital) that went on up to ten or eleven at night. I remember it well. And I can’t remember these buses being other than full.

But those were the days when bus routes were created to supply the demand, rather than altered every month or so, by people who want to use limited stock to make the greatest return, and with no feeling of responsibility for people who rely on their services…

Still, let us not be surly, because this additional service is jolly well better than nothing and please could everyone who needs an evening bus service use it as often as they can. For a start, it is a chance to match up hospital visiting by bus more exactly with the visiting times. For another, if we do not use it it will be withdrawn with as  little warning or advertisement as it – just as the  62a and b were 18 months ago.

As ever, its a case of ‘use it or lose it.’


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