I am delighted to pass on more excellent news about the restored Woodbridge to Ipswich 65b Sunday bus – a service which which we managed to get back a few months ago after much lobbying.
You may remember that Woodbridge residents were cut off for some years from any Sunday or holiday bus transport whatsoever (including to Ipswich hospital for visiting, A&E and and minor injuries), but that, after much lobbying, this was restored in July (see details here). We were told at the time – quite fairly in my opinion – it was a case of ‘use it, or lose it.’
Today I have heard that due to the level of patronage, the 65b service will continue at least until March, and with an enhanced service! The 65b will now run 5 times a day in each direction, and from Ipswich to Melton! The revised timetable with operate from Sunday 11th January 2015.
This is power and the point of local politics. Lobbying and local activism really can work on occasion.
It can also reverse some terrible decisions!
PS. On a smaller scale – if you are a smaller person you may notice that you can now read the timetables at the Turban Centre. I asked for them to be lowered and they have done so!
Very much a transport and roads report, this month: Cabinet passed some amazingly positive recommendations about public transport services; I joined with Cllr Bond to help fund the resurfacing of Farlingaye HS’s permissive footpath, and a mysterious sinkhole has appeared at the Ipswich Road end of Sandy Lane.
Public transport in Suffolk Last week Cabinet approved almost all the recommendations of the Suffolk cross-party Policy development panel on public transport on which I was a core member. As you know I have been lobbying to defend, protect and improve rural bus services for years and I’m very pleased that many of the recommendations now passed by Cabinet are ones I have been agitating for for some time – including:
Suffolk County Council should develop a clear vision for the future of public transport and support this with a more transparent and stand-alone strategy for meeting the travel needs of the county
Ensure that no further savings are sought from SCC’s discretionary budget for public transport without first fully understanding the impact on users and the possible cost implications for other public services.
Suffolk County Council should lead a countywide campaign to lobby the government and the county’s MPs for a more equitable distribution of national funding to support public transport in rural areas, urging the government to recognise the importance of public transport in supporting people’s health and wellbeing and in raising educational achievement, to acknowledge the particular problems faced by councils such as Suffolk County Council in providing public transport in rural areas, and to allocate funding accordingly.
Suffolk County Council should work with community transport operators to assess redesigning services to ensure young people trying to get to education, training or employment can book regular trips.
Suffolk County Council should ensure that the importance of public transport is reflected in its priorities and that its wider role in supporting people’s health and wellbeing is acknowledged across all policy areas.
Designing a protocol by which planning authorities ensure proposed new developments take full account of public transport needs at an early stage and encourage public transport as people’s first choice.
Grant towards Farlingaye’s permissive path I have collaborated with my colleague Michael Bond to part-fund the resurfacing of the footpath which runs alongside Farlingaye High School between Catherine Road and Houchell’s Meadow and Haugh Lane and which provides such a significant community benefit to constituents in both our divisions. We are contributing a total of £3000 from our locality budgets, which together with a contribution from Cllr Ball will be enough to fund the entire operation..
Chasm at the junction of Sandy lane/Ipswich Road A large deep hole of unknown provenance has opened up at this junction some weeks back . Although barriers have been put up, it is not clear who has done so, and no remedial work has been undertaken – this is because the presence of the barriers caused everyone to believe that someone else was responsible and was already in the process of taking action to fix it. SCC highways team were assuming these barriers were put up by the utilities company responsible, though they have been unable to discover which one it is.
The Highways department now tell me they will ‘take the hit’ and do the repair themselves, though I have asked them to continue tracking down the responsible company to reclaim the money back if appropriuate. It is, of course, perfectly possible that the barriers were put up by some public-spirited person who is as yet nameless, and that the hole is actually a sink hole.
Surgery dates for the second half of 2014 As you know, I continue to hold my regular monthly surgery on the THIRD SATURDAY of every month. This is held at Woodbridge Library, 10am – 12 noon. Dates for the rest of 2014 are:
19 July 2014
Please note: there will be no surgery in August
20 September 2014
18 October 2014
15 November 2014
20 December 2014
Caroline Page, LibDem County Councillor for Woodbridge
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