We Lib Dems today revealed that the Park and Ride service has seen a huge fall in passenger numbers since the Bury Road site was closed at the beginning of 2011.
The County originally predicted that when they closed the Bury Road site around half of the passengers would transfer to either London Road or Martlesham. Prior to the closure at the beginning of 2011, a total of 1,000,000 passengers were using one of the three services every year. There were 300,000 passengers using the Bury Road site in the final year of its operation. The total number of passengers has now dropped to 500,000 per year.
In 2011, not only did the Conservatives close the Bury Road Park and Ride site, but they introduced a charge for over 60s, and made them wait until 9.30am before they could use their bus passes. The Ipswich Park and Ride service was introduced when we ran the council in coalition with Labour. It has always been highly valued, but the Conservatives seem determined to destroy it.
We fought a campaign to keep the Bury Road site open. We carried out a survey of passengers, organised a petition and made the Cabinet reconsider its decision. They would not change their minds and they failed to look at the full implications of the closure. This dramatic fall in passenger numbers has major implications for Ipswich. We have no way of measuring how many people now drive into Ipswich, or avoid it altogether. In this difficult economic climate, and with the advent of online shopping, town centres need all the help they can get.”
In detail, figures for the London Road and Martlesham Park and Ride sites are:
Total passengers 03 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 – 557,665
Total passengers 04 April 2010 to 02 April 2011 – 749,176
Total passengers 05 April 2009 to 03 April 2010 – 769,666
The figures also include those travelling on concessionary passes which gave free travel until 1 April 2011 & half price travel after this date.
Bury Road was still operational until January 2011. Its all tickets breakdown was:
For 2007/08 192,000
For 2008/09 245,000
For 2009/10 306,000
This meant that in the year 2009 – 2010, there were a total of 1,075,666 users of the Park and Ride service in Ipswich