At a meeting of Ipswich Borough Council’s Executive tonight it was announced that Ipswich Buses has stepped in to grant the last bus on routes 3E, 5E, 8, 9 and 13 a reprieve until at least the end of the year.
The last buses had been under threat since the Council revealed that the costs of the bus services it subsidises have increased far beyond the budget available and that as a result it could no longer afford to support these routes.
Ipswich Buses has now stepped forward to offer a lifeline and hopes that this will result in increased usage. The bus company – wholly owned by Ipswich Borough Council – is only able to take this step because the Council does not require it to make a profit and pay a dividend like privately-owned bus companies. Instead the Council requires the company to reinvest all income into supporting services in the town.
But the message is clear – these last buses will only survive if people to use them and they become financially viable so it’s very much a case of use it or lose it!
Ipswich Buses will review the ongoing viability of the services at the end of the year in light of passenger numbers over the next few months.
Councillor Phillip Smart, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Climate Change said “I’m very pleased that Ipswich Buses has been able to step in and make this offer. I urge residents to use these services so that they are not lost in the future”.