More than 30 Suffolk bus services are to be axed in April as part of the planned halving of the £4.3million public transport subsides. More than 50 routes will have unspecified timetable/route changes and about 15 services will not longer run on evenings and/or Sundays.
The announcement appears as a list published on Friday on the Suffolk on Board website. There is no press release on the subject on the county council website, but on that evidence no press releases have been issued this month.
It is difficult to assess the effect of the cuts without a lot of local knowledge and more information on the timetable/route changes. About 120 routes, mostly run without subsidy, are not affected.
The council seems to have been drip-feeding information in what looks very much like a media management exercise.
On January 3, the East Anglian Daily Times reported “Fears as bus routes face axe“. It said:
Some fairly large market towns like Eye could be left with no buses at all and Halesworth faces being left with just one service.
Then on February 2, the EADT quoted, Guy McGregor, the councillor for transport saying:
This has been a very difficult process and we have tried to be as transparent as possible, but I can say core services will remain and rural areas will be served.
And on February 15, under the headline “Bus services saved in countywide deal” the paper said the service to from Diss to Ipswich, via Eye and Debenham, had been save. It reported:
Bus services to communities across Suffolk are looking more secure after operators were persuaded to run them on a commercial basis.
The list at Suffolk on Board says that, in fact, the service through Eye and Debenham will continue to be subsidised but there will be changes.