This is good news and could be a stepping stone to increased and better services - for example I have heard reports that Anglian are considering running later services again on some of its routes. This is a sensible idea, as after 4ish buses running into town are virtually empty because people just can't get home again. Just remember that it is pointless running evening services if they don't run late enough for people to get home from an evening at the cinema/theatre etc. Co-ordinating with trains would also be advantageous. I would also suggest operating companies take steps to accommodate the increase in passengers by providing the appropriate seating capacity on the routes where overcrowding is an issue, or those passengers will very quickly go again.
However, the article warns that rural areas aren't so lucky, and to be honest the comment from SCC is laughable. I see an opportunity to rebuild the bus network, incorporating less populated areas with more profitable routes but that will need enterprise from the operating companies, and support from local authorities. It can work if people want it to work, but is there the desire to make it work around here, or will the cash cows be milked to exhaustion. We shall see.
Anyway you can view the full report in the Ipswich Star by clicking here.
Since posting the above I have received an email from Malcolm Robson, Managing Director of Ipswich Buses, who says the following regarding passenger numbers:
Our passenger numbers are up on last year, although as I stated I feel that most of this is coming from growth in customers traveling to out of town stores such as John Lewis at Home and Waitrose at Futura Park in S E Ipswich and our new service 4 to M & S Food and Next at Martlesham.
Many thanks for the email, Malcolm, and for permission to reproduce it on here.