Thursday 26 March 2015

Major Ipswich Buses Changes and New Norwich P&R

Looking through the VOSA registrations yesterday there are going to be some serious changes in Ipswich, and it looks like the end of an era for 4 of the longest serving routes in the town, which are being merged into other routes. Right now this is only my own guesswork as to what the following changes signify, however I am awaiting clarification from Ipswich Buses and will confirm as and when I get it. The changes are as follows, all to take effect from May 24th

Services 1/3/5/6/11 are all cancelled

Services X1/X3 and 4 to amend route and timetable

Services X5/7/9/10/12/15/16  to amend timetable

New Service 6 operating every 20 mins from Tower Ramparts  to Tower Ramparts via Cliff Lane, Hospital and Sidegate Lane.

Now I must emphasise this is only my own guesswork and could be complete rubbish, but this is how I see it. The 5 is simply replaced by the X5, the 11 by the new Service 6, which I guess will be decker operated. The 1/3 will be replaced by the amended X1/X3 and 4. Have to say the new 6 will be a good route for the open topper on sunny days! I am meeting Malcolm Robson on Monday to discuss these changes and I will of course publish what's actually happening calling myself an idiot if I've got it completely wrong! What I have already been told is the number of buses operating will be "essentially the same".

Ipswich Buses 62 on ne of the routes to change in May
 Over to Norwich and First have also registered a couple of changes on VOSA, including a rather intriguing new Park and Ride service. The changes are as follows.

Services 25/25A/X25/26/27 to amend route, stopping places and timetable from May 24

New Service 600 operating from Hartford Park and Ride to County Hall limited stop Monday - Friday from April 13th

I don't normally mention school services but I know at least one person will be interested in this so....

Service 901/906 between Felthorpe and Hellesdon High School to amend route and timetable from April 13th

Service 903/904 between Harsford, Gordon Godrey Way and Hellesdon High School to amend timetable from May 24th.

I am intrigued about the new Park and Ride. It gives no indication as to if it is a one off, a week or permanent. I have asked Freddie for information, which I will pass on when I get it - he's a busy frog!

36167 on the old St Stephen's St route. The 25's are changing again in May
 For our Essex readers First Essex and Stephensons also registered changes.

Stephensons have registered at very short notice a new Service 18, operating between Joyce Franklin Academy, Newport and Haverhill via Saffron Walden operating Mon - Sat from April 1st. I assume that's taking over from someone else.

In Colchester First Essex have registered Service 63 operating between Tuffnell Way and Roman Way via North Station Monday - Saturday from April 13th

Moving North West to Kings Lynn where Norfolk Green have also registered some changes.

Service 115 operating between Tydd Gote and Gedney (no, me neither) to amend route and timetable from April 13th

New Service 49 operating between Spalding and Sutton St Edmund Mondays - Saturdays from April 1st

New Service 49A operating Thursdays only between Sutton St Edmund and Wisbech Bus Station via Murrow from April 1st

So there we go, your local blog serving 5 counties today and first as usual! You can view all the registrations yourself by clicking on the link at the beginning of the post and searching Eastern Area 24/25th March.


  1. I thought the Essex 63 was just transferring a commercial service (an experiment a few months back if I remember) into a subsidised one? Lucky First, seem to have played their cards right though is there a hint they've lost the Sat 50? The interesting stuff will be to see what comes out of the Bus Review - which has so far been nice platitudes ideal for lulling everyone into a false sense of security - though I think it's now pushed back to Sept 2016 for implementation? Especially as they seem to subsidise almost everything that moves evenings and Sundays, which their neighbours in Herts seem determined to get rid of. Where one leads, the others seem to follow. It might be an improvement on the commercial anarchy that seems to prevail in Norfolk/Norf Suffolk though, but I can see why everyone fights for the paying punter and to avoid being lumbered with the unrenumerative passes. Government never gets anything right does it? It's what happens when you listen to the pensioners' lobby, rather than the pensioners themselves. But that's what they always do.

    1. Service 63 was not commercial, but was funded using section 106 money from two new housing developments in Colchester (Abbeyfields and New Braiswick Park), and has run for a few years now. Now this source of funding has run out, the council are instead funding a less frequent (hourly as opposed to every twenty minutes) replacement.

    2. Can I assume the residents of the new developments haven't patronised the service enough to make it worthwhile going commercial?

    3. I think so, yes.

      New Braiswick Park doesn't seem to be ideally laid out for bus services (the Friends of New Braiswick Park Facebook page contains photos of damage caused by buses attempting to manoeuvre around the estate). In any case, the development is just off Bergholt Road (2 First services and 1 Chambers service every hour) and a short walk from North Station (tons of services).

      The southern half of the route is between two established bus corridors with frequent services (Layer Road - 64/A and Mersea Road - 8, 67) and probably doesn't have enough of a unique catchment area to justify continuing the service. Prior to the 63 the only services were 3/4 journeys on the 50 to Tollesbury (ECC contract - currently Hedingham and First, with tickets now interchangable with the 63). The new developments on the old garrison don't seem extensive enough to support the current frequency, although they did generate a petition when it was thought that it might be axed altogether.

      In other words, I don't think that this service would ever have been created as a commercial venture, so it coming to a complete end would not have been a surprise. Whether the funding will be renewed at the end of the tender is another question.

  2. Nothing yet about the Ipswich changes on the Eastern Traffic Commissioners website, but I suppose they'll come. Disappointingly for me, you haven't mentioned any restoration of the northern part of the 19 (which stopped right outside my house until a year or so ago). Still, we will await details.

  3. If you follow the link at the top of the page (VOSA), search Eastern Traffic Area, and select "all" from the drop down box and select date for 25th march you'll see all the registrations. Noo 19 mentiooned I'm afriad. I'll try to remember to brig it up with Malcolm Robson tomorrow.

    1. You probably don't need to ... he's probably sick and tired of me mentioning it! Thanks.

  4. Services 6 and 11 will both remain, but probably being "connected" to form one large "loop" of east Ipswich, operating 3 buses per hour in each direction. I suggested this to Ipswich Buses at the end of last year when they requested feedback/ideas for a network review, the idea being to provide easier access for the North West part of Ipswich to areas such as Sainsburys Warren Heath, John Lewis, B&M etc (and vice versa), without the need to change buses at the Hospital.

    A similar thing i think could also be achieved in North West Ipswich with services 8 and 10, linking the two at Asda via Whitehouse Road/Bury Road and creating a circular route, and truncating service 9 to terminate at Meredith Road (or perhaps Coleridge Road/Stratford Road, ie, ex route 19?)

    1. *North EAST part of Ipswich that should read!

    2. The entry in VOSA clearly states the "new" 6 will operate via Sidegate Lane, suggesting the 11 willl disappear and will be absorbed into the 6. However I willl confirm that tomorrow.

  5. Look closer though under "Service Number" and theres "6(11)", suggesting a circular service still using both service numbers. Similar registrations for circular services are "7(15)" and "9(10)".
    Interesting times ahead that's for sure. Look forward to seeing the blog tomorrow!