One day the world will end. Trouble is no one knows when. It could be tomorrow, it could be billions of years away. The same applies to Ipswich Park & Ride. It was officially announced on Saturday that it will close. However no date was set for closure. A date has been banded about whch is quite surprising at first glance. Everyone knows that the busiest time for P&Rs is the run up to Christmas so of course the suggested date for closure is October. Actually since a Council is involved it's not really that surprising. Ipswich Borough Council see maintaining the P&R sites as too expensive and so want to clog up an already clogged up town even more! As soon as I know more I'll publish it.
So with IBC announcing the closure of the P&R it makes the news Clive broke on Ipswich Bus Blog on Friday all the more baffling. Ipswich Buses have bought out the bus operations of Carters Coaches and no one has the faintest idea why. It was announced to Ipswich Buses staff on Saturday and the driver I was talking to today (really nice chap) said no one had the slightest inkling it was going on. He also said it was more surprising as apparently IB want to convert to a single deck only fleet and bar the VDL Evolution Carters have a fleet of deckers! So what is going on there? Why do IB suddenly want a route to Essex?
I have recently seen (but not published) documents suggesting IB are in financial dire straits, which makes the buy out of another operator even more difficult to fathom. So despite my double pneumonia (I'm a man with a cold) I have a theory. I stress this is only the workings of my clogged up brain and there is no evidence to support it but........
In the same bracket as one day the world will end is one day IB will be sold. It's inevitible. I've recently had debates with the good and the great in the local bus world as to who would want to buy IB. First probably wouldn't be allowed by the monopolies people. Go-Ahead have seriously fallen out of love wiith this area thank God. I know Arriva, despite having Colchester Transport, are not interested in going any further north which leaves Stagecoach, whose nearest operations to Ipswich ar Cambridge and Kings Lynn. So could it be a pre-requisite of an IB buy out - no one has mentioned Rotala - that a link to Essex is established so IB's area isn't as restricted? I'm told people from Clacton have been sniffing around IB, no idea which operator but it would make sense if the IB operatig area could link up with an already existing area.
It will be fascinating to see how things pan out over the year. Obviously as soon as I hear of anything else I'll publish it.