Friday 1 September 2017

Victory For 113/114 Passengers

A few weeks ago it was announced that the 113/114 between Diss and Ipswich was being revised. That word always means bad news and so it proved. A truncated service, with fewer through journeys to Ipswich and the villages of Stoke Ash and Thwaite were to lose their bus service completely.

But I'm delighted to report that Suffolk County Council have had second thoughts after listening to the concerns of local residents, and have decided to keep the old timetable, thus reprieving Stoke Ash and Thwaite. Due to Traffic Commissioner red tape the new timetable will operate for a week, but the service will revert to the old timetable from September 11th.

Galloway YJ65 EWF on the 114 at Ipswich     pic dearingbuspix
It certainly makes a pleasant change for the Council to listen to residents and reverse bus cuts decisions. One has to wonder what was unique to this particular situation, after all, many villages have lost their bus service in recent years (mine included), and all protests have fallen on deaf ears. So why have Stoke Ash and Thwaite escaped the axe? I don't believe for a second that the fact Suffolk's Police & Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore lives in Thwaite, and his good lady is a regular passenger on the 113/114 had the slightest influence in the Council's decision to overturn the cuts. Surely not!

I found this story in the East Anglia Daily Times, and you can read the full story here.


  1. I had a similar situation many years ago, in that a bus service that carried 1-2 passengers per day (with 6 journeys!) was retained for years because the local Council Leader lived in that particular village.
    One Election he lost his seat . . . . the bus route was withdrawn within 6 months with nary a complaint!

    On a separate matter, I was contacted several winters ago by a very well-spoken lady to ask for the times of our buses. I explained that buses ran every 30 minutes, but might be delayed a little because of the icy roads, and she sounded off at me for not being able to provide a reliable departure time! I asked if she was a regular passenger, to which she replied that she was not, but was only using the bus because her BMW fancy-pants 7-series didn't hold the road very well in winter weather! I'm afraid that she got short shrift from be after that!!

    It just goes to show that the ones that complain the loudest are generally those that only use the bus infrequently or not at all (with our esteemed blogger as the exception, of course!!).

  2. Councils could set up bus firms after 32-year ban

    Will England follow suit?

    A 32-year-old Thatcher-era law barring councils from setting up bus services could be scrapped in Wales.

    The Welsh Government has proposed allowing councils to set up new municipal bus companies amid claims council-run transport would be more focused on services than profits.

  3. The UK’s five least-value rail trips are all routes to or from London, it has been revealed.

    It is difficult to see how the vast difference i fares is justified but even worse are the punctuality figures. Even the best was 15% late and that in my view is far to high. It ought to be in the 1% region

    The most expensive journey was from Ipswich to London Liverpool Street at 71p per mile. A third of the trains from the town arrived late.

    The worst value was the Great Western journey from Paddington to Didcot at 59p per mile with delays more than 60 per cent of the time.

    One of the best-value trips in south-east England was from Grays, Essex to London Fenchurch Street. It cost 30p a mile and trains were only disrupted 15 per cent of the time.

  4. School bus shake-up could hit thousands of families across Suffolk

    It seems the main cost cutting would be to cut out discretionary free travel

    I think myself that the current system for free school travel is not sensible and a fairer and less costly scheme would be to charge all the pupils for the first 2 miles (Primary) & first 3 miles (secondary) with the councils only covering any actual excess cost over those distances

    Full details here:

    1. Suffolk are at the end of the line here - most Councils have already done this . . . . Hertfordshire scrapped discretionary free travel in 2011 (having talked about it since 2008), and ended subsidies for most school buses in 2012.
      In both cases "entitled" students still receive free passes, but the rule there is "unsafe or excessive walking route from home to school".
      So if little Chardonnay lives in a village with no school, and attends the nearest secondary school, then she travels free. If she goes to the posh school in the next town, then she pays.
      The pass is valid on commercial bus routes, both dedicated and normal. If there are large numbers of entitled students, then councils may provide dedicated buses; 'cos the Transport budget gets the money from the Education budget . . . in-house and all that!!
      It's actually quite a fair system, really . . . . in Herts there were only muted protests for just that reason.

    2. I assume the proposed Suffolk changes will probably come in next September. SCC seem to think it will result in some more commercial bus service but I don't have much confidence of that happening

      The problems Suffolk and Norfolk face is the bus network is very fragmented with far to many small operators resulting in an inefficient network another problem is they are highly dependent on school work which leads to inefficient and poor timetabling of commercial services as well as the use of expensive and unsuitable double decker's that alone has lead to many service cuts both on economic grounds sand that of the large double decker's not being able to get around the more rural parts so it may possibly lead to them investing in smaller lower cost and more suitable sized buses

  5. Do Galloways/Stephensons deserve any of the credit? Jus' wonderin' . . . From what I can see around the country our much-maligned privateers can be quite creative too in finding ways to keep services running for their passengers.

    1. No. Galloway were ready to implement new timetable. Council backtracked not wanting to upset the PCC. End of.