Ways explored to improve Suffolk bus services

A First UK Bus
A First UK Bus

Transport chiefs for First UK Bus visited Suffolk County Council to discuss the future possibilities of improvements to public transport in Ipswich and throughout Suffolk.

After seeing a presentation by First on their partnership with local councils in South Yorkshire,

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, Graham Newman decided to ask Giles Fearnley, managing director of First UK Bus to explore how that success might be replicated in Suffolk.

As the major operator of bus services across Suffolk, First were keen to meet with officials from Suffolk County Council to explore ways in which benefit could be brought to the county’s current services, including investment in improving punctuality, refurbishment and replacement of fleet vehicles and overall improvement of the infrastructure, in order to create a better public service for the people of Suffolk.

Councillor Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, said: “2014 represents a year of huge opportunity for bus services in our county town, as we roll out Urban Traffic Management Control which can prioritise public transport, Real Time Passenger Information and further phases of our Endeavour Card under the Travel Ipswich initiative.

“It’s clear the town’s major bus operators are up for transforming local services in terms of equipping their vehicles with the necessary technology and renewing or refurbishing their fleets

“We want to strengthen our relationships with the bus operators to ensure they can meet their punctuality and reliability targets, as well as increase their patronage. This meeting was a great step forward to working in greater partnership”

Mr Fearnley, said: “At First we want to encourage more people to travel on our services and travel more often.

“We’re working hard behind the scenes to improve our services so that we can attract more customers.

“Our meeting with Suffolk County Council was a very positive one and we look forward to engaging in further talks.

“We are determined to foster powerful relationships with our partners everywhere we operate, including Suffolk, which can help us unlock the full potential of the bus – we are absolutely committed to improving our services and delivering passenger growth.”

In addition to the discussions around improvements, Suffolk County Council’s Public Transport officials are working alongside all operators to establish a punctuality partnership agreement, this agreement which seeks to work together to improve punctuality of local bus services.