Bus users voice concerns after bus operator Chambers announces significant changes to key routes to and from Sudbury
Bus and coach operator Chambers is planning changes to bus routes and timetables, and has asked for comments by Monday.
The company is suggesting a number of changes to key routes to and from Sudbury, including the 754, 753, 374, 236 and 84 services, as well as changes to school routes.
However, as well as service cuts, it also plans to introduce new routes and says that, for most users, it is offering improvements but withdrawing some services where “the revenue we get does not cover the cost of the operation”.
Residents in Stoke-by-Nayland have been expressing their concerns about being left isolated by proposed cuts to the 84 bus service.
Under the proposals, the service from Sudbury via Nayland to Colchester may only be run during school travel times, because there are not enough users to pay for the costs of the service at other times.
Posting on the Stoke-by-Nayland Facebook noticeboard, Babs Reader said: “The most vulnerable residents, together with those who can’t drive or afford to run a vehicle, will be left completely isolated.”
Fellow villager Jeremy Bloomfield said: “My teenage son has emailed Chambers to voice his concern at losing a bus service in Stoke. Perhaps other youngsters will follow suit. This will disproportionately hit that age group and socially isolate them even more.”
Emma Bishton added: “The difficulty in making a profit from rural routes is why subsidies from county councils in rural areas are important.”
Other proposed changes include the 754 from Sudbury to Colchester, which was changed two years ago to run every half-an-hour. Chambers said this has not been entirely successful.
Instead, it is proposing that the 784 provides a slightly faster service from Sudbury and Great Cornard to Colchester, with the 754 continuing to run every hour.
The company says it plans to increase the frequency of the 753 between Bury and Sudbury to run twice an hour, with the addition of another bus called the 752 running direct from Long Melford.
A company spokesman said: “We know that many people from Sudbury go to Bury for work, shopping and education and that the bus journey is currently quite slow and only runs once per hour. We hope that shorter journey times will encourage people to use the bus rather than the car when accessing a congested town like Bury.”
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