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Star bid to untangle bus chaos

The Ipswich Evening Star is warning of chaos on the town’s buses – after two companies made changes to their schedules.

Fears of a passenger revolt have led the paper to launch Bus Watch, to highlight the state of services.

The Star reported that since the weekend shake-up, bus passengers in the east of Ipswich have faced cancellations, drivers going the wrong way, a lack of information and passengers abandoned late at night.

The mess comes on top of a fare increase which has seen some passengers having to pay up to 18 per cent more to travel.

As it launched its campaign the Star was contacted by bus company employees who said the staffing crisis was increased by a number of drivers refusing to work overtime after a dispute about holiday bonuses. There is also an unprecedented level of staff sickness.

Eastern Counties took over the Services One and Four in Ipswich – and withdrew Service Three between Bixley Farm, Ipswich Hospital and the town centre. Service Four was extended to Bixley Farm, but the changes meant people were unable to catch a direct service to the hospital.

The paper reported: “The chaos became worse yesterday after a driver on a Service One bus took the Service Four route, leaving passengers in the Gainsborough and Greenwich area stranded for more than an hour.

“Some buses have been more regular – but at a price. Passengers who had paid 68p for an Eastern Counties ticket into the town from the Norwich Road bridge had to pay 80p for an Ipswich Buses ticket.”

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