Changes to route 113 and 114 bus services criticised

Thwaite village sign. Picture: Mark Bullimore.
Thwaite village sign. Picture: Mark Bullimore.

A decision by Suffolk County Council to withdraw funding for some bus services – cutting stops entirely in Stoke Ash and Thwaite – has been met with astonishment by users.

Up until now, routes 133 and 144, which are run by Galloway Travel, had received a 14 per cent subsidy from the council.

With this being stopped, however, a revised timetable will take effect from September 4 – hitting some villagers hard.

Paul Morris, chairman of Stoke Ash and Thwaite Parish Council, said: “The parish council is astonished and disappointed at this high-handed and solely financially-motivated decision.

“Our parishioners will be left with no bus service, even though it appears that the bus will still pass through both villages.”

County and district councillor Andrew Stringer said: “For a small number of people, these bus services are vital and the changes will mean an increased demand on community transport.

“The transport system in Suffolk is looking bleaker and bleaker and, as a growing county, we need more connected bus routes.”

The council said that core peak time and school journeys with greater usage would “generally remain in place”, with the current timetable redesigned with a reduction in the total number of off-peak journeys.

The council claims the changes will help with punctuality and reliability across the service.

A spokesman for the authority added: “This high level of subsidy is no longer sustainable.

“We have held various discussions with Galloway to agree the best way to reduce the total daily mileage and make savings with minimal disruption to the network and passengers.”