Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Incursion in Ipswich : the Sequel

A Robust Response
When First Bus announced "improvements" to their serices to the east and southeast of Ipswich, Ipwich Buses MD Malcolm Robson promised a "robust response".  
In a recent edition of the local "rag" Robson is quoted:

“These new services are aimed at providing competing services in response to the new services introduced by First in east Ipswich. Included in our new services is a direct service along Nacton Road into central Ipswich, a link which has been missing from our network for nearly 20 years.  Mr Robson said his drivers had told their managers that passengers had been standing back to allow First Buses past so they could catch their vehicles."

So today we look at what Ipswich buses has done to counter the onslaught by the mighty First.
From the end of July First's half-hourly service 62 via Felixstowe Road to the Broke Hall and Bixley Estates was split into two separate routes (55 and 56 half-hourly each) and diverted to run via Foxhall Road in competition with Ipswich Buses [IB] 20 minute frequency hospital circular routes 5 and 11.
Rather than mess around with its existing routes, I B has added an additional X5 service via Foxhall Road to the Hospital; thus providing a bus every 10 minutes. Branded vehicles are used ...
... and very smart they look, too, although some have questioned the distinctive and dramatic design of the paint job. Which service seems, vehicle-wise, to be the most attractive?
First's second area of attack is on the Gainsborough area of the city ...
... where their existing service 61 to Gainsborough and Greenwich was increased to every 10 minutes along Nacton Road serving each estate alternately.
A Brand new First route 70 runs via bits of Ipswich Buses routes 6 and 3 to Ravenswood and Warren Heath Sainsburys. Malcolm Robson's response is two fold; an additional 20 minute 6A ups the frequency to Grennwich and Gainsborough whilst the X3 increases frequency to Ravenswood.
fbb has not seen any of First's publicity for the changes or any special fares offers on their new routes. I B are offering a variety of special deals ...
... linked to the launch.

But, back to Bixley. Now that First is running its services via Foxhall Road, links from the estates to the shopping areas on Felixstowe Road are no longer available. So Robson has also announced, “We are also looking forward to recommencing service 4 from Broke Hall and Bixley Farm into Ipswich via Felixstowe Road in September, providing a link First no longer wish to provide.” Which, effectively, replaces First's now superseded 62 route and takes I B into First's former exclusive area.

fbb predicts, not particularly skillfully, that this situation cannot last. 
There will be more skirmishes to come but, at first glance ...

First is BIGGER
Ipswich Buses is BETTER
See also:-
Incursion in Ipswich [1] (read again)
Incursion in Ipswich [2] (read again)
Incursion in Ipswich [3] (read again)
fbb and Mrs fbb are off on yet another holiday today; courtesy of No 1 son and family and a chum of theirs who lets them have his holiday home for nothing, nix, nowt, no money. Sadly, public transport to rural Wales is not practicable, certainly not with bedding, chairs, a couple of kitchen sinks and case upon case of Mrs fbb's sylish summer wear (?). So it is a trip by motor car with an overnight stop at Halesowen. Never been there before.

Dongle delivered blogging is planned but whether there are enough electrons buzzing over the ether at the foot of Cadair Idris ...

... (Welsh for a chair full of ginger beer?) is debatable.
 Next Blog : Thursday 16th August 

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