Friday 20 July 2012

Incursion in Ipswich [2]

The Status Quo.
Not at all funny, is it?

See also Incursion in Ipswich [1] (read again)

Until the end of the month, Ipswich Buses and First Bus will operate in comparative harmony. To understand what happens now, and what will happen after the so-called bus war erupts into all its ultimately destructive extravagance, we need some fbb maps. In general, though, we are looking at services to the south east and east of the centre of town.

We begin with Gainsborough ...
... a large 1930s council development between the River Orwell and the Nacton Road. The current routes into the area are shown here:-
 1  and  3  [Ipswich Buses] run via Landseer Road and Ravenswood, a modern development, to serve The Havens retail park and office area or Warren Heath Sainsburys respectively. Buses run every 30 minutes on each. These routes just nibble into the edge of the Greenwich estate. Here's one having just nibbled.
 2  [Ipswich Buses] is hourly Monday to Friday only, a mop-up indirect service.

 6  [Ipswich Buses] runs every 30 minutes and rambles around the estates, continuing to Sainsburys and ending at the Hospital

 61  [First Bus] runs every 15 minutes via Nacton Road and does a full loop of the Greenwich Estate.
So, in this area, there is already competition between the two operators. Indeed it seems that First Bus (previously Eastern Counties) ...
... has always been an "intruder" into this district of Ipswich; possibly because parts of the Gainsborough development were outside the original borough boundary which defined the "rights" of operators when licensing was introduced in 1930. fbb awaits confirmation or otherwise from a real expert!

And, in case you wondered, the estate is, indeed, named after Thomas Gainsborough, artist, who was born in Sudbury and later lived in London, having no specific connection with Ipswich!

Now we move slightly north to the "villages" of Broke Hall and Bixley.
There was nothing there but farms post World War 2 and as the land was outside the Ipswich boundary, it is natural that, as new housing areas developed, Eastern Counties would serve them.
Already the exclusive operator along the Felixstowe Road, First runs to Broke Hall and Bixley every 30 minutes by a link off the main road that is served by inter-urban routes 75, 76 and 77.
Foxhall Road is the route of the Ipswich Buses' Hospital circulars 5 and 11, running every 20 minutes. Service 6 has arrived on a circuitous routeing via Gainsborough (see above).
Broke Hall has a distinctive sixties feel about it, whereas Bixley is a very recent "green field" development.
It has a "One Stop" shop, a few shelterless bus stops ...
Bixley's lavish public transport infrastructure

... and a "bus gate", a short chunk of bus only road which links Bixley with Kesgrave to the north. This is an impressive, and presumably expensive, bit of traffic management infrastructure running alongside the shopping "centre" ...
... used by just one tendered route 62A journey each way Monday to Saturday.
So much for transport planning. Note Suffolk County Council's unusual spelling of Rose Hill.
But, at the moment, there is no competition with Ipswich Buses at all on the Bixley route.

In case you are confused, as was fbb, there is another Bixley in East Anglia, but this time in Norfolk, south of Norwich. It has a population of 144 and a Church ...
...  that was destroyed by arson in 2004 and is dedicated so St Wandregesilius (who?), the only such Church to have that dedication in the UK - a really fascinating useless piece of tivia!

Tomorrow we look at what First is doing from the end of July in Gainsborough and Bixley, Suffolk. According to local "spotters" this is one of a small batch of "new" (!) vehicles "imported" from Norwich as ammunition for the forthcoming skirmish.

 Next Blog : Saturday 21st July 
fbb is away tonight at sunny Sidmouth
on family business but laptopless; so
tomorrow's blog might be delayed; No 3
son thinks he can upload via his phone.


  1. For more background the Omnibuses blog may be of interest:

  2. Very nice write up...Good public transport is always necessary for growth of any city. Also like to mention that car service in Charleston, SC is tremendous.