'Lifeline' Suffolk bus service will be axed later this month

Passenger Victoria Broomhead with the 387 bus in Gislingham, which will be axed at the end of the month

Passenger Victoria Broomhead, who has now moved to Cambridge, with the 387 bus in Gislingham, which will be axed at the end of the month - Credit: VICTORIA BROOMHEAD

A ‘lifeline’ rural bus service will be cut at the end of this month, despite fears about the impact on the elderly and people who would have to move home and change job. 

One regular passenger, Victoria Broomhead, has moved to the outskirts of Cambridge, at least in part because of the decision to cut the 387 bus, which runs from Gislingham to Stowmarket, from May 31. 

A spokesperson for Suffolk County Council confirmed the service was going to be axed, adding that only the Thursday ‘shopping services’ had customers on a regular basis, while there was nobody on the Monday to Friday commuter trip most days. 

He said: “That is unsustainable and we are obliged to get the best return for taxpayer’s money. 

“It was hoped that the 387 could have been funded externally but sadly that has not materialised and we cannot justify ongoing funding of the route once the contract has expired. 

“However, part of the route has been incorporated in other new services that will now be run commercially by Dan’s Coach Travel.  

“These services will include elements of other routes lost when our budget was reduced in 2019.” 

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Ms Broomhead said: “Basically, I was looking for work and I had to move because of the lack of public transport. There was literally no way for me to get a job.” 

She moved to the varsity city on Good Friday and started work on the following Tuesday. 

She added: “The difference is that there is a regular bus service. Cambridge is so obsessed by the fact that they do not want any cars in the city that they are trying to encourage regular use of bus travel.” 

In March, she spoke about how important the service was for elderly residents who could not drive, while others needed the transport to access eye tests, collect prescriptions or go shopping or to the hairdressers and dentists. 

The new routes incorporating parts of the former 387 service will include: 

386: Combs Ford – Stowmarket – Great Finborough – Rattlesden – Bury St Edmunds.  Wednesdays only from June 8. 

388: Stowmarket/Combs Ford town journeys.  Mondays and Thursdays only from June 6. 

389: Stowupland – Cedars Park – Stowmarket.  Mondays only from June 6. 

390: Rattlesden – Great Finborough – Stowmarket.  Mondays only from June 6. 

456: Stowmarket – Haughley – Bacton – Gislingham – Eye – Diss.  Fridays only from June 10. 

457: Gislingham – Wyverstone – Mendlesham – Stowupland – Cedars Park – Stowmarket.  Thursdays only from June 9.