A controversial “bus ban” in Southwold has a bright future after the town council supported a move to make it permanent.

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Southwold Town Council voted last night (September 11 2012) in favour of keeping the trial scheme, which was introduced to curb congestion in High Street.

It came as the results of a public consultation revealed that of the 249 responses received, 145 were in favour of a permanent ban, 96 were against and eight were inconclusive.

Meanwhile, the town council also voted in favour of adopting a 10-seater shuttle bus from Suffolk County Council that would operate down High Street, near the harbour and the pier, if deemed financially viable by town council working groups. But councillors deferred a decision on where coaches should be allowed to operate outside of High Street for another six months.

Speaking about the trial bus ban, the deputy mayor of Southwold John Windell said: “This year was the first time for a long time that the town hasn’t felt congested.”

The 18-month trial scheme – paid for with £10,000 of the town council’s money and match-funded by Suffolk County Council – was designed to improve traffic flow by curbing the number of large vehicles travelling along High Street between Victoria Street and the Market Place.

However, councillor Robert Temple said it was also important to acknowledge the negative response by local businesses which rely on the custom of coach passengers.

At a previous town council meeting it was revealed that a proposal had been made for a 10-seater shuttle bus, which would operate on a non-profit basis and cost £1,500 a year to run.

The idea was mooted as a potential solution for some passengers who had to walk further up High Street after the town centre bus stop was moved from outside Chapman’s News to the King’s Head.

The results of a public consultation on the trial bus scheme also revealed that of the 249 responses, 140 were from Southwold and 109 were from non Southwold residents. The trial scheme is due to run until January.

A final decision on its future will be made by Suffolk County Council.

8 comments

  • Personally, I used to love Southwold. However, in recent years it appears to have been taken over by fools - hell bent on making it awkward to visit, with less amenities - trying to keep the image of a quaint village (probably to keep house prices up). I, for one, have no desire to visit stay any longer. When it's dying on it's arse, they may look back and regret several decisions...

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    Eddie

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • couldn't care less about southwold or its people why have we always got to hear about that place on this website? looking forward to visitng their new coffee shop tho

    Report this comment

    i love lowestoft

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • It's becoming clear that some in Southwold really don't want any tourists or day-trippers to come and visit anymore. Buses take up a lot less road space per passenger than any car (the one in the picture could carry about 90), so if conjestion is really the issue, shouldn't the council look instead at restricting access to car drivers and perhaps introduce a park and ride scheme? This would have the added benefit of making the High Street safer for pedestrians.

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    former_fan

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • @i love lowestoft - For someone who "couldn't care less" about Southwold you seem to be a pretty enthusiastic poster! As a Lowestoft resident, I still enjoy visiting Southwold and have supported attempts to retain its distinctive appearance and character. However a 'bus ban' is definitely a step in the wrong direction. We should be defending public transport services, not limiting them. On the question of coaches, many people using them would be unable to visit places like Southwold by any other means - more tolerance is needed.

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    point du jour

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • couldn't care less about southwold or its people why have we always got to hear about that place on this website? looking forward to visitng their new coffee shop tho

    Report this comment

    i love lowestoft

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • Southwold - Suffolk's answer to Frinton on Sea? I might be doning Frinton a mis-service, but in they used to have a 'We are too posh for buses and coaches' policy.

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    Tractorboy

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • couldn't care less about southwold or its people why have we always got to hear about that place on this website? looking forward to visitng their new coffee shop tho

    Report this comment

    i love lowestoft

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • Problem is, is that the Town councillors need the space for their big 4 x 4's

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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