Bus company steps forward to provide new route through Beccles and Worlingham

BorderBus will be providing a new route through Beccles and Worlingham. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

BorderBus will be providing a new route through Beccles and Worlingham. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Bus passengers in Beccles are celebrating after a company has stepped forward to provide a six day a week service through the town.

The Anglian Bus-run 82 service which goes into Beccles through Worlingham is due to be cut from six days a week to just one, following an announcement last month.

But now, BorderBus has come forward with a proposed timetable which would fill the void left behind, and is due to start next month.

At a meeting with passengers on Wednesday, BorderBus managing director Andrew Pursey revealed the operator will be running four trips a day, from Monday to Saturday mornings.

He said: 'We know that this is an essential service for people.'

However, Mr Pursey explained to the passengers gathered that, based on his estimations, the route would lose the company on average £18 per day due to the way bus operators are reimbursed for concessionary travel passes.

The company has just been awarded a contract from Suffolk County Council to take on another school run from September.

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And Mr Pursey said he hoped that income, coupled with a small predicted rise in the number of passengers paying a full fare, would make the route commercially viable to run.

'It's not perfect, I know that,' he said. 'But we're working within our constraints. It is critical that this makes money, I accept it's not going to make a lot of money.

'But at the very least I want to cover our costs.'

The timetable will come into effect on August 15, and Mr Pursey said the company would review the service again in December, although he was 'hopeful' it would continue after that.

Nicholson Drive resident Doreen Clark had organised a petition against Anglian Bus terminating the route, after it said it was not commercially viable.

She attended the meeting at the Public Hall and said it was 'promising' to hear from the BorderBus managing director.

'We thought we were going to lose our bus service but this timetable is great,' she said. 'The service is so important'

Many of the passengers at the meeting said they would be willing to pay full fare for their journeys occasionally if it meant that the bus service could continue long-term.

Timetables for the new Beccles Town Service will be available from www.border-bus.co.uk next week, and printed timetables will be available from early August.

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