A residents’ petition has succeeded in getting a replacement bus service to cover reductions introduced in January on Bury St Edmunds’ Breeze 2 route.
Stephenson’s Breeze 2 buses used to operate between the town centre and the Westley, Janes and Horringer Court estates roughly every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday from 8am to 6pm.
But in January the service was cut back to run an hourly operation between 9am and 2.30pm on weekdays only.
Residents on the estates it served began a petition and their cause was taken up by their councillors.
Suffolk County Council stepped in to arrange a partial replacement service, which was approved by the Traffic Commissioner earlier this month and will begin on Monday.
It will be operated by the Bury St Edmunds Volunteer Centre and the initial contract is for a year.
The move has been welcomed by the affected communities.
Carol Lawrence, secretary of the Westley Estate Residents’ Association, said: “It’s really good.
“The residents on the estate, especially the elderly, really do need a service during the week and something that’s going to be reliable.
“At the moment they all seem to feel very penalised because they can’t get to the town to do their shopping.
“Hopefully, for the next year at least they will be able to get there in the morning and get back in the afternoon and get there on Saturday.”
Philip Jude, vice-chairman of the Horringer Court Residents’ Association, said: “The people on the estate will be delighted. Any improvement to the bus service has got to be welcomed.”
David Finn, manager of Bury St Edmunds Volunteer Centre, said: “The county council asked if we were able to provide something and we have a vehicle already operating in Bury that does some transport to day services.
“It was available before we did that for the morning run and available for the two afternoon runs and we weren’t using it on the Saturday so it fitted in really well.
“We will see where we go from there. Hopefully it will be very well used.”
A county council spokesman said: “Following the withdrawal of a number of journeys on the Breeze 2 service, a replacement service has been arranged, operated by the Bury St Edmunds Volunteer Centre.
“This contract is initially for a year and its performance will be reviewed regularly.
“The service will carry the route number ‘BSEVC 1’. Tickets issued by Stephensons cannot be accepted on this service but national concessionary passes will be accepted.”
The timetable can be found online at www.suffolkonboard.com