Readers’ letters, June 21

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A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Fruday, June 21.

Express service deserves support

RE: Cancellation of Stephenson’s Express Service from Bury to Ipswich

As a public transport regular customer, I feel it is my right to express my surprise and disappointment at the cancellation of the express bus route from Bury to Ipswich. Many people commute to Ipswich every day for work, study and many other reasons. I found this service very useful for my work journeys to Ipswich, as well as comfortable, quite punctual and inexpensive. I also saw many people using it for excursions to Ipswich and Bury throughout the day. Many were older people entitled to free passes; however these people signed a petition, when they heard the service was going to be cancelled and declared that they would be happy to pay a contribution of £ 2-3 to keep the service.

Because I am puzzled as for the reasons why this very good service did not receive more support from the council, I would like to ask:

1. Why the service was not better advertised?

2.Why the company did not take any action after they received hundreds of signatures asking to keep the service? All the people entitled to a bus pass agreed to pay a minimum amount to keep the service.

3.Why the council did not give more support in subsidising this company?

These are the sort of services that should be supported and subsidised to get people out of their cars. Our councillors tell us they are interested in environmental issues; however improving quality of air by reducing traffic has not been considered seriously yet.

I am sure someone is reading this letter will be thinking that it’s easier to complain than come up with solutions, therefore I thought I’d throw in some suggestions:

- Good advertising

- Adjust the schedule and pick up/drop off points to encourage early commuters

- SCC to subsidise this service more than it has

- Involve shops in Bury and Ipswich to offer a small discount to those who spend over £15 and show the bus ticket with the day’s date.

- Talk to employers and encourage them to buy monthly tickets at a discounted pricewhich they can offer to their employees.

- Ask those who are entitled to free bus passes to give a small contribution to support the service when they use it

- Give extra discounts on tickets to SCC employees.

I am certain there are many more ideas that could come out if the council, bus companies, chamber of commerce, employers as well as shop owners got together and put their ‘thinking caps’ on and started working together in a more organic way.

--Name and address supplied

Surprise over licensing

Given the front page coverage recently of the issues concerning the new pop up catering business, and the complaints from other local businesses, I read with astonishment the article concerning this (Bury Free Press, June 7). To discover that the two catering businesses that led the complaints to the council, and to the press in such a way that it became front page news, did not possess the very same licence that they are supposed to trade with, is quite extraordinary. Surely they should check their own house is in order before criticising others?

One had expired a year earlier and one last November. Should we not also question that the council appears to very lax in controlling this, which presumably is an income to the public purse?

-- Nigel Birrell, Bury St Edmunds

Police should act over bad driving

It’s about time the police service did something about driving standards on the roads.

Today (Wednesday, June 12) I was nearly knocked over when leaving Tesco Express in St Andrew’s Street at 7am by a woman in an Audi. When I informed her it was a pedestrian zone, her response was ‘What’s that then?’.

Later on, when leaving Bury to go and pick up my fiancée from Newmarket, coming from the Glasswells side of the junction on Newmarket road I pulled out only to be nearly sideswiped by someone driving a red Seat who clearly though the red light he’d blatantly jumped was optional.

Between Bury and Kennett I was overtaken by not one, not two, but nine drivers using their mobile phones.

And to top it all off a black Audi then went flying past me on the road into Newmarket, despite the fact I was doing the 30mph speed limit.

Have I seen one police car today? Take a guess.

-- Name and address supplied

Don’t blame the PM, Mr Ruffley

David Ruffley really has got his political priorities all wrong! Rather than going on Sky TV to warn that David Cameron’s leadership would be at stake if he did not up his game at next year’s European parliamentary elections he should be publicly campaigning against the Conservatives’ disastrous welfare reforms that are having such a devastating effect on the residents of Bury St Edmunds.

Last November Mr Ruffley proudly opened a new foodbank in Bury, and I suggested at the time that this disgraceful need was as a direct result of the Conservatives’ disastrous decision to slash the welfare budget by £18 billion, and that this would only worsen when further cuts planned for April were introduced. Sadly this prediction has now been confirmed correct, with the news that Gatehouse, the charity which organises the foodbank has issued a plea for more donations to meet increased demand, as benefit cuts continue to squeeze household incomes.

If Conservative MPs are worried about losing their seats at the next General Election they need to look beyond their inept leader’s performance and have the courage to admit that their party’s disastrous economic policy, that has caused the economy to flatline, unemployment to rise, seen living costs rise whilst wages fall, as well as the aforementioned benefit cuts, has totally failed, both socially and economically. Mr Ruffley, you, as a former party whip, should fully understand the principle of collective responsibility better than most and I would suggest it is time you assumed some, and speak up on behalf of some of your most vulnerable constituents instead of blaming David Cameron for all your woes.

-- Richard Soer, Great Barton

Signs more suited to a garage

Greene King are now re-branding in Bury St Edmunds and elsewhere – signage at The Spread Eagle is more in keeping with the BP fuel garage opposite. Yeuk!

-- Martyn Taylor, via emai

Tickets are too expensive

It seems that the public of Bury are being excluded from events in their own town. Last year, we had The Apex fast-tracking out-of-towners to a Mumford And Sons concert in a venue the town had heavily subsidised.

This year it’s the same, with The Apex and others charging through the nose for Abbeyfest in the Abbey Gardens. Single adult tickets for the entertainment start at £37/night, so if you want to go with friends, or you want to go on multiple nights you could potentially have to fork out hundreds of pounds.

It might be correct that you could see performers who individually charge more than Abbeyfest will, but putting them on the bill at the same time does nothing to provide this entertainment in line with the pockets of most of us.

-- Will Roney, Bury St Edmunds

Message for a thief

To the lowlife who stole flowers from the plaque on my wife’s ashes in the Garden of Rest in Mildenhall Cemetery, between Thursday and Sunday last week, I can only hope that if you sometime endure the same amount of grief that I am enduring, you do not become a victim also.

-- John Stebbing, Mildenhall

Thank you for feature

I am writing on behalf of all members of our club, to thank you and your reporter, Mark Beaumont, for the excellent feature in your paper on June 7, covering our club’s 10th birthday party and celebrations.

It was amazing to see what the club has achieved in 10 years, regarding projects in our local community. It goes to show that people’s voices can make councils and politicians take note of their views.

-- Derrick Hardy, Chairman, Howard Over-60s Club