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Proposed transport improvements from Howard estate to West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, could make ‘huge difference’





Improved transport services from a town’s estate to a hospital could be rolled out if funding is secured.

Government funding of £3.6 million was awarded to Suffolk County Council last week to deliver improvements to the county’s bus network in Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Haverhill, Stowmarket and Ipswich.

A total of 64 service improvements were outlined in a document including new transport links to give people better access to the healthcare available at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury.

Improved links from the Howard Estate to West Suffolk Hospital could be rolled out. Picture: West Suffolk Hospital
Improved links from the Howard Estate to West Suffolk Hospital could be rolled out. Picture: West Suffolk Hospital

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is looking at improved DRT (demand responsive transport), environmentally sustainable options and pedicabs to take people from the Howard estate, in Bury, to the hospital.

The concept would be trialled on the estate before being rolled out to the rest of West Suffolk – however, funding for this improvement has not been secured.

A spokesperson said: “The trust is working with its system partners to make health services more accessible to communities across West Suffolk.

The Howard Estate in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Suzanne Day
The Howard Estate in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Suzanne Day

“Although funding has not been secured on this occasion, work is ongoing with Suffolk County Council to identify funding opportunities for transport improvements.”

Suffolk county councillor Robert Everitt said: “For those living in Bury, this is undoubtedly good news.

“Residents are in need of an improved service to get to the hospital, which is something I know has been a big concern for people.

“Ultimately, anybody coming from the Howard estate to the hospital has got to make their way right across town so if there can be a regular service for this route – that’s going to make a huge difference.”

Bus services will be enhanced across Suffolk. Picture: iStock
Bus services will be enhanced across Suffolk. Picture: iStock

The Howard estate was recently chosen for a new pilot to address healthcare inequality in the area.

A report found there was an increased disabled population living on the estate which was 22.1 per cent higher than the Suffolk average.

Other notable transport service improvements outlined by Suffolk County Council include:

Suffolk County Council is to spend £3.6 million of Government funding on Suffolk’s bus network. Picture: iStock
Suffolk County Council is to spend £3.6 million of Government funding on Suffolk’s bus network. Picture: iStock

- Enhancements of the 84 and 753 services connecting Sudbury to Colchester and Bury
- New hourly service from Haverhill to Bury via the hospital
- Extending Chambers 753 to evenings/Sundays
- Duplicate bus or extra service(s) staggered in morning peak on Chambers 753
- New service between Bury and Ipswich
- New service from Newmarket to Bury
- Changes to the 304 to leave West Suffolk College later to fit with students’ finishing times
- New school day service from Bildeston to Bury St Edmunds based around West Suffolk College times
- Additional peak journey on Stephensons service 16 and most trips extended to West Suffolk Hospital