New weekly bus service for Hawstead, Lawshall, Nowton and Shimpling
A new weekly bus service has been created to serve villages cut off when their service was axed last month.
Hawstead, Lawshall, Nowton and Shimpling villagers feared being left isolated when they found out the thrice-weekly route 375 bus service was ending on November 2.
The route was one of those affected by Suffolk County Council subsidy cuts, with all bar statutory home to school journeys cut.
On Wednesday, a new trial service starting next month was announced.
Operated by Chambers buses, the Wednesday-only service will start in Sudbury and serve Alpheton, Shimpling, Cockfield, Lawshall, Hawstead Green, Nowton Low Green and Bury St Edmunds. The morning service will arrive in Bury at 10.22am, with the return trip departing at 1.15pm.
Karen Soons, Thingoe south county councillor, said: "I am delighted Chambers has worked with the council in trialling this new service. It will help so many rural villages to remain vibrant and accessible to everyone, no matter what their income or background."
Cllr Soons urged residents to use the bus to secure its future, adding: “We are still looking at other travel options to potentially give some further flexibility on other days."
A Suffolk County Council spokesperson said: “We are delighted to have been able to work with Chambers to provide a revised 375 service.
“Using information on passenger numbers on other routes they operate for us we have been able to identify a solution. The service will continue to receive a subsidy from Suffolk County Council for a trial period to determine if the route is commercially sustainable.
“To ensure the 375 service is a viable long-term option local residents need to use it as regularly as possible.”
The new service, which will continue only if demand is sufficient, starts on January 15.