Bus firm sets up new route

Friday, 21 August, 2009

Mulleys bus company has launched a new route through the Howard and Mildenhall Road Estates in Bury St Edmunds to Asda and the town centre in response to residents' pleas for a direct service.
Campaigners are celebrating the move as an end to a fight to get operator First Buses to alter the route of its 81 and 82 services to run through the estate along Western Way and Risbygate Street.

Ernie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate's Over 60s group, said: "This is absolutely fantastic news.

"Mulleys have put their faith in us and listened to the people which is great."

The move follows a five-month battle to improve bus services from the Howard Estate, as residents were forced to catch two buses to reach the new Asda supermarket just metres from their homes in Western Way.

But just as campaigners were about to give up hope, Mulleys came forward with a new M44 route which will run from St Andrews Street South to the bus station, through Prince Charles Avenue, St Olaves Precinct, Oakes Road and past Asda and back into town, starting on September 28.

Jayne Munson, director of Mulleys, said the firm was determined to make the new route work.

She said: "We felt nobody was listening to what the residents wanted so we just went ahead and did it.

"We are going to make it work, it's as simple as that."

The surprise twist by Mulleys was also joined by a shock anouncment from First bosses they plan to alter their 80 bus route after a crunch meeting with St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council last week.

A spokesman for the firm said: "First is developing an enhanced route 80 that will meet the needs of our passengers from the Howard Estate as well continuing to serve the Public Service Village."

The new route is thought to be in place after Christmas.

David Ruffley, MP for Bury, welcomed the moves this week and congratulated Mr Broom on his campaign.

He said: "This is a victory for people power and a campaign I wholeheartedly supported."