Ruffley: 'On the Buses: More Like Off Them!' Ruffley Steps in with National Chairman of First for Emergency Meeting

Monday, 1 November, 2004

Following huge public concern regarding bus services in and around Bury St Edmunds, David Ruffley has called and will chair a high level emergency meeting on the future of bus services in the town.

David Ruffley said: 'Feelings are running high among my constituents. 'On the Buses' was a 70s comedy but it has been no laughing matter if you want to use buses in and around Bury St Edmunds. John Pope, Managing Director of First Eastern, was relieved of his duties last week but they are not due to replace him immediately. I, therefore, have been in contact not with anyone in East Anglia but have instead gone to the very top of First nationally. Because of my work in the House of Commons I know the Chairman of First, Mr Martin Gilbert. I drew his attention to the plight of the people of Bury St Edmunds who just want their buses to run on time, to go to convenient destinations and to be consulted about future changes to bus timetables.

As a result of my personal intervention at a national level I am delighted to announce that Mr David Kaye, the National Operations Director of First, has accepted my personal invitation for an emergency meeting on Friday, 5 November at 2.30 pm in the St Edmundsbury Borough Council Offices. I will chair the meeting and have invited Cllr Frank Warby and Cllr Alan Turner of the Bury St Edmunds Town Council, Mr Jerry Massey, Corporate Director, Environment and Transport at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, and Lucy Robinson, Director of Environment and Transport at Suffolk County Council.

At the end of this meeting I want an action plan and then I want some action. Effective, efficient local public transport like our bus services are an important part of our life. Let's not put up with second best.'