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Bus and train services discussed at special meeting

PUBLISHED: 13:14 18 February 2018

ESTA chairman Trevor Garrod and Jane Storey, the deputy leader of Suffolk County Council at the meeting in Oulton Broad. Pictures: MICK HOWES

ESTA chairman Trevor Garrod and Jane Storey, the deputy leader of Suffolk County Council at the meeting in Oulton Broad. Pictures: MICK HOWES

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Train station improvements and bus shelters in a poor condition were among numerous transport issues discussed at a public meeting.

The ESTA meeting in Oulton Broad. Pictures: MICK HOWESThe ESTA meeting in Oulton Broad. Pictures: MICK HOWES

East Suffolk Travellers’ Association (ESTA) – the independent voluntary association which provides a voice for train and bus users in eastern Suffolk – organised its first public meeting of the year with Suffolk’s transport chief the guest speaker.

Jane Storey, the deputy leader of Suffolk County Council, outlined the current and future usage of public transport at the meeting, which was held in Oulton Broad on Saturday, February 17.

As the cabinet member for highways, transport and rural issues, Mrs Storey also answered questions, taking a number of concerns, issues and suggestions that were raised by ESTA members and the general public back to council officers.

About 40 people gathered at St Mark’s Church Centre for the first of ESTA’s three meetings this year. Members of the transport users’ pressure group were given an update on its recent survey of local train and bus journeys, which said a number of passengers were still unhappy with the punctuality of rail services in east Suffolk and improvements needed to be made to many bus stops,

Speaking about the reaction from the annual survey, ESTA chairman Trevor Garrod said: “We have been doing a survey for a number of years and the conditions of bus shelters in some parts of the area has been a thorny issue.

“We have had a helpful response from Suffolk County Council for bus services and bus shelters in the Lowestoft area. They are taking on board several of our concerns and suggestions, and we may well see in the coming weeks some improvements.

“In Lowestoft, the Denmark Road bus shelter has been a long running sore for about four years and we have to keep it in the public domain for improvements.”

The meeting also heard from Martin Halliday, Community Rail Officer at the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership.

Mr Garrod added: “It was a very satisfactory meeting. Jane took fairly copious notes during the meeting to take back to council officers. Its important that we keep those at the county council properly informed about the issues here and that they take those on board.”

The group’s annual meeting will be held at Woodbridge in May with the autumn meeting of ESTA to be held later this year in Halesworth.

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