Sunday, 24 August 2014

Council check: Suffolk County Council

This week it's the turn of Suffolk County Council to show us how well they promote bus use.



Where do the buses go?

There is no county-wide map. We do have a page listing each are of Suffolk, where if you click on an area, you see timetables for all routes and a basic route diagram. Some diagrams are easier to follow than others however. This one for Ipswich Northeast is horrifically unclear:


You'd be better off using the maps produced by the bus operators, presuming of course, that you already know which operator you need. Traveline is a bit more useful and can be used to find a list of all routes serving a location. 2 out of 5.

Timetables

They're all here and you can search by service number, area or exact location. 5 out of 5.

Fares

This page explains that the operators set the fares and that you should check directly with them. Factual, but not exactly helpful. There's no multi-operator ticket in the area, so if you need to use two different bus operators, you pay twice. Plusbus is mentioned - it's available in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds. 1 out of 5.

Summary

The only thing Suffolk does well is provide bus timetables. But there's no decent overview map to help visitors and those considering public transport for the first time find their way around and the fares information is pitiful. Suffolk County Council scores a total of 8 out of 15.

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