Communities from across Suffolk should benefit from new bus routes after the county was given £3.6m by the government to boost services over the next two years.

Suffolk’s Enhanced Partnership, which represents the county council and local bus operators, will spend £1.2 million to support proposals for new or enhanced services across the county.

These include:

Enhancements of the 84 and 753 services connecting Sudbury to Colchester and Bury St Edmunds.

Enhancements of the 521 service connecting Halesworth, Saxmundham and Aldeburgh.

A re-route of the 14/15 service from Haverhill to Bury St Edmunds to serve West Suffolk Hospital and to increase frequency.

Enhancements to the Buzzabout community transport service serving villages north of Lowestoft.

New services connecting villages between Stowmarket and Mendlesham and surrounding villages.

Development of a new demand-responsive transport service to connect Brett Valley villages with commercial services in Hadleigh and Lavenham

New services from Bramford to Ipswich and Stowupland to Stowmarket.

Enhancements to the operation of the Beyton/Thurston/Elmswell/Woolpit taxibus.

All the schemes are due to start between April September 2024 this year.

Richard Smith, cabinet member for transport strategy, said: “Our focus was to look at how we could increase long-term patronage and revenues to stabilise the existing bus network, whilst also considering new ideas for services.

“We have chosen schemes that test different approaches to delivering public transport in our predominantly rural county, following parish council suggestions for new connections to help communities access services.”

A further £450,000 has been allocated to commercial bus operators in order to support and stabilise the existing bus network and maintain essential social and economic transport links for local communities.

The final £150,000 will be used to develop bus priority schemes, creating opportunities for smoother and more convenient bus journeys and making bus travel a more attractive transport option.