A parish council is hoping to “mount a campaign” against cuts to its bus network after Suffolk County Council announced services between Ipswich and surrounding villages would be lost.

Charsfield is one of a number villages to have its services cut due to low passenger numbers and rising costs.

In a new timetable, which came into effect on Sunday, First Eastern Counties merged routes 70, 70A and 71, scrapping connections to the villages of Hasketon, Bredfield, Dallinghoo, Charsfield, Clopton Green and Burgh.

Routes 78 and 79, linking Ipswich, Nacton, and Levington, have also been withdrawn due to low passenger numbers.

East Anglian Daily Times: First Eastern Counties has a new bus timetableFirst Eastern Counties has a new bus timetable (Image: Newsquest)

Jan Pedgrift, chair of Charsfield Parish Council, said the low passenger numbers were partly due to the lack of reliability of the services.

She said: “It’s a catch-22 situation. 

"People wouldn’t leave their cars at home because the bus service was so unreliable and the timetable impractical, so we have now lost the service through lack of use.

"Erosion of the service over the past two years meant we had two buses to Ipswich – 7.39am and 9.39am.

"The 9.39am frequently didn’t turn up, often due to vehicle breakdown. You could come back on the 12pm which could then take you to Woodbridge – but no return buses from Woodbridge.

“We have just had 23 new dwellings built in Charsfield with another 18 shortly to commence.  I am hoping that once we have our full complement of villagers we can mount a campaign to bring back the bus – let's hope they don’t take the bus stops away in the meantime."

A spokesperson for Suffolk County Council, which has oversight over the bus routes, said: “Operational costs have increased significantly in recent years at the same time as passenger numbers have declined on many bus services.

“The average passenger numbers on the withdrawn services were very low. We try to preserve as many services as possible, but, given currently budgetary pressures being faced by the council, we cannot justify paying for buses which aren’t being used.

“In areas where services are being withdrawn, our Connecting Communities operators can be contacted to provide journeys or connections to other services when they are required.”

The Connecting Communities service currently operates for parts of east Suffolk, but will be extended to the affected villages, and can be booked for travel Monday to Saturday.