The mission of Suffolkonboard is to promote impartial multimodal journey options using sustainable transport within the county of Suffolk.
The Passenger Transport group within the Growth, Highways and Infrastructure directorate of Suffolk County Council has several objectives including:
Encouraging more people to use sustainable transport
Our focus is on promoting sustainable travel as an alternative to the car for everyday travel. These might include journeys to school or college, to work, medical appointments, shopping, meeting friends and to help reduce social isolation. Journeys could include bus, train, walking, cycling or rural transport.
We work with bus operators across Suffolk. In areas with higher population density, it is more likely bus services are commercially operated without the need for council intervention. Whereas in rural locations where bus operators might not be able to run a service without financial loss, we would look to help subsidise these routes with sponsorship. In very rural locations, we sponsor the Connecting Communities Rural Transport services.
We maintain live departure screens around our county at locations with high levels of bus users and continue to invest in live departure technologies.
Cycling and walking
We promote cycling and walking to connect with bus or train for longer journeys. For shorter journeys within larger towns, we promote cycling and walking through town cycle route/parking maps, along with isochrone mapping and start to end journey planning.
We subsidise Connecting Communities Rural Transport which serves rural areas of Suffolk to help visitors and residents to make connections with existing bus and train services - if connections aren’t possible, we support end-to-end journeys. Connecting Communities is a lifeline to some people who would otherwise be unable to access transport. This has an important effect on reducing social isolation.
- We are responsible for maintaining a dataset of all bus services within Suffolk. This is exported weekly into the National Dataset which is used in journey planning websites such as Traveline and our own Suffolkonboard journey planner.
- We maintain printable bus network maps for Suffolk and it’s three largest towns, Bury St. Edmunds, Ipswich and Lowestoft.
- We produce and print roadside timetable cards and departure guides at key transport hubs, mainly bus and rail stations around our county.
- We provide policy information on entitlement to school travel. Some students may be able to Opt-in (apply) for subsidised travel based on circumstances. We administer school travel applications, organise school travel arrangements and issue travel passes.
- We promote sustainable travel options as viable alternatives wherever possible, offering environmental and health benefits rather than driving children to school.
- We are continuing to look at our school travel contracts to reduce our carbon impact as part of the Suffolk County Council ambition to become net zero carbon by 2030.
Suffolk Enhanced Partnership
We work closely with bus operators to develop the Suffolk Enhanced Partnership which was developed to deliver the Bus Service Improvement Plan (CloseBus Service Improvement Plan)
Key points of this partnership are:
- Real time passenger information (CloseReal time passenger information also sometimes referred to as ‘live departure times’) - improving the live bus information passengers receive at bus stops.
- A Passenger Charter for all bus companies involved in the partnership to adhere to and be held accountable.
- Bus service improvements agreed through board and forum meetings using the available budget.
We always look to develop how we promote and deliver sustainable transport solutions across Suffolk whilst maximising the budget available.
- A bespoke Suffolk Passenger Transport information website, Suffolkonboard
- Pilot rural transport schemes such as ‘Katch’ connecting Framlingham/Snape with Wickham Market Railway Station
- Young person discount scheme ‘Endeavour Card’ offering at least 25% off bus fares for 16-19 year olds
- Solar powered CloseReal time passenger information also sometimes referred to as ‘live departure times’ screens
- Park & Cycle lockers at Ipswich Park & Ride sites
- Simplifying the network of Suffolk’s rural transport schemes under one unified brand, ‘Connecting Communities’
- Engaging with stakeholders and residents of Suffolk to better understand what transport services are important to them, working together to deliver the best services we can with the budgets available.
Download infographic (PDF 393KB)
Infographic information correct at time of publishing on 16 November 2020.