A First Group
bus on the guided busway in Kesgrave near Ipswich
Ipswich Rapid Transit is a bus system in Suffolk, England. Operated by First Eastern Counties, part of the First Group, it has a short 0.5-kilometre stretch of guided busway. Like its counterparts in Leeds and Bradford the busway was something of an experimental venture. The route was launched in 1994.
When not on the guideway buses run on roads alongside normal traffic. On the guideway buses are kept on track by small guide wheels, angled at 90 degrees to the normal road wheels, which run along the kerb edges of the guideway. The route that runs on the guideway is Superoute 66, run with Volvo B7TL double deck buses. Before that, Scania single-deck buses (which were later transferred to First Glasgow when the new double-decks entered service) and standard-floor Dennis Darts (which are withdrawn) were used: only three main types of bus have been used on the service since its inception in 1994.
As well as using the segregated busway in Kesgrave, the service also uses large sections of bus-lane running alongside normal traffic and traffic lights give priority to bus traffic. Bus stops served by the service have raised kerbs, high-quality bus shelters and larger stops have real-time information screens. Ticketing is carried out on-board by the driver and the prepay smartcard system used on Ipswich Buses services has not yet been implemented on First Eastern Counties services.