This page is a brief history of vehicles which operated Ipswich Park and Ride since 1997 to this date.
Many vehicle types have been used on the Park and Ride from 1997-2010, these being (in order) Optare Excel Mk1s, DAF Optare Spectra's, Optare Excel Mk2s, DAF EastLancs, Dart EastLancs and finally Volvo B7RLE's. Extra vehicles and cover vehicles were also used, Leyland Olympians, Volvo Olympian's on extras, relief buses could be the same types or even Metrorider or Bristol B21s which have been known.
Since First took the P&R B7RLEs are used on it, with relief buses being B7TLs (801) and Scania L113CRL/L94UBs.

R189 DDX (c) Jim Long
189 | R189DDX
One of the four Excels which started the Park and Ride in 1997,
It is seen on Service in Copdock P&R 800 11-97
(c) Jim Long
X152 LBJ (c) Peter Horrex
52 | X152LBJ
One of three Spectras new in 2000 for the 801.
Whilst working on the 801 in the Town Centre
(c) Peter Horrex

187 | R187DDX
One of the first batch of Excels which started the Park and Ride in 1997, This was de-branded of Vynils so could go on town routes and be a back-up spare for the Park and Ride.
It is seen on Service 800 28-2-07

R187 DDX (c) Ipswich Bus Page

53 | X153LBJ
One of the Spectras which started on the 801s in 2000, This was also de-branded like 187 so it could be used on town routes and is a back-up spare and extra christmas bus for the 801.
It is seen covering for a Lowlander. 14-6-07

X153 LBJ (c) Ipswich Bus Page

YG52 DHF (c) Ipswich Bus Page
171 | YG52DHF
One of the second generation Excels in
use on the 800.
Seen showing all its
branding off outside Ipswich Buses Depot
after a days service.
27-6-08
PN52 XBO (c) Ipswich Bus Page
55 | PN52XBO
The second lot of Deckers for the
801, These DAF DB250
with EastLancs bodies.
Seen heading back to
Bury Rd on diversion
29-5-08

88 | PJ53OLK
One of five of the Martlesham Park and Ride vehicles,.
Seen at the Hospital heading to terminal.
27-6-06

PJ53 OLK (c) Ipswich Bus Page

47 | D138FYM
The Schoolbus which was painted into P&R colours for Extras/Spare.
(c) Jim long

D138FYM (c) Jim Long

MX05 CBF (c) Ipswich Bus Page
66794 | MX05CBF
One of the loaned vehicles from First Essex in use before new vehicles to be delivered.
At London Road P&R
1-11-08
MX05 CCA (c) Ipswich Bus Page
66798 | MX05CCA
One of the loaned vehicles from First Essex in use before new vehicles to be delivered.
Seen in Town Centre On Bury Rd P&R 1-11-08

69429 | AU58FFR
One of the third lot of new vehicles for the 800/1/2.
Showing the new pink livery of the Park and Ride heading to
London Rd.
15-1-09

AU58 FFR (c) Ipswich Bus Page

69432 | AU58FFV
The new B7RLEs on all
three Park and Rides
in this Pink livery
Seen heading towards
Town Centre
then
Marlesham P&R 15-1-09

AU58 FFV (c) Ipswich Bus Page

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The Park and Ride is normally seen as a very important contract which is awarded by the Suffolk County Council, each contract is run for 5 years.
In 1997 Ipswich Buses won the contract for the First ever Park and Ride site in Ipswich, Copdock (London Road 800) which 4 high spec (to SCC spec) Optare Excels were ordered. Due to all four having problems (like most excels at that time) This lead to normal vehicles being used on the Park and Ride, with two Excel 2s come from Optare to cover, These were (X538NWT / W438CWX) Which operated on the Park and Ride and later found their way onto towns, presume to cover for the town Excels which also had to go back for warranty work.
In 2000 the Second Park and Ride site was built, this was up the other side of town next to the A14, Bury Road (801) Ipswich Buses again won the contract for the 801 which was added to the same contract as the 800. For this service it was deemed it would be popular (just like the 800) so the decision was double deckers would be purchased to cope with demand. The Optare Spectra was chosen (to the same high/SCC spec). These were chosen and deemed fit for the job that they were very accessible and was a clear choice of bus after Ipswich purchased a cancelled order Spectra (No.50) nearly a year before which proved a strong bus.
One of Ipswich Buses Schoolbuses was later decided to be painted out of Acquired livery into Park and Ride colours to act as a spare/extra for the 800/1, This being Ipswich No.47 (D138FYM)
In 2002, The 5 year contract was up for Park and Ride 800, seeing the 801 was combined with the 800 contract, new buses were purchased for both park and rides. Seeing the vehicles before them worked and were popular with drivers and commuters, The Excel and DAF was chosen again.
This time it was the newer Excel, with Mercedes Engines and these had more seats (B42F instead of B37F)
The 801 gained DAF EastLancs Lowlanders, These being the same underneath as the Spectras but had cheaper bodies, Ipswich Buses were also EastLancs buyers so it made perfect sense to change to EastLancs. Four of each were purchased, The fourth DAF EastLancs was for Ipswich Town services and to be painted into Centenary livery for Ipswich Buses 100 years.
In 2003 the Third site was opened, this time catching traffic from the other side at ipswich/A12, This was Martlesham (802) Same with the 801, Ipswich Buses gained the contract for it which was added onto the same contract as the 800/1. The size of the vehicle would be chosen by Suffolk County Council, if they needed Full size Singles, Double Deckers or even artics. It was later decided at the last moment to have Full size singles on this service, due the time this was agreed the only vehicles Ipswich could purchase in time was Transbus Darts with EastLancs bodies, this being chosen due to Ipswich operating some already on town services. Five of these vehicles were ordered and started on the Park and Ride late 2003.
The Martlesham Park and Ride was not a great hit as expected when started, and was considered to be closed if not used enough as expected, it was given time and later picked up custom. The Park and Ride fare was more expensive at 802 than 800 and 801 due to the longer route it is.
In June 2007 it was decided that Service 800 and 802 will interwork with each other.
In April 2007 the contract was up for re-tendering again, For some reason this didnt happen and Suffolk County Council extended the previous contract with Ipswich Buses for a year. In this time Ipswich Buses got in some Demonstrator vehicles in for the Park and Ride (some did go on town routes too) to see what vehicle type to order for the Park and Ride if they got it re-awarded to themselves.
Finally April 2008 arrived and the Council put the Park and Ride out for Tender (all 3 P&Rs in one tender)
It was announced that the Park and Ride from November 2008, would be a change of operator, this time First Eastern Counties winning the contract to run from all three park and ride sites. Due to the lateness of the Tender results, Brand new buses couldnt be ordered for the start date of the Park and Ride, at the time First Manchester was taking new vehicles in which some Volvo B7RLEs were cascaded within First Group. A fair size batch was heading to First Essex, of which First Eastern Counties took 13 of them on loan til the New Buses could arrive in January 2009.
In January 2009 new buses hit the road with First Eastern Counties, All Park and Ride Sites (800-2) were to be operated with full size single deck vehicles. These B7RLEs were to standard First Group Interior.

On 29th January 2011, Suffolk County Council closed Bury Rd Park and Ride Site due to financial reasons, Pics from last day can be found Four of the B7RLEs that operated Bury Rd (& 1 spare) were given all over adverts and put to work on First other services within Ipswich Depot.

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The Main vehicles used on the Park and Rides:
(in order on when on Park and Ride)

IB
186
R186DDX
Optare Excel Mk1 L1150
B37F
Purple P&R
Nov 97 - Oct 02
IB
187
R187DDX
Optare Excel Mk1 L1150
B37F
Purple P&R
Nov 97 - Oct 08^
IB
188
R197DDX
Optare Excel Mk1 L1150
B37F
Purple P&R
Nov 97 - Oct 02
IB
189
R189DDX
Optare Excel Mk1 L1150
B37F
Purple P&R
Nov 97 - Oct 02
IB
51
X151LBJ
DAF DB250LF Optare Spectra
H47/25F
Purple P&R
Nov 00 - Oct 02
IB
52
X152LBJ
DAF DB250LF Optare Spectra
H47/25F
Purple P&R
Nov 00 - Oct 02
IB
53
X153LBJ
DAF DB250LF Optare Spectra
H47/25F
Purple P&R
Nov 00 - Oct 08^
IB
170
YG52DGO
Optare Excel Mk2 L1180
B42F
Purple P&R
Oct 02 - Oct 08
IB
171
YG52DHF
Optare Excel Mk2 L1180
B42F
Purple P&R
Oct 02 - Oct 08
IB
172
YG52DGE
Optare Excel Mk2 L1180
B42F
Purple P&R
Oct 02 - Oct 08
IB
173
YG52DGF
Optare Excel Mk2 L1180
B42F
Purple P&R
Oct 02 - Oct 08
IB
55
PN52XBO
DAF DB250LF EastLancs Lowlander
H43/29F
Purple P&R
Oct 02 - Oct 08
IB
56
PN52XBK
DAF DB250LF EastLancs Lowlander
H43/29F
Purple P&R
Oct 02 - Oct 08
IB
57
PN52XBJ
DAF DB250LF EastLancs Lowlander
H43/29F
Purple P&R
Oct 02 - Oct 08
IB
84
PJ53OLC
Transbus Dart SLF EastLancs Millenium
B41F
Purple* P&R
Nov 03 - Oct 08
IB
85
PJ53OLE
Transbus Dart SLF EastLancs Millenium
B41F
Purple* P&R
Nov 03 - Oct 08
IB
86
PJ53OLG
Transbus Dart SLF EastLancs Millenium
B41F
Purple* P&R
Nov 03 - Oct 08
IB
87
PJ53OLH
Transbus Dart SLF EastLancs Millenium
B41F
Purple* P&R
Nov 03 - Oct 08
IB
88
PJ53OLK
Transbus Dart SLF EastLancs Millenium
B41F
Purple* P&R
Nov 03 - Oct 08
FEC
66794
MX05CBF
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66795
MX05CBU
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66796
MX05CBV
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66797
MX05CBY
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66798
MX05CCA
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66799
MX05CCD
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66800
MX05CCF
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66801
MX05CCJ
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66803
MX05CCN
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66804
MX05CCO
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66805
MX05CCU
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66806
MX05CCV
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
66813
MX05CDO
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B43F
First Group Livery
Nov 08 - Jan 09
FEC
69421
AU58FFH
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink P&R
Jan 09 -
FEC
69422
AU58FFJ
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink P&R
Jan 09 -
FEC
69423
AU58FFK
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink P&R
Jan 09 -
FEC
69424
AU58FFL
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink P&R
Jan 09 -
FEC
69425
AU58FFM
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink P&R
Jan 09 -
FEC
69426
AU58FFN
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink P&R
Jan 09 -
FEC
69427
AU58FFO
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink P&R
Jan 09 -
FEC
69428
AU58FFP
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink P&R
Jan 09 -
FEC
69429
AU58FFR
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink P&R
Jan 09 -
FEC
69430
AU58FFS
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink/Advert
Jan 09 - Feb 11
FEC
69431
AU58FFT
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink/Advert
Jan 09 - Jan 11
FEC
69432
AU58FFV
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Pink/Advert
Jan 09 - Jan 11
FEC
69433
AU58FFW
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse
B44F
Black/Advert
Jan 09 - Jan 11
* = Wears Purple livery with white band relief | ^ = not a full time P&R bus til Oct 08, only spare back-up
69430-3 are spare vehicles for the P&R aswell as Rural services buses.

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''The Ipswich Park & Ride scheme provides a bus service which promotes more sustainable travel patterns, both at local and strategic levels, and improves the accessibility and attractiveness of the town centre.
These schemes are an important part of the planning and transport strategy for Suffolk. The strategy anticipates up to five sites around Ipswich serving the main transport corridors.
The sites at London Road, Bury Road and Martlesham are aimed at providing a sustainable form of transport to allow easy access into Ipswich, whilst reducing the number of cars, congestion and pollution in the town centre.
Ipswich Park and Ride has been designed with safety and security in mind. All three sites have secure fencing, are well lit, regularly patrolled during opening hours and covered by 24 hour CCTV.''

If you are looking for the Ipswich Park and Ride Website click the logo underneath:

If anyone has any Information, Photo's theyd like to add please get in touch.
Ipswich Bus Page can not guarrantee that all Information above is correct.
Thanks to Jim Long and Peter Horrex for use of Photo's


Ipswich Bus Page - www.ipswichbus.co.uk
This website has no direct link with any companies featured - (c) Colin Humphrey 2005-11