Bus company makes U-turn over King’s Lynn to Hunstanton services

A number 12 bus leaves the King's Lynn Bus Station on route for Hunstanton ANL-150924-132541009

A number 12 bus leaves the King's Lynn Bus Station on route for Hunstanton ANL-150924-132541009

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Bus company bosses have signalled a U-turn over the services they offer to passengers in several West Norfolk villages.

Earlier this year, Stagecoach in Norfolk, formerly Norfolk Green, restructured its routes from Lynn to Hunstanton to create a faster route between the two towns and a new service for villages as far north as Dersingham.

But the move sparked an outcry from passengers and community representatives, who claimed it was making public access to vital services more difficult.

Now, the company has announced that, from next month, the old 11 service will be reinstated, restoring a direct service to Hunstanton from areas including Castle Rising, Sandringham and Dersingham.

And Dersingham county councillor John Dobson, who has been at the heart of a campaign to revise the routes, has urged residents to back the latest move.

He revealed he is planning to set up a new group in a bid to encourage more people to support the services, adding: “It’s use it or lose it.”

The 11 service, which is due to come back into service on October 12, is set to run on an hourly basis.

It will serve its old route, including Wootton Road in Lynn, Castle Rising, West Newton and Sandringham, as far as Snettisham.

From there, it will run as an express service to Hunstanton.

Will Smith, the company’s commercial manager, said yesterday: “The service will restore a direct link between Hunstanton, Snettisham, Ingoldisthorpe and Sandringham removing the need for passengers to change buses between these locations.”

The announcement follows a series of meetings between the company and community representatives in the areas most affected by the changes.

Andy Campbell, managing director of Stagecoach East which oversees the company’s services in West Norfolk, said the decision to switch the routes had been taken before he took over the running of the operation at the beginning of May.

But he said managers had responded to the strength of local feeling on the issue.

He added: “We can’t always deliver what everybody wants but, in this case, having listened to what people said, we have come up with an alternative.”

Last month, county council officials joined forces with five parish authorities along the route to call on both bus operators in the area, Stagecoach and Lynx, to rethink the services they were offering in a bid to resolve the problems. Lynx’s service route remains unchanged from when it was first launched.

And Mr Dobson said the reforms would address most of the issues that had been raised by local people.

However, he branded the original decision to change the routes in May as “very silly.”

He said: “If they had consulted they would have saved themselves a lot of trouble.”