Bus firm unveils £1m investment plan and tells West Norfolk passengers: ‘We will get services right’

King's Lynn Buses New livery ANL-150826-190850009
King's Lynn Buses New livery ANL-150826-190850009
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Managers of West Norfolk’s main bus company have insisted they are addressing punctuality and reliability concerns following recent criticism from passengers.

Earlier this month, residents in North Lynn called for urgent action to resolve problems with services which they claimed were often severely delayed or did not run at all.

Since then, several more readers have told the Lynn News they have been affected by similar problems on routes in neighbouring areas.

Now, the service operator, Stagecoach in Norfolk, has revealed details of an investment plan, which they say is worth “well over £1 million”, that they hope will resolve the issues.

Of that, £600,000 has been spent on five new buses, which have already come into service on routes in Lynn and immediate surrounding areas.

The remainder will go towards an upgrade and expansion of facilities at the company’s maintenance depot in Hamlin Way, on the Hardwick Narrows estate, which was given planning permission by West Norfolk Council in June.

Managing director Andy Campbell said: “We are working through the problems that we have to improve the services in line with what I would expect from a Stagecoach operation.”

As first reported in the Lynn News two weeks ago, passengers have raised concerns about delayed or non-running services on routes including the Fairstead One, North Lynn Too and the X8, which runs from Lynn to Fakenham.

North Lynn resident, Annie Daynes, who contacted us via Facebook, said: “There was a time where you could set the time by the buses. Now I use my electric wheelchair to get me to town.”

However, other readers raised concerns about the standard of services on other routes, including to the Woottons and the 505, which serves South and West Lynn on its journey to Spalding.

Lisa Robins said: “The Woottons service is just as bad. I think it’s across the board unfortunately.”

Mr Campbell said managers had had to address a number of issues since the West Norfolk services, which were formerly run under the Norfolk Green banner, came under their control in May.

He said services had also been heavily affected by recent roadworks in the Tennyson Avenue area, but admitted there had been “teething problems” with some changes they had introduced.

But he is confident that the investment programme will help them to retain passengers, particularly in areas where they face competition from independent operator, Lynx.

He said: “It’s up to us to meet that competition and deliver the goods for our customers and keep them our customers.

“We are addressing the issues that we have and we are continuing to make improvements.

“Hopefully people will see those improvements in the near future.”