King’s Lynn bus changes under fire - again

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

The mother of a Lynn student has raised concerns the Stagecoach bus service changes caused by Heacham roadworks would make her child late for school.

Shirley Rumens, who lives in Dersingham, voiced her annoyance at the changes to the number 11 Stagecoach bus service after finding out her daughter would not arrive at high school until after 9am.

She said: “It’s just not acceptable. My daughter goes to King Edward VII Academy and catches the bus in, I checked out the bus times after I was lucky enough to be advised by one of the drivers that the new 11 route would not start until later.

“I see from the new timetable that the first 11 bus does not start until 8.15am during term time and 9.15am during holiday times.

“This is too late for people working and attending early appointments at the hospital, it then arrives at Gaywood at 9.01am which is too late for Springwood and King Edward School students.”

After contacting Stagecoach, Mrs Rumens said she spoke to commercial manager Balazt Horvath who said he didn’t think it was a problem as people could either walk from King’s Lynn bus station or catch another bus from the bus station.

But Mrs Rumens is concerned this means either a long walk for students and for those attempting to access Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, or paying for a second bus ticket.

Andy Campbell, managing director of Stagecoach East, said: “Unfortunately these route changes have become necessary because of the Heacham roadworks. We spoke to both Norfolk County Council and the developer, Hopkins Homes, in the hope of maintaining our timings on the route despite the diversions, but neither party was able to provide the additional financial support we would need to put an extra bus into the cycle to do so.

“As a result, we have had to change the direction of our route in order to continue delivering a reliable service for the majority of our passengers.

“However, it is still possible to arrive at King Edward VII school in time for registration bycatching the service 10 from Hunstanton at 7.30am, which arrives in Kings Lynn at 8.20am. You could then catch a service 1 bus at 8.26am which passes the school at 8.35am, getting you to school in ample time. A scholar pass to King Edward VII school costs £185 per term or £530 per year. A Child Mega Rider+ costs £18.”

The changes have been made to the bus service while roadworks are ongoing at the Hopkins Homes site between Hunstanton and Heacham, a roundabout is currently being built to allow access to the site.

The road closure will be in place for seven months while the work is completed on the 250m stretch of Hunstanton Road, from the A149 junction.

Mrs Rumens said she has contacted MP Sir Henry Bellingham over the issue, who she said had been flooded with hundreds of complaints over changes to the service.

Sir Henry was unavailable for comment.