New dial a bus service launched in Castle Rising as roadworks are blamed for commercial route changes

Work on a new roundabout at this junction near Hunstanton is being blamed for changes to bus routes between the resort and Lynn, which have led to the introduction of a new community service for Castle Rising
Work on a new roundabout at this junction near Hunstanton is being blamed for changes to bus routes between the resort and Lynn, which have led to the introduction of a new community service for Castle Rising

A new dial a bus initiative will be launched for a village near Lynn next month, after both the area’s main commercial operators removed it from most of their routes.

Residents in Castle Rising will be able to call on the service under plans announced by Norfolk County Council today.

A local transport charity has also been called in to provide temporary cover for patients needing to get to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, following further changes to commercial routes between Lynn and Hunstanton.

In a statement, the county council said: “Following changes from both operators (Stagecoach and Lynx), Castle Rising will no longer be served by either operator.

“We have considered passenger numbers and intend to introduce a dial a bus service from October 3, Monday to Friday for local residents.”

The new service will be run by West Norfolk Community Transport (WNCT).

And the authority said it acted after Stagecoach informed them of changes to its service 10 and 11 routes, which will come into force at that time.

The number 10 route will no longer stop run via the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Gayton Road. Although the 11 route will call at the hospital, it will no longer serve Castle Rising.

The operator said the move was necessary because of the impact of the work to build a new roundabout to serve a new housing development on the edge of Hunstanton.

That work is set to continue until March next year.

Managing director Andy Campbell said that, despite negotiations with both the county council and developer Hopkins Homes for funding to provide an extra bus, no solution could be found.

He said: “As a result we have had to change the direction of our route in order to continue to deliver a reliable service for the majority of our passengers.

“It is still possible to travel to the hospital by connecting with the 11 or the X29.

“Once the roadworks have ended we will review our routes.”

Meanwhile, Lynx has said its daily 35B journey, which is heavily used by school children, will continue to serve Castle Rising, even after the dial a bus system comes into force.

And the firm is introducing a third service between Lynn and Hunstanton, which will run via the hospital through Dersingham, Snettisham and Heacham.

However, that service, which will be numbered 34, is not scheduled to start until October 24.

Lynx director Julian Patterson said: “We’ve tried to respond to Stagecoach’s service revisions as quick as we possibly could so that passengers are not significantly inconvenienced where gaps have been left.

“Unfortunately there will still be a three week period between when Stagecoach’s service change and our new service starting on October 24.

“We are looking at how we might be able to fill some vital missing workers links during that three week period and anyone particularly affected should email us to be kept up to date.”

The county council said anyone needing support during that period should contact WNCT on 01553 774671.

It added: “The service provision between King’s Lynn and Hunstanton will continue to be monitored to see if any further changes are necessary.”