West Norfolk bus routes ‘need review’

King's Lynn Bus Station, nearing Completion ANL-150625-111415009
King's Lynn Bus Station, nearing Completion ANL-150625-111415009

Bus company bosses have been urged to review service changes which critics claim are making it harder for residents to access vital services.

The leaders of five parishes in the borough are working with Norfolk County Council in a bid to persuade Stagecoach in Norfolk managers to look at its services to villages between Lynn and Hunstanton.

In May, the company introduced a new 12 service, replacing the old 11 route, between Lynn and Dersingham.

At the same time, it also introduced a new timetable on the 10 route to Hunstanton, which officials claimed would respond to passenger demand for shorter journey times.

But critics said the switch would force passengers wanting to travel to Hunstanton from Castle Rising, Sandringham or West Newton to change buses in Dersingham to continue their journeys.

And community leaders now say the changes are making it difficult for residents in those areas to access services including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

John Dobson, who represents the Dersingham division on the county council, said: “These are commercially-run services, so we cannot insist on the old timetables being restored.

“But the county council is joining with the five parish councils to urge them to review the changes to see whether some of these important links can be restored.”

During a meeting last week, the authorities agreed to contact Stagecoach and independent operator Lynx, who both operate in the area, to seek both a review of the services and changes to restore links to key destinations.

Andy Campbell, managing director Stagecoach East, said: “Our current services 10, 12 and CH1 maintain links between Lynn and Hunstanton and the villages in between.

“After we make a change to a service we always listen to passenger feedback and in conjunction with a review of the service’s performance evaluate whether any additional changes are required.”

“There has been an increased demand for speedier end-to-end travel. The service 11 had a longer-end to-end trip time than the service 10 and with this in mind we increased the number of service 10 buses operating per hour.

“Connections are available in Dersingham for passengers travelling from north of Dersingham to Sandringham or Castle Rising,”

Julian Patterson, director of Lynx, said that their service between Lynn and Hunstanton hadn’t been changed since its launch back in January.

Mr Patterson said: “We cover the bulk of the route and the fact that we’ve doubled the number of buses covering the area shows that there is demand for what we are doing.”

Mr Patterson said that Lynx would be willing to discuss the issue with Norfolk County Council.

“We have looked at the issue. A bus company is a commercial business and there needs to be enough demand to justify any changes.

“It is something we would be happy to sit down and speak to the county council about.”