Wimbotsham villagers call for bus service to return

Wimbotsham Residents at the Bus shelter on the Village Green ANL-150904-142223009

Wimbotsham Residents at the Bus shelter on the Village Green ANL-150904-142223009

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Fed-up residents are demanding that a vital bus service is reinstated to include Wimbotsham village centre.

Pensioners and parents with prams are having to struggle up the hill on Lynn Road to catch the 37 Norfolk Green service – despite £7,000 being spent on a bus stop on the village green a few years ago.

Villagers say the service suddenly stopped calling a year ago at The Green and want to see it returned to the service route.

But Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Green say diverting the service through Wimbotsham would detract from the direct Lynn to Downham service.

Resident Carolyn Seymour has started a petition and has gained 72 signatures.

She said: “Everyone feels very strongly about it. They were really annoyed that it had been stopped without knowing the reason why.

“A lot of elderly people walk up to the main road and it is a good half-mile. I have seen people with sticks struggling to get up there.

“People are then having to cross a busy road and a field is being used as a drop off point.

“We are getting a poor service.”

The county had made suggestions for West Norfolk Community Transport service to be amended to include Wimbotsham but Mrs Seymour says this would not be appropriate.

She said: “It comes back after an hour-and-a-half which does not give time for people to go to the doctors, dentist or shopping.”

The council says the 37 bus service was pulled due to tight access caused by parked cars and cannot return for this reason.

Martin Stringfellow, passenger transport manager at Norfolk County Council, said: “We know this is an important issue for the village and we’re keen to find a solution that means Wimbotsham has a good, useable bus service.

“We have suggested to the parish council that a way to achieve this would be to improve the 47 service provided by West Norfolk Community Transport. This currently serves Wimbotsham Green twice a day, once to and once from Downham Market.

“We have asked the parish council for their views on what enhancements would be needed to this service, to better meet the needs of local residents.”