The future of a popular coastal bus service has been secured, following agreement between Norfolk County Council and Stagecoach in Norfolk.
The Coasthopper service, which carries around 500,000 passengers, will run an hourly service from October 12 between Hunstanton and Cromer, until Easter 2016.
The council’s longstanding investment in Coasthopper, building the route from scratch, had previously provided a platform for the summer elements to be operated on a commercial basis.
Now Stagecoach in Norfolk will also operate this winter period and into next spring without council subsidy.
Andy Campbell, managing director of Stagecoach Norfolk, said: “Coasthopper is a superb example of partnership working between public and private sectors.
“The effort and investment put in by both parties since the service started in 1996 has produced the success story that we see today.
“I am delighted that we have secured the future of the service with the winter timetable until next spring.”
County councillor Dr Marie Strong said: “It is fantastic news that Coasthopper, the most popular bus route in the county, will continue to provide a summer service and throughout the winter.
“Thanks to all those who signed petitions – and to those who will remember when the Norman Bacon travelled on the Coasthopper and was bemused when at each stop along the route more supporters ‘hopped’ on to seek his financial support for the continuation of the Coasthopper.
“Last but by far from least, thanks to Tracy Jessop, assistant director, Highways and Transport, for enabling this very happy and healthy situation.”