It’s encouraging to see a new bus company, Lynx, has started up in West Norfolk, offering the prospect of even more services in the area.
It will, initially, be providing a new service between Lynn and Hunstanton, calling in at villages along the way, the main selling point being that it provides a faster, more direct service into Lynn than its larger rival, Norfolk Green, which already operates buses between Lynn and Hunstanton.
As it has a stop at South Wootton, it means that for me there will be yet another choice of bus service into Lynn, as South Wootton is already on three Norfolk Green routes, No3 from Lynn around Reffley and the Woottons, No11 between Lynn and Hunstanton via Castle Rising, and the Coasthopper.
Now I am extremely lucky to have so many transport options, unlike so many people living in the countryside. When I mentioned the subject recently, readers soon wrote in to point out just how fortunate I was and just how poor and infrequent services were to other parts of West Norfolk. I may be lucky in my choice of bus services, but it has not always been so.
I grew up in Walpole St Andrew, and as an 11-year-old had to cycle six miles a day in all weathers just to catch a train from Walpole Cross Keys station, to attend Lynn Grammar School.
That experience has stayed with me all through life, and during my subsequent career in journalism, I have always, where possible, located myself close to work and close to good transport links.
I appreciate that not everyone is fortunate enough to get into a career that affords them the luxury of such flexibility, and that today, just as much as in my youth in the 1950s, there are plenty of people all over West Norfolk who suffer real hardship due to poor transport links.
Therefore I hope that when Lynx – or for that matter Norfolk Green – look around for areas to open up more bus services, they can work out new routes to benefit those folk unlucky enough, often for no fault of their own, to live off the beaten track.
Obviously it is not easy to come up with new bus routes that are profitable as well as serving a social need, but now there is a bit more competition on routes in West Norfolk, who knows what will transpire?
It’s been a good week for optimism about the future, highlighted by the announcement of ambitious proposals to transform Bawsey Pits into a recreational attraction, boosting local tourism.
It seems appropriate that the site should be returned to a leisure use, as it was originally part of the site of Lynn Golf Club, before quarrying began. Everything seems to come full circle if you wait long enough.