Norfolk County Council confirms bus service upgrade between North Wootton and King’s Lynn
Buses between North Wootton and Lynn will be running more regularly after a service upgrade – but councillors hope this is just an “interim step” before more major improvements.
A portion of the funding that Norfolk County Council secured from the Department for Transport (DfT) earlier this year to improve bus routes across the county has been put towards the number three North Wootton Circular service.
This is operated by Go To Town, and will now run three times per hour from Monday, November 13 – increasing the number of journeys each day from 26 to 35.
The county council hopes this will give residents the option to reduce their car use.
A single trip on the service will cost just £1.50 under the Lynn flat fares scheme which was introduced by the county council earlier this year – also funded by the money secured from the DfT.
Cllr Graham Plant, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “Regular and affordable bus services into our urban areas is key to getting more people to choose the bus for everyday trips and commuting.
“By increasing frequency on this service, we’re giving those that live between Lynn and North Wootton more flexibility to be able to travel at times that suit them.”
However, while North and South Wootton Parish Councils agree that more buses “are needed and therefore welcome this news”, they want to see further improvements made in the coming years.
A spokesperson for the councils said: “We understand that this is to be paid for by central Government money provided to Norfolk County Council until 2025 and hope that when that time comes it will be retained rather than downgraded again.
“However, we hope it is just an interim step to providing what residents in South Wootton clearly asked for when surveyed for the Neighbourhood Plan, adopted in 2017, in which they called for direct buses via Edward Benefer Way to the train station and town centre as well as a direct link to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“We remain firmly of the view that this is the way forward to encouraging people to leave their cars at home and use more sustainable transport, something we all support.”
The North Wootton Circular improvements are among a number of service enhancements which are being funded by the £49.55million funding which the county council was successful in securing from the DfT.
Approximately £12million of the funding has been allocated to provide new or expanded bus routes and increase service frequencies on key routes, including more evening and weekend services
Roads minister Richard Holden said: “People up and down the country deserve a clean, reliable, and affordable public transport system.
“That is why we have provided Norfolk County Council with almost £50million to boost its bus services.
“Supporting the council and the operator Go to Town to enhance this service is fantastic for local residents, who will now be able to get to work, attend medical appointments and visit loved ones for less and more easily.”