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Deal announced to save West Norfolk bus services

BUS SERVICE: A deal appears to have been struck securing the future of the 505 Spalding to King's Lynn bus service. Photo supplied.
BUS SERVICE: A deal appears to have been struck securing the future of the 505 Spalding to King's Lynn bus service. Photo supplied.

Agreements to secure the future of West Norfolk bus services threatened by the withdrawal of Stagecoach from the borough have been revealed this afternoon.

The operator announced a review of its Norfolk operations in January and is set to withdraw from most of its current routes in late April.

But the deal outlined by Norfolk County Council officials reveals Stagecoach will still run the main 505 service from Lynn to Spalding, and the 55 from Lynn to Walpole St Peter.

However, the 505 will only run on a half-hourly basis from April 29, instead of every 20 minutes as at present on weekdays.

Most of the other affected routes will switch to Lynx or West Norfolk Community Transport.

The Lynx portfolio will include part of the current Coasthopper service, which has been the subject of a recent online petition to save it, attracting thousands of signatures.

The company will run journeys from Lynn to Hunstanton and Hunstanton to Wells under the Coastliner branding, while connecting tickets will be available for passengers to use buses between Wells and Cromer, which will be operated by Sanders Coaches.

Details of exact timetables for the new services are expected to be published over the coming days.

But Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “It’s very welcome news that the future of services on the Coasthopper route looks to be secure.

“Our transport team and local operators have been working hard to make sure that as far as possible the former Stagecoach services continue to run.

“Some services and timetables may differ from now. We’re expecting to have much greater detail on routes and timings over the coming days.

“As details emerge and services switch over to new providers we’ll continue to work with operators to review services by looking at passenger numbers and listening to customer feedback.”

Agreements have yet to be reached in relation to three services, covering south Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. However, officials say they will continue to run as normal until a solution is found.

The full list of services covered by the announcement is as follows:

Retained by Stagecoach

King’s Lynn to Spalding 505 (half-hourly frequency from April 29)

King’s Lynn to Walpole St Peter 55 (to be renumbered 45)

Wisbech to Long Sutton 50

Wisbech to Manea 56

Wisbech-Walsoken Circular 66

Transferring to Lynx (from April 29, 2018, unless stated)

Fakenham to King’s Lynn X29 (to be renumbered 49)

Hunstanton to Wells Coasthopper (to be branded Coastliner 36)

King’s Lynn to Fairstead Circular 1 (to be numbered 42)

King’s Lynn to Hunstanton D, E, H & R (to be numbered 34, 35, Coastliner 36 and 43A)

King’s Lynn-St Germans-Wisbech 46 (number unchanged)

Wells to Fakenham X29 (to be branded Coastliner 36)

Transferring to West Norfolk Community Transport (from April 29, 2018, unless stated)

King’s Lynn to North Lynn 2 (number unchanged)

King’s Lynn to North Wootton 3 (number unchanged)

King’s Lynn to Grange Estate 4 (number unchanged)

King’s Lynn to Gaywood Park 5 (number unchanged)

Wisbech-Upwell-Three Holes 60 (number unchanged)

Transferring to First

Fakenham to Norwich X29 (from April 3, 2018, number unchanged)


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