King's Lynn bus firm to introduce contactless payment on services
Bus passengers in West Norfolk can go contactless from next weekend after one of the area's main operators announced plans to introduce card machines to its fleet.
Lynxbus bosses have told a borough council committee meeting the move was in response to the growing number of customers who were not carrying cash with them.
But the company says it will still take cash payments after the machines come into service next Sunday, April 7.
Graham Smith, Lynx's commercial manager, told a meeting of West Norfolk Council's Lynn area consultative committee on Monday that the machines would support Visa, MasterCard, Apple and Google Pay forms of payment.
He said: “People are regularly getting on the bus assuming we take card payments without any cash on them. We are finding less and less cash is being used.”
The contactless machines form part of wider company plans to provide a better service for customers.
And director Julian Patterson, told the committee extra time had been added onto the timetable for bus routes to Hunstanton from Lynn due to increased traffic congestion on the A149.
Mr Patterson said: “There is more and more traffic on the roads. We now have to allow two minutes for the Hunstanton road. The impact of journey times for people has been considered.”
He also told the committee the closure of shops in Lynn town centre was a concern for the company.
He said: “The reduction of shops in the town centre is perhaps making Lynn less of an attractive destination.
“We need to encourage people to keep coming into King’s Lynn.”
But, while contactless machines are being introduced, Lynxbus said electrical vehicles are not being explored after the idea was raised by John Collop.
Mr Patterson said the initial cost of diesel-electric hybrids would cost roughly £150,000 more than the current stock of diesel buses.
He added: “Given the revenue, we are sustainable at the moment, but are not in a position to gamble with a new type of vehicle.”
Mr Smith added: “Electrical vehicles sound good but in reality a new diesel engine is incredibly clean anyway.”
The committee commended Lynx on a “smooth transition” since it took over a large number of services from Stagecoach last year.