Travellers seeking information on bus services from central King’s Lynn need to be aware that the town no longer has a bus station – despite the title displayed upon the newly-refurbished buildings there.
I called transport information to check times of buses to the hospital from the bus station to be told by the extremely helpful, but equally baffled, adviser that the bus station was not listed on the system he was using. The railway station was listed – but no bus station. Bus times from the railway station were given on the system though and we discussed whether this was because buses had been relocated temporarily during the recent refurbishment and the information had not been corrected. We were both about to give up when enlightenment dawned.
Buses now operate from the King’s Lynn Transport Interchange – and this is what one now has to ask for.
It didn’t, naturally, end there. Advised to use the X8 service from Bay E, I arrived to find no such bus listed on the new electronic boards. So to the Information Centre. Empty and unmanned, no bell or any other way of alerting an adviser. Sustained calling (I could clearly hear voices beyond an inner door) accompanied by thumping on the counter, finally produced the owner of one of the voices. He explained that he was employed by the bus company and therefore unable to help me, but did say that the X8 was delayed by what he described as ‘an issue’. He did not know how long the delay would be, but suggested returning to the X8 bay.
Still no electronic information, nor any sign of the X8, but by now a small group of passengers had gathered, equally bewildered. Seeking enlightenment we returned to the information centre to find that it was now manned and by the correct operator. He was unable to give us information as to the whereabouts of the X8 nor when we could expect to see it – this, he told us quite clearly, was NOT part of his remit. He advised going next door to the bus company.
By now anxious that I might miss my hospital appointment and wanting to know whether to abandon buses and get a taxi, I went to the company’s inner sanctum (an unmarked door beside the lavatories) where at last, I learned that the X8 was even now coming through the South Gate. Why this information could not have been given to the travel information officer is beyond belief.
And finally. At rush hour buses do not go into the hospital grounds to collect passengers who are advised instead to use the bus stop on the main road (A1076). This entails crossing the extremely busy thoroughfare where there is no pedestrian crossing, lights nor central refuge.
Is it entirely surprising that people continue to use cars? Unless of course when they are going to the hospital where sheer lack of parking precludes the use of cars.