The first bus services in Norfolk to benefit from funding secured from the Department for Transport are in operation. The Coastliner 36 service, operated by Lynx, will continue to run its summer timetable throughout the winter months.
This means that on Sundays and Public Holidays there will be an hourly service running from King’s Lynn to Fakenham along the coast – (instead of every two hours).
There are also enhancements to the 35 service which runs from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton which means that buses will now run every 20 minutes on Sundays and Public Holidays (instead of every 30 minutes).
These are the first in a number of service enhancements which are being funded by the £49.55 million funding which Norfolk County Council was successful in securing from the Department for Transport (DfT) to use on improving bus services across the County over the next three years.
Approximately £12 million 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.
More new and improved routes across Norfolk will start early in the new year and will be announced soon.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, said; “Securing this money is a major boost for travel across Norfolk and it’s great to see our plans for improved bus services coming to life so quickly thanks to this funding. More services and increased frequencies are key to enabling people to travel around the county by public transport and hope that increasing this key service in the West will benefit many people throughout the winter months.”
Graham Smith, Commercial Manager at Lynx said; “The enhancement of frequency to our Sunday/Public Holiday buses between King’s Lynn, Hunstanton and along the Coast towards Wells-next-the-Sea will be welcome news to existing and new customers alike. Whilst services are generally quieter in the winter months there’s still demand for travel and this funding is invaluable in ensuring access to employment, shopping and leisure facilities.”
Bus 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 £50 million to boost its bus services.
Supporting Lynx in running its Summer timetable also through the Winter is great for local passengers, who will now benefit from new routes and more frequent services to make the most of the fantastic work, business and leisure opportunities Norfolk has to offer.”
Norfolk received the sixth highest allocation in the country and the funding consists of £30.9m of capital funding and £18.6m of revenue funding.
The plans outline 17 new measures across the county which give buses priority on the roads. These include new bus lanes in Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth and redesigned junctions across the county.
New or improved travel hubs are proposed for Sheringham, Cromer, Diss and Hunstanton which will provide better waiting areas with real-time information to help to give passengers a better experience as well as being integrated with walking and cycling facilities.
There will also be a county-wide review of bus stops with upgrades to improve access for people with disabilities, to provide more real-time information and a programme of works to reduce delays to buses.