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‘A lot of people are going to lose out’ - Anger and frustration as Norfolk village is cut from bus route

PUBLISHED: 18:00 21 March 2018

Foulsham village sign. Picture: Ian Burt

Foulsham village sign. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

There has been a mixture of confusion and anger in a mid-Norfolk village after a new bus timetable revealed that their community would no longer be serviced.

Stagecoach has confirmed it will stop operating a number of bus routes across the county from next month. Picture: Ian BurtStagecoach has confirmed it will stop operating a number of bus routes across the county from next month. Picture: Ian Burt

Stagecoach operates the X29 bus service which runs between King’s Lynn and Norwich but on April 3 it will be taken over by First, and the route will only cover the villages between Fakenham and Norwich.

The new timetable shows that within the Fakenham to Norwich section, it will make stops at the same villages and towns as Stagecoach, except for Foulsham.

Jeff Faern, chairperson of Foulsham Parish Council, said he has “no idea” why First would cut the village from the route.

“The first we knew of this is when residents said they have the new timetable and Foulsham isn’t on it. After that we heard about the change in bus contractor, which we hadn’t been informed about either,” he said.

“A lot of people are going to lose out, young people take the bus to get to college in Norwich and people have jobs in the city and rely on it – I don’t know who has instigated this but it is not going to do the village any good.”

He added that the council found out about the change at the beginning of March and while some feel the change should have been publicised, the council first had to confirm the change.

Steve Wickers, managing director at First Eastern Counties said the decision came after a risk assessment.

“It became apparent that the diversion from the A1067 to serve Foulsham that is currently being used does not meet the criteria necessary for us to operate along it using our high capacity double and single deck buses,” he said.

“The route will be subject to ongoing evaluation and we will continue to work with Norfolk County Council and other stakeholders to ensure that we are providing the best possible service for the communities along this corridor.”

Greg Peck, a councillor at Norfolk County Council, said there will be an alternative arrangement.

“Nothing has been confirmed but if a shuttle is introduced it will be more than once a day,” he said. “I can understand the concerns but residents should be assured that there will be an alternative.”

Norfolk County Council was approached to comment on the issue.

Will the new bus route affect you? Tell us by emailing, steve.shaw@archant.co.uk.

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