Opinion: Increase in park-and-ride bus ticket prices is an insult to county’s over-60s

Norfolk County Council unveil the 'Holdall', the new smartcard which park-and-ride bus passengers can use to pay for their journeys. Norfolk County Council unveil the 'Holdall', the new smartcard which park-and-ride bus passengers can use to pay for their journeys.

Thursday, May 1, 2014
1:12 PM

Mrs Frankie Horn, from Weavers Close, Horsham St Faith, gives us her opinion on park-and-ride bus ticket prices.

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I use the airport park-and-ride facility about three times a week to get into the city. 
This used to cost me £13.20 per month, using the daily £1.10 return any time ticket.

It will now cost me £42, paying the non-concession rate of £3.50 per day for any time return, because I do not wish to be dictated to regarding my return time. The alternative is to pay £1.70, the new concession rate, if I don’t travel between 4pm and 6pm. This increase is exorbitant.


The bus drivers I have spoken to are unhappy about the complicated new rates and are forever explaining these to every customer, and are having to suffer some verbal abuse as a result. Some older people can’t grasp the new system and are confused.


Park-and-ride buses were cut to one every 15 minutes last year, I believe, instead of one every 10 minutes. The airport park-and-ride station building has been closed for a couple of years and there are no toilet facilities. They close around 6.30pm every night, except on Thursdays and are closed on Sundays – so are of no use if you want to go into the city in the evening or on a Sunday.


I am a retired businesswoman and realise prices are always increasing due to the economic situation – but to take such advantage of the over-60s in this case is a total disgrace. Do they want to keep us all out of Norwich? I am incensed at this ageist attitude.

We spend money in the city, we meet friends for coffee or lunch, we visit theatres, cinemas, galleries, we shop, we visit the library and The Forum, we catch up with families, we take grandchildren out.

We sometimes catch onward buses from Norwich Bus Station for hospital or clinic visits etc, or to visit other places. We welcome and use our park-and-ride facilities and feel very aggrieved at the latest insulting increase. If we all start bringing our cars into the city, there will be geriatric gridlock.

Do you agree?

23 comments

  • It‘s a shame that the EDP has chosen to present this as an “over-60s story.” The real is issue should be about the new complicated pricing structure and whether the across the board price increases will reduce the use of the P&R. Families with children seem to have lost out more than the over 60’s.

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    Matti Mole

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • Baby Boomer pensioners need to be more careful with their "oh we are so hard up!" comments. Give it another 5 years and they will be the only ones with any money left, not to mention retired on full pensions. The rest of the population's patience will have worn thin listening to that moaning. Especially as we'll never get the opportunity to retire.

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    Resident Smith

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • But I fail to see what the 'poor hard-up' pensioner has to complain about. Where can she drive into the city centre and park up all in for £3 per day? Or do pensioners get free parking too because they are 'life experienced'. If she paid a volunteer driver to take her into the city because she was a genuinely needy person I am sure it would cost £3 one way and certainly a return rate greater than £4. We occasionally use the Park and Ride for a family of four, if I take the car inside the inner ring it is for very good reason, and the walk up cash rate still represents value for money compared with the alternatives. It might now be cheaper to take the car into the city if we were having a mammoth day there, but I am not sure me nor the children have the endurance for that sort of day. I do agree that services could run later to allow people to miss the afternoon peak and that there could be a commercial operator to open up the buildings.

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    George Ezekial

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • Why not simply drive into the city, like a normal person ?

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    GoodRockinDaddy

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • I went to use the P & R the other day - firstly i struggled to understand the fares - secondly- if i have finished between 4pm & 6pm, and i have an off peak ticket do i have to wait around to be allowed on a bus? I actually walked away and drove into the city to park as it worked out cheaper for the limited time i needed. This increase is awful, i for one will never use the system as it stands again, i would rather shop on line or go to longwater! Principle too!

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    outspoken

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • When the park and ride at Norwich opened it was the best in the country and other places admired it. You could travel in from the country and from Suffolk and Essex for the day thinking what a wonderful asset it was for Norwich. You could park up go to the toilet, happily leave your vehicle knowing that the park was patrolled by the friendly staff on duty. Now it is unmanned the wonderful toilet buildings stay locked. I wonder who designed the Norwich Park and Ride, whoever it was obviously thought that toilets might be a good idea. Now it is a fact that it is cheaper to drive into the city and park if you have a car full and only want to spend a few hours in town, Why doesn't the council allow use of the facilities they provided? Perhaps Tesco or someone might like to open one of their express shops and cafe on the P&R sites,then perhaps they could operate at weekends. The new pricing structure leaves a lot to be desired and I imagine a lot of people will cease to use it. Perhaps that is what NCC want to happen then they can scrap it and build eco homes on the sites.

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    countrylad

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • It's not just over 60s, I feel commuters have also got a bad deal from this as they have no choice. The pricing system does not make much sense for the average commuter. It used to be the more you bought in bulk the bigger the discount as such. Now, for a typical 5 day working week, it is cheaper for me to buy 2 x 10 day passes rather than a monthly one. I then don't use my 10 day pass to occasionally pop into the city on a Saturday because then guess what, it is cheaper to pay the off peak price in CASH on the day! Guess I need to get an sQuid account on my holdall, can I use this as well as have a season ticket on my holdall? This isn't clear on the website and is all getting a bit complicated. Maybe I'll just use a different and cheaper bus operator from now on...

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    KC

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Park and Passengers taken for a Ride with the price increases. So it lives up to its Name

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    che bramley

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • My husband and I spent a while trying to understand the pricing system. Seems its cheaper to park the car in the city, and much quicker as the Postwick service heads back towards our village on the route we took to get there. Then it goes around county hall with no one to pick up! Perhaps we should have kidnapped other people there as its cheaper for more than 2! Ridiculous. Pensioners need help too to use bus passes without being exploited bu having to pay more

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    freckles

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Well, if we want to retain the service we have to pay for it. A group saver off peak is just £4 and is value for money, but I agree that the anytime fares appear high. However, after going into Norwich for £4 return the other Thursday we had a slight mishap, we missed the last P&R bus back. So we managed to catch a FE bus from Castle Meadow to Tesco, Blue Boar lane - that cost us £6.80 one way for 2 adults and a child. Expensive error, but proves that the P&R is actually good value overall.

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    C Chapman

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Five of us young and old looked at the new pricing structure and then got on the bus we were all wrong. Well done NCC are the new charges ageist for they will surely keep older people out of Norwich.

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    Gina

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Hi Blackdog2, there is this marvellous invention called punctuation. You should try it some time, it really makes diatribe much easier to read.

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    crunchy dick

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Whilst we are on the whinging platform it is like these stupid idiotic buslanes that sit empty while traffic piles up in the other lane because there is not the volume of buses to make full use of that lane and at the end of the day does it get the bus there that much quicker or have we got lots of white paint that has to be used up?

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    blackdog2

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Oh what fools all the posters are on here, what on earth makes you think this facility is for you to use? If this was set up properly at a reasonable cost people would use it, save on congestion in the city and much more but sadly it has deteriorated into a plaything for those that think they know best, it is a cash generating object and the thought of providing a service is non existent. The facilities at Costessey have been shut for years and to have it not available on a Saturday defies belief but it does make a good car boot site! These clowns could not organise a pizz up in a brewery!

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    blackdog2

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • In other parts of the country its free to use park and ride if you have a bus pass, in Eastbourne it is also free to use the open top sight seeing bus's. We now take our car into Norwich as its cheaper to park than use the bus which I believe is run by norse who are only interested in making money, wouldn't have minded paying an extra ten or twenty pence but sixty pence rise is well over inflation.

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    gerry mitson

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Half term holiday my daughter and grandchildren caught a Park and Ride bus from Postwick as we were going to see Scooby Doo. Matinee performance. It cost us over £7.00 for a concession, and adult and two children. It would have been cheaper to park in the city.

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    JEL

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Have just looked at the new prices on the website. They seem to have turned what was a very simple pricing structure into something much more complicated. Given this and the new higher prices, we will be much more likely to take the car into Norwich, which of course defeats the purpose of the park and ride. We will now only use it at Christmas and other busy periods. We no longer use it on Saturdays as the Costessey P&R does not operate on that day.

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    Matti Mole

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • And at that price I would expect some later buses so I could hang on in the city and avoid the commuter rush .

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    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Since the P&R are primarily intended to solve congestion problems in Norwich I have never quite understood why they are not administered and managed by Norwich City Council. Nor can I understand why the buildings have not been let to newsagents or cafes who might then keep the toilets open and keep an eye on the sites. It is pretty barbaric to expect holiday makers of all ages, the elderly, pregnant and very young to ride in from Cromer to the Airport site or East Norfok to Postwick and then endure queues into the bus station only to find just two cubicles masquerading as a ladies loo. As I have complained before, everything seems to be geared to councillors who are "men in Jags " and one can only wish a dodgy prostate on them at the same time they are declared unfit to drive.That'd larn 'em.

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    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Doesn't it defeat the point of a Park and Ride when it's cheaper for a family to take the car and park in the centre of the city for the whole day than it is to use the Park and Ride!

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    OM

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • I agree that the £3.50 should be cheaper for for the over 60s but I am happy that the 4pm to 6pm peak time has been enforced. As a daily commuter paying full whack for an annual pass, I much prefer getting on the bus after 4pm and being able so sit down, without hoards of shoppers and children on cheaper fares, taking up all the seats. This should make the school holiday period much more bearable and justify the running of the off-peak buses. They do this on trains so why not on buses?

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    PlummyMum

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • The fare rises affect more than just pensioners, who could vary their time to coincide with the cheaper times. As a commuter I am stuck in peak time and have to pay the full whack with no option to travel during the cheaper periods. As for the closed facilities and less frequent buses, they affect all of us. Please don't be rude to the drivers, they didn't make the changes.

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    NigelS

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • "The airport park-and-ride station building has been closed for a couple of years and there are no toilet facilities." The same goes for the Postwick P & R, and I dare say others as well.

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    "V"

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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