Deal means north Norfolk Coasthopper bus can continue over the winter

PUBLISHED: 12:30 17 July 2014 | UPDATED: 12:34 17 July 2014

A coasthopper bus makes it's way past the lighthouse at Old Hunstanton.

A coasthopper bus makes it's way past the lighthouse at Old Hunstanton. PHOTO: IAN BURT.

Archant © 2009

Campaigners who have fought to stop cuts to a north Norfolk coast bus route have welcomed a deal which will secure the immediate future of the service.

The popular Coasthopper service, which carries 500,000 people annually between King’s Lynn and Cromer, has been running since 1996 and receives an annual subsidy from Norfolk County Council.

The county council had, through its Putting People First consultation, agreed to slash £75,000 from the route’s £225,000 subsidy in each of the next two years, in a bid to help plug the council’s £189m funding gap.

But, the county council has now reached an agreement with Norfolk Green, the operator of the bus, which means the future is safe at least until autumn next year.

While Norfolk Green will operate the bus in the summer, without any subsidy from the county council, transport bosses at County Hall have agreed to still invest in the winter service, so that can continue.

Toby Coke, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “The Coasthopper represents a vital means of transport for many residents in West Norfolk and across the North Norfolk coast, so I’m very pleased that between us and Norfolk Green, we’ve been able to secure its future for the medium term.

“The fact that the county council has managed to make savings in its contribution to the service while allowing the route and frequency of the Coasthopper to remain unaffected for at least another year means this is not just good news for passengers but the Norfolk taxpayer as well.

“Our next step is to investigate viable options to allow the Coasthopper to continue to run beyond autumn 2015 and we are hoping to secure further private investment.”

Andrew Dyer, MD of Norfolk Green, said “Coasthopper is a superb example of partnership working between public and private sectors. The effort and investment put in by both parties since the service started in 1996 has produced the success story that we see today.

“I am delighted that we have been able to secure the future of the service with the current summer and winter timetables until late next year and I am confident that the route will have a bright future beyond that.”

Marie Strong, leader of the Liberal Democrat group at Norfolk County Council and councillor for Wells, said: “This is great news. I would like to thank all those many people who provided me with evidence as to the importance of the Coasthopper in providing transport for work, study, leisure – and even to reach and care for relatives.”

• Are you a fan of the Coasthopper service? Tell us why it is important to you by writing, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.


  • "......allowing people holidaying from all over the Europe to use Norfolk buses for free ....." . Eh ? You really ought to join the real world John , drain cleaning isn't it ?

    Report this comment


    Thursday, July 17, 2014

  • Why don't we take the profit it makes during the summer and use that to subsidise the winter service? Oh wait, that'd be cross subsidy and that's illegal, isn't it?

    Report this comment

    marty r

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

  • I wish this service ran later in the over at Morston for the day and the last bus back is 18.26.., if it's a late tide, you have to drive. Also wish it stopped off at Kelling Heath like it used to...lots of holiday makers would benefit then. Perhaps the free bus passes could be restricted to be used at certain times during the day to help with congestion?

    Report this comment


    Thursday, July 17, 2014

  • As second homers with bus passes perhaps some on here would like me and the missis to wear a bell around our necks! Seriously, I can see where people are coming from and a yearly charge for outsiders is fair enough. Norfolk John I take your point but having paid a fortune in tax over my working lifetime {like many others} is it really that bad to get a little bit back with a few bus rides also as a motorist all of my adult life that's another load of tax. Finally, most of our bus journeys in Norfolk have more locals than any other group, if these journeys were not subsidised many routes would no longer be viable and once a route is gone it will not come back and then everyone is knackered. This country is awash with money, also if people want to attack others how about the countless thousands who do not work and have no intention of ever doing so, not pensioners who have in the main paid their way.

    Report this comment

    John Bridge

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

  • What a complete and total waste of council tax payers money. If people wish to travel on public transport, then they should pay the full economic fare and not rely on subsidies to fund their journeys.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

  • The original idea of free transport for over 60s was ok as it was limited to their Home Counties but Gordon Brown in his wisdom extended the scheme so it became unsustainable by allowing people holidaying from all over the Europe use Norfolk buses for free which was not fair for local hard working residents trying to use local services

    Report this comment


    Thursday, July 17, 2014

  • High time that restrictions were placed on pensioners using this free bus service. Ordinary fare paying passengers are denied seats because the bus is full of people who not paid to use the service. There is no such thing as a free bus service anyway as we all end up paying for it through our taxes. I am fed up with using this service and also fed up with all the wherthers original sweet wrapper that are left on the bus

    Report this comment


    Thursday, July 17, 2014

  • I would suggest that many of the Coasthopper's passengers are either holidaymakers or people who own second homes in Norfolk. If free bus travel was restricted to the county where people are registered as living, then Norfolk Green could charge them say 50% of the full fare which reduces the dependence on local government subsidies. Why should over 60s people from Leicestershire, for example, enjoy free bus travel in Norfolk when the service is in jeopardy? It's not rocket science and anyone owning a caravan or holiday home here can sure as hell afford it!

    Report this comment


    Thursday, July 17, 2014

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


Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Commented

Latest from the EDP

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 4°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the EDP
digital edition