Video: Norfolk’s new smartcard scheme is unveiled for Norwich’s park-and-ride service

Norfolk County Council unveil the 'Holdall', the new smartcard which park and ride bus passengers can use to pay for their journeys. The scheme comes into operation on April 14th 2014.
Left to right:  Laurie Egan, NCC Travel Network Manager, Tracy Jessop, NCC Assistant Director, Environment, Transport and Development, and Cllr David Harrison, NCC Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Development and Waste. Norfolk County Council unveil the 'Holdall', the new smartcard which park and ride bus passengers can use to pay for their journeys. The scheme comes into operation on April 14th 2014. Left to right: Laurie Egan, NCC Travel Network Manager, Tracy Jessop, NCC Assistant Director, Environment, Transport and Development, and Cllr David Harrison, NCC Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Development and Waste.

Mark Shields mark.shields@archant.co.uk
Saturday, March 29, 2014
11:31 AM

A new multi-purpose smartcard ticket scheme for Norwich’s park and ride service has been launched – and will be called Holdall.

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Norfolk County Council unveil the 'Holdall', the new smartcard which park and ride bus passengers can use to pay for their journeys. The scheme comes into operation on April 14th 2014.Norfolk County Council unveil the 'Holdall', the new smartcard which park and ride bus passengers can use to pay for their journeys. The scheme comes into operation on April 14th 2014.

The card allows passengers to buy bus tickets without cash, similar to the Oyster Card used in London, but bosses hope it will ultimately be used for paying for council services from museum entry to school dinners.

However, fare prices will be going up when the new scheme comes into effect on April 14 – with a some tickets rising by as much as 40%.

David Harrison, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “It’s starting with park and ride services but could then be expanded into bus services in their totality, regardless of operator throughout the county.

He added: “The system is multi-purpose and ahead of the curve. It’s designed to bring transport payment into the 21st century and we’ve decided to integrate it into all services.”

Mr Harrison defended the price hike which, when announced last year, led some passengers to threaten to abandon the service and get back in their cars.

“The main point was to keep the services going: the options were to cut one of them, which would have been ridiculous, because park and ride in Norfolk is top of the game, so we put up the prices, rightly or wrongly, and I think people have accepted that,” he said.

The Holdall scheme has been paid for using a £2.5m grant from the Department for Transport, and its designers say it puts Norfolk at the forefront of smartcard technology.

Passengers will still be able to buy tickets with cash after the scheme launches next month, but can only access the money-saving multi-ticket deals with the Holdall card through the dedicated website.

A peak-time daily return ticket, currently £2.40, will become an unlimited day travel ticket costing £3 through Holdall, or £3.50 if paid in cash, while a peak four-week pass rises from £41 to £57.50.

Transport chiefs have insisted in the past that the new park and ride fares will still be cheaper than taking a commercial bus service, or driving and paying for city-centre parking.

Passengers are now being encouraged to sign up for their cards now at www.norfolk.gov.uk/holdall to be ready for the launch date.

What do you think of the new smartcard scheme? Write, with your full details, to Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

12 comments

  • That's the trouble with these communist-style schemes where all the plebs are forced to use public transport in order to free up the roads for the wealthy. As soon as they need to raise more cash, the fares are ramped up by 40% as you no longer have a choice in the matter!

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    Citizen of EUSSR

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • I like the name. A good play on words. Should help speed up park and ride boarding.

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    DT

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • Norfolk catches up with the rest of the world 10 years later, and amidst a load of lies. We are behind not ahead. OLD tech.

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    User Removed

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • Look at the size of that card!!! How ever are we supposed to fit that in our pocket? Judging by the photo it takes 3 people just to lift it! Ludicrous....

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    Scania

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • So it is now going to cost a minimum of £5.75 for a family of 4 to use the Park and Ride. I can drive in, park and stay for most of the day for that and not have to sit in a stuffy bus, wait in the cold and rain etc. I know what I'll be doing, yes, using my car especially if I only need to go to the city for a couple of hours. People accept the price rises Mr Harrison? Only because some do not have an alternative and we do not have a joined up transport policy.

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    Drayton Resident

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • I registered on the site yesterday but it doesn't appear to allow topping up with, say, £20 as the Oyster card does. You have to buy a specific ticket. And what about people who don't use computers? Will they be excluded from Park an d Ride in the future?

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    Casey

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • An increase of £16.50 for the four-week pass is an absolute joke. This increase cannot be justified in any way, shape or form.

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    Tom Batley

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • What a stupid name !!

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    Blocked User

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • So it looks like the fare is going up by £1.10. Is that right?

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    Melanie Alexander

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • Phone Lost Property and say you've lost your Holdall on the Bus, and create a massive security alert as a result !

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    che bramley

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • What a stupid name !!

    Report this comment

    Blocked User

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • I think it is a great idea! For under 15's it was £1.10 day but now a annual is £165 meaning 80p every day I go to school. Its great! Or if I use the bus every day, it is like 40p day

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    Matt Williams

    Monday, March 31, 2014

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

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