Bus tickets could be a thing of the past in Norfolk as the government plans to implement a new swipe card system for public transport.

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Similar to the ‘Oyster’ scheme operated in London, the Department for Transport hopes the changes will help provide a more efficient, convenient and cheaper service for bus users.

Here’s what the people of Norwich has to say about the new “smart card”:

David Jones, 48, a supermarket worker from Hellesdon: “Anything that encourages public transport is a good thing. I’m a keen cyclist and traffic is a big problem in the city, so hopefully this will result in more people using the bus.”

Phil Wells, 21, a student from Manchester: “This is news to me, I get the bus every day and it will save me a lot of money if you can top up for weekly and monthly memberships. It’s good that Norwich is catching up with other areas of the country, the Oyster card works in London so I can’t see why a card wouldn’t work here.”

Joanna Calder, 24, an office worker form Norwich: “It won’t affect people that much. Money would be better spent improving the service and providing more buses and different bus times.”

Daniel Tuffield, 24, an office worker from Sprowston: “I hadn’t heard anything about it until now but if it saves people money then I think it’s a good thing. I would definitely use the bus more often.”

Tony Hunt, 63, a bar manager from Dereham: “It’s definitely good for people who use the bus a lot. £2.5 million is a lot to spend on a simple card service though, money could be spent on better public services like health.”

Linda Hunt, 61, retired from Dereham: “If there are enough nearby shops where you can buy and top up the cards then I think it will be good. I hardly get the bus so I would still use money rather than a card.”

20 comments

  • Very questionable - who is the real beneficiary going to be? Might seem like a step forward, but by the time it is implemented it will be duplicating other technologies that already exist and are becoming more widely used for cash-less payments, therefore this has the potential to become another expensive white elephant, and in fact be an additional burden instead of an enabler. I cannot imagine for one moment it will mean cheaper fares or create savings for bus users - why would it when the operators are out to grab all they can. In turn why would more people want to use the buses because of it? In reality it is none of the above - this is another gimmick from a Government that claims it has to cut vital services for lack of funds but has an endless pot of your money for eye-catching nonsense.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • i think its a very good idea as it saves the driver carrying money on board so lowers the chance of robbery etc. i suppose in the event of a lost card with credit applied though how would you be able to prove you had the credit to travel to where you had to go?

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    nitanoo

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • This is just the sort of thing we should NOT be spending money on at this time. There are far more important things.

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    Johnny Norfolk

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Evening peeps, I use the London Undergound now and then and the pre paid system is a real boon as the ticket office queues can be horrendous. Whenever the subject of bus travel is raised there are people who voice resentment over OAP free travel, this is quite wrong.Like most people I have paid a lifetime of taxes both as a worker and a motorist, is it too much to ask for a few free bus rides now I have retired?

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    John Bridge

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Just for once give a thought for to the bus driver, i was with driving for First bus when twerlys had to pay with,all the fumbling about for the fares was one of the reasons you struggled to keep to time, seems to be a lot better now that us twerlys can get straight on by scanning our card, I travel on London buses on at the front off at the side is great. Drivers in London can concentrate on the job they are paid for TO DRIVE THE BUS . Much less stress having not to collect fares sell weekly tickets etc, and when i was there you lost half your break cashing up,

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    Melvyn Parkerson

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • I'm a born and bred Norwich gal,,,,now live in London,,,,oyster is great,,,,,,,!!!!!!!!! Go Norwich ,,,,,,,,I wonder if I could use my London oyster on Norwich. Buses when I come home,,,,,,,,,

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    wendy

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • I believe it will be a boon for people who constantly run for a bus - then find they don't have enough cash for a ticket! As there are few cash machines near bus stops it would be good to be able to buy a card for several journeys! Would it be able to be topped up like old-style phone cards or would people have to keep throwing the old ones away and buying new ones? I am old enough to use the Senior pass now and find it a boon not to require to have cash in one's purse prior to catching a bus. In the past I actually missed a bus which arrived when I was there but,as I had to go to a cash machine first, was faced with a half-hour wait for another one as earlier buses were too expensive for me.

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    Lynda Edwards

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • The oyster card is fine in the busy, vibrant and cosmopolitan city of london but would the prepayment system really work so well in rural areas? By the way melvyn, twerlys such as you should not be out and about before 9.30 in the morning, so you wont really be affected by this change.

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    blue tractor

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • I think it is a lovely idea but I use the bus anyway I don't have a car. Those that have a car I think are not going to lured onto the bus because of the convenience of a prepaid payment card to pay your fare. People are used to going from exactlly point a to point b with no walking and a boot to put all your shopping in and I think you will never win people over. Even the appeal of maybe cheaper fares will not out do convenience that a car brings for some. I also agree that it seems like a lot of money when there are many other improvements that are needed too in Norfolk, including better bus services for some more remote areas.

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    Samantha Moore

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Never mind Oyster cards - we want the toilets back at the Airport Park & Ride!! It's disgraceful that people drive in from, say, the North Norfolk coast (45 mins) and there are no toilets. ot even for the disabled.

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    samphirelover

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • I'm a born and bred Norwich gal,,,,now live in London,,,,oyster is great,,,,,,,!!!!!!!!! Go Norwich ,,,,,,,,I wonder if I could use my London oyster on Norwich. Buses when I come home,,,,,,,,,

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    wendy

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • blue tractor - what are we supposed to do before 0930 - get our diapers changed? Yes, I know the pass only kicks in at that time - and I have no argument with that! Incidentally, before then I lie in then read the paper, with a cup of tea for company - small reward for 40+ yrs hard graft!!

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    biglingers

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • Ok if you use PT a lot i guess.

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    Clungemeister

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • As I understand it when the London Oyster card was launched part of it's great success was because the cost of fares dropped with it's introduction. So long as that happens here also then the scheme will also be a hugely popular. But whoever is going to be appointed to oversee this, please, please, please, make sure you get an operator for the system with previous experience. If it goes wrong it's going to be a disaster. Lets hope it's not going to be whoever set up Norfolk County Council's emergency school closure notification system!

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    Cyril the Canary

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • What's the point of this? As two thirds of bus users in Norfolk are OAP, who ride buckshee anyway.

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    Vic Sponge

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • LAst week First didnt issue a ticket to Bus Pass holders - this week they are - why?

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    jennifer jane

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Hmm... good idea BUT since our bus services are privatised why are we tax payers footing the bill for this?

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    Richard Woods

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • To the clown who states that OAPs ride " buckshee ". Not quite the truth. OAPs have paid for any " buckshee " rides by way of paying taxes and contributions after many decades of a working life. May this particular clown live long enough to understand what being an OAP is all about.

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    norman hall

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • I heard this on the radio today and was amazed they can spend all this money on oyster type cards when the bus services need investment and the park and rides are like ghost bus stops with no facilities. Crazy county we live in where the powers that be are encouraging people to use bus services - the reason I dont use the bus very often? Overcrowded, rarely on time and it takes too long as it goes round countless villages who's bus service has been stopped and combined into other bus routes.

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    Mrs Meldrew

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Perhapsif fares were cheaper in the first place, more people would use the bus. When it costs more to take a return trip of 8 miles on the bus for me than it does to drive and park (including petrol etc) then why use the bus? Even park and ride, of which I'm a fan, is now too expensive unless there's 3 or more of you in a car. £2.5 million could be used for subsisdies for this rather than a smart card system for the minority.

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    Drayton Resident

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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

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