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Norwich MP Simon Wright takes UEA bus change concerns to First bosses

Simon Wright, Norwich South MP.

Simon Wright, Norwich South MP.

Archant © 2011

A Norwich MP has urged people to keep letting him know how they have been affected by controversial bus route changes, after he met First bosses to raise concerns over the alterations.

Until earlier this month, the 21/22 First service ran throughout the year from the University of East Anglia to the city centre via the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Bowthorpe and West Earlham.

But First now no longer has a direct link between the UEA and the hospital, and the 40 route now links the UEA with Bowthorpe and West Earlham at peak times in term-time only.

The changes have angered families and students, which led to Norwich South MP Simon Wright, pictured, securing a meeting with bosses at First.

That meeting took place in Norwich yesterday and Mr Wright said that he had urged bosses to keep the situation under review.

The Liberal Democrat MP said: “I was very anxious to get a meeting with First buses, because I have had a large number of constituents getting in touch with me about the changes to the 21/22 service and also the number 17/17a service through Tuckswood which no longer stops at Maid Marian Road and Robin Hood Road.

“I put the concerns to First and urged them to keep the situation under review. I fear the impact for some people will be quite damaging, such as for those who are less mobile.

“I did press them on what alternatives could be put in place and was told that after six months these changes will be reviewed, so I would like to continue to hear from people who are affected by these changes.”

First has said the changes have been made at a time when the UK bus industry was facing rising fuel and insurance costs, changes to concessionary fares and reimbursement procedures, as well as reductions in fuel duty rebate and council funding.

It said a review of the 21/22 service revealed very few passengers were carried between the university and the N&N, and that section of the route was no longer financially viable to operate. The decision to withdraw this part of the service was taken with regret.

What are your views on the route changes? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk


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