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Bus company divert route after windows smashed by vandals

PUBLISHED: 06:30 06 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:58 06 June 2020

First Eastern Counties have incurred several targeted incidents of vandalism on its excel services when leaving the town of Swaffham. Picture: Mike Sewell

First Eastern Counties have incurred several targeted incidents of vandalism on its excel services when leaving the town of Swaffham. Picture: Mike Sewell

2020 Mike Sewell

Objects repeatedly being thrown at buses from an A47 bridge, leaving windows smashed, has seen its operator forced to divert the route.

First Eastern Counties has reported several targeted incidents of vandalism on its excel services when leaving the town of Swaffham.

Objects have been thrown at the vehicles from the A47 bridge near Tesco and Waitrose, leaving windows smashed and bodywork damaged.

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: “Over the last couple of weeks we have experienced several incidents where our excel buses have been targeted and damaged by youths when leaving the town of Swaffham just past Tesco and Waitrose under the A47 bridge.

“Damage has been sustained to the bodywork and windows of our buses, but thankfully no passengers travelling have been injured.

“We have notified the police of the incidents and we are working with them to try and identify the people involved.”

Police are investigating the incidents and have asked anybody who witnessed the damage or who has dashcam footage to come forward.

Since the incidents, First has made the decision to divert all buses travelling towards Norwich until further notice.

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After serving Swaffham’s Market Place, services will travel via Mangate Street and Norwich Road to join the A47 at the services.

Bus stops on Station Street and Castle Acre Road, including those for Tesco, Waitrose and Plowright Medical Centre, will not be served.

Services travelling from Norwich are unaffected.

Mr Speed said: “To keep our customers safe, we have diverted services away from the area.

“We apologise to customers for the disruption to your services.”

In relation to one incident, a spokesperson for Norfolk Police said: “Police are investigating following an incident of criminal damage to a bus on Saturday, May 23.

“At around 5.30pm at the junction of the A1065 with the A47, a projectile smashed two windows of a bus.

“Anyone who witnessed the incident or has dashcam footage they may have captured from around 5pm on the day should call PC Calum Spearman on 101 quoting crime ref 36/33614/20.”


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