Great Yarmouth to Gorleston bus route to be scrapped due to low passenger numbers

A flashback picture of the launch of the expanded 61 service in Yarmouth by Anglian Buses.
Mickey A

A flashback picture of the launch of the expanded 61 service in Yarmouth by Anglian Buses. Mickey Amey (Anglian bus),Mick Castle, Paula King (Tesco) and David Smith (Anglian Bus) PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A passenger lobby group has expressed concern after news that a bus route will be pulled out of Great Yarmouth.

From November 13 the number 61 bus operated by Anglian Bus will no longer run between Yarmouth and the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.

The service will continue to run from Kessingland, near Lowestoft, to the hospital.

Anglian Bus says the Gorleston to Yarmouth stretch will be axed because very few people use the service.

The East Norfolk Transport Users Association (ENTUA) has said it is disappointed by the axing of the route as it fears rival bus company First will have what it calls a monopoly in the Yarmouth area.

Steve Hewitt, from ENTUA, said: 'As from November 13 Anglian Bus service 61 will no longer operate from Kessingland via Lowestoft into Great Yarmouth via Gorleston.

'Instead it will terminate at the James Paget Hospital. Eight journeys will operate the whole route, with two lunchtime journeys operating between Lowestoft and Kessingland only.

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'It was only in 2014 that Anglian Bus operated eight buses an hour into Great Yarmouth from various places around Norfolk and Suffolk, in future this means they will just touch the very edge of the borough. 'ENTUA feels that it is a great shame that Anglian Bus are virtually going to be absent from the town, leaving First as the only major operator in the area, apart from some services provide by Our Bus and Sanders Coaches.

'We believe in competition within the bus industry and what we have now is almost a monopoly.'

The axing of the route, which is part of an Anglian Bus winter timetable, comes after the company tried to boost passenger numbers by including Gapton Hall Retail Park and Tesco Extra on Pasteur Road as stops in April.

However the expanded 61 route was scrapped after just three months.

Anglian Bus managing director Jeremy Cooper said: 'Very few people are now using our buses within Yarmouth despite the diversion to the Tesco superstore we started in April, and the best efforts of our loyal team.

'First provides frequent, cheap buses to all other parts of the 61 route within Yarmouth.

'We trust they will continue to do so after we have withdrawn.'

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