Bus timetable revised to keep up services amid coronavirus outbreak

First have introduced reduced timetables covering Norwich and coastal services amid the coronavirus

First have introduced reduced timetables covering Norwich and coastal services amid the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Edward Starr - Credit: Edward Starr Photographer

A major bus operator has announced timetable changes to two of its key services from Monday due to the coronavirus outbreak.

First Eastern Counties says the changes on the Blue Line 25 and 26 services are designed to ensure key workers and those who need to travel during the Covid-19 outbreak are able to while taking into account a fall in passenger numbers.

The revised timetable, which will operate on Mondays to Saturdays until further notice, will see buses operate up to every 20 minutes during the day on each of the two services.

This means passengers will be able to catch a bus up to every 10 minutes between Norwich Rail Station and the University of East Anglia.

In addition, all service 26 journeys will follow a standard route, which will be extended to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, but not via Northfields. Evening services across both routes will finish at approximately midnight.

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Sunday timetables will remain unchanged.

The announced changes are expected to be followed by more alterations on March 30.

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Steve Wickers, managing director of First Eastern Counties, said: “The number of people travelling has reduced significantly and is continuing to diminish, making this an extremely dynamic situation which is changing day-to-day, hour-by-hour.”

Mr Wickers said the changes were not something the company had taken lightly.

“With more and more people choosing or being directed to stay at home, this is the most sensible approach to ensure services continue running and are as close to business as usual as we can possibly make them,” he said.

“Customers can be assured we will endeavour to keep services running through this unprecedented time of uncertainty.”

National Express, which operates coach services to a number of destinations from Norwich, is also introducing timetable changes from March 24 .

The company is implementing “significant short notice changes and cancellations” to its network following government advice and advising all customers to check the National Express website before they start their journey.

First Eastern Counties bus passengers can find further details and copies of timetables on the First Eastern Counties website, further changes are expected to come into force from March 30.

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