Call for more buses to directly serve the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. - Credit: PA

Direct buses from rural areas to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, better information at bus stops and more frequent services - those were among calls from passengers to bus operators.

The Norfolk Bus Forum held its annual public meeting in The Forum, in Norwich, at the weekend, with the public invited to ask questions and suggest ways to improve services across the county.

The public had were able to quiz representatives from First, Konectbus/Anglian and Sanders, as well as Norfolk County Council officers.

There were calls for bus operators to consider direct buses from outlying towns and villages to the N&N hospital at Colney.

Charles Sanders, from north Norfolk-based Sanders Coaches, said: 'When we are talking about extra vehicles, they are not cheap. When we have looked at this in the past, it is has not stacked up at that point in time.'

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He said people were able to change buses in the centre of Norwich and get a bus to the hospital.

He added: 'People do need to accept we cannot have everything in life and you can get around by changing buses.'

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County council officers said new information screens were due to be installed at 22 city bus stops, while the frequency and reliability of First's 26A service – which goes through Northfields –was criticised.

Steve Wickers, from First, said the service was hourly because demand for more frequent services was not there. He said congestion in the area around the UEA and hospital sometimes caused problems.

Mary Dorrell, from the Norfolk Federation of Women's Institutes, who chaired the meeting, told the audience: 'You have given us a huge amount of homework and we will follow these things up through the forum.'

Card scheme will give people help

Older and disabled people have been urged to make use of a scheme which will provide a little extra help with travelling.

The Norfolk Bus Forum helped develop cards which passengers who need extra help, such as those with disabilities, can show to bus drivers.

Mary Dorrell, chairwoman of the Norfolk Bus Forum, said bus operators had given training to drivers about the cards and now it was important that people make use of them.

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