New bus service launched between Norwich, Wymondham and Attleborough
Bus passengers travelling to Norwich from Attleborough and Wymondham will benefit from lower fares and an increased service from next week.
Dereham-based company Konectbus will launch a new hourly 6A service from Attleborough to the city on Monday, which will compete with the current 13 service supplied by First.
Meanwhile First has slashed its fares and will increase the frequency of its service in August leaving bus campaigners hailing the benefits of a little added competition.
A spokesman for Norfolk Buswatch said: 'This is a rare example of where limited competition can provide real benefits for bus passengers and provide a viable alternative to driving to Norwich by car.'
The new 6A service, which will pass through Wymondham and Hethersett, will run Monday to Saturday with additional pick-ups at peak times.
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According to the Konectbus website, typical fares for the route will include �3.90 for a day return and �17.50 for a weekly ticket from Attleborough, while Wymondham passengers should expect to pay �3.80 for a day return and �15 for a weekly ticket.
Since July 11, First customers have been enjoying a fare promotion which has included Wymondham passengers paying �3.90 for a two-trip ticket instead of �4.90 for a day ticket, while Attleborough passengers have had their weekly tickets cut from �28 to �17.50 due to the town being moved within the Norwich zone.
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From August 21, the present hourly 13 service will be running every 20 minutes during peak times and every 30 mintues off peak. Later evening journeys and Sunday times will also be added to the timetable.
Steven Royal, operations manager at Konectbus, said the new service was created as a result of customer requests.
He said: 'As a company we're always looking to expand and improve our service in the area. We get customer feedback and act upon it and introduce things where there is a demand.
'It's not always about competition with other companies - we don't intend to match others service by service. But our aim is to introduce something that's a bit different, like the direct service between Attleborough and Hethersett.'
A spokesman for First said: 'Following meetings with local parish councillors and passenger feedback from our customer services team, we decided to offer a promotion on our fares in Attleborough and Wymondham.
'This promotion has been very well received, especially by passengers in Attleborough who are now able to purchase Norwich Zone 5 tickets.'