New Saturday night bus service in King’s Lynn to help reduce disruption for sleeping residents
The Fairstead One bus service in King's Lynn is being extended on Saturdays thanks to an agreement between the West Norfolk Partnership and bus operator Norfolk Green.
The bus, which currently runs between the town centre and Fairstead until 11.15pm on a Saturday night, will continue with half-hourly departures from the bus station until 3.15am on a Sunday morning starting next month.
Heather Farley, West Norfolk Partnership chairman, said: 'Lots of late night revellers walk home along the Gaywood Road and up to the housing areas near the hospital.
'This can cause a considerable amount of low level noise nuisance to people living along the route. Some instances of minor anti-social behaviour have also been reported in the area.'
'We are trialling a scheme with Norfolk Green to see if there is demand for such a bus service and to see if this improves things for people living along that route. If the trial is a success, it could see further routes being added in the future.'
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The idea for a night bus originally came from the police, who wanted to look at different ways of reducing disruption for residents when people are heading home from their night out and Norfolk Green was keen to help and have agreed to provide the bus service for a six-month period.
Initially the project will be underwritten by the West Norfolk Partnership, but it is hoped that it may become self-financing. The project will be reviewed regularly to see whether it is achieving its wider aims.
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Chief Inspector Ady Porter said: 'This extended service will remove the opportunity for offenders to commit crimes along a very popular route home.
'It will provide a safe journey home and minimise the potential disruption to local residents from criminal damage, noise disturbances and anti-social behaviour, all of which can have a big impact on people living in the area.'
Ben Colson, Norfolk Green's managing director, said: 'We are very keen to be involved in this initiative. King's Lynn will be the smallest town in the country, without a university, to have a night bus.
'It is a unique opportunity to see whether this is a market that can be developed further. In most places, night bus fares are higher than during the daytime, but we'll be charging the same fares that we do by day.
'The main thing for us, is that it is about encouraging people who would normally walk home after their night out, to opt to jump on board the bus instead'.
Bus timetables will be available on the Norfolk Green website www.norfolkgreen.co.uk and service updates can be received by following www.twitter.com/norfolkgreen.