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Hundreds sign petition to reinstate section of bus route

PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:21 23 July 2020

First Eastern Counties Pink Line number 11/12 service. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

First Eastern Counties Pink Line number 11/12 service. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

More than 465 people have signed a petition calling on First Eastern Counties to reinstate part of a bus route which has been dropped over lockdown.

Natasha Harpley, Broadland District Councillor for Sprowston has launched a petition calling on First to reinstate the Linacre Loop. Pic: Labour Party.Natasha Harpley, Broadland District Councillor for Sprowston has launched a petition calling on First to reinstate the Linacre Loop. Pic: Labour Party.

The 11A pink line First service has stopped on Falcon Road West and Linacre Avenue in Sprowston for several decades before heading to the Tesco Extra supermarket on Blue Boar Lane.

It then goes onto the new housing development near Sprowston Manor Golf Club, before returning along Wroxham Road, through the city centre and terminating at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

But, since services were reduced during lockdown the three stops on Linacre Avenue, known locally as the ‘Linacre Loop’ have not been served.

People living in the area say they were not consulted on the changes, while First has said as services returned to normal it had needed to consider how it could make best use of its resources, adjusting frequencies and suspending services in some “lightly-used” sections of routes.

More than 465 people have signed a petition calling on First Eastern Counties to reinstate part of a 11A bus route which has been dropped over lockdown. Picture: Archant LibraryMore than 465 people have signed a petition calling on First Eastern Counties to reinstate part of a 11A bus route which has been dropped over lockdown. Picture: Archant Library

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Now, Natasha Harpley, Broadland District Councillor for Sprowston has launched a petition calling on the bus operator to reinstate the ‘Linacre Loop’.

She said the loss of the route was “completely unreasonable” and “couldn’t come at a worse time.”

Ms Harpley said; “There are people who really rely on buses to get them to doctors appointments, shopping, I don’t think it’s fair that they have to travel further and further.”

Sprowston Town Council has also raised concerns over changes, with a spokesperson for the council saying councillors were “very disappointed” by the decision to remove the Linacre Loop.

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties said the company welcomed feedback on its services, he said: “We are monitoring every route each day to ensure we are meeting the demands of people travelling and we are gradually starting to reintroduce services and journeys back into our network.

“However there are some sections on routes that have been suspended due to very few people using the bus prior to the pandemic taking hold earlier in the year, it is possible that not all of these locations will be reintroduced as we need to concentrate our resources in areas where people are using the bus services more frequently.”


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