'Disaster' warning as Norfolk bus company proposes to withdraw part of service
Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015
A bus company’s plan to withdraw a service because of “unsustainable losses” has been branded a “disaster” by a county councillor.
Konectbus is proposing changes to its number 5 route, which currently runs between Postwick Park and Ride to Queen’s Hills via Broadland Business Park, Norwich train station, Dereham Road and Longwater Retail Park.
But, if the changes do come in, then from January 2, the service will no longer call at Dereham Road, Queen’s Hills or Longwater Lane.
And Tim East, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Costessey, said that would be “a disaster”.
He said: “A public transport initiative was part of the green travel plan when Queen’s Hills received its planning consent.
“It was introduced to encourage the use of public transport rather than motor vehicles and was one of the reasons why only one exit was approved by the inspector after objections were lodged for any second exit.
“Queen’s Hills is already a bit isolated from the rest of Costessey and from the wider highways network and withdrawing services is a disaster.”
And Mr East said he was worried about whether the withdrawal could affect a long-held ambition for a bus route which would go from the back of the estate to Ringland Lane and West End in Costessey, making use of the rapid bus transit route designed along Dereham Road.
He said: “Councils are spending a lot of money to provide bus lanes and improvements for bus companies. That’s public money, but we run the risk of them not being used if bus companies do not run services.”
Konectbus said the proposal to withdraw Route 5 from Queen’s Hills and Dereham Road, and to run just between Postwich Park and Ride and Norwich, had been a “difficult decision”, but that the service was making “unsustainable losses”.
A spokesman for the bus company said that there was an alternative available to passengers in Queen’s Hills through First’s route 24/24A.
The proposal is one of a number of changes put forward by Konectbus.
Their 87 service, which runs between Norwich, Poringland and Bungay, is also due to be withdrawn from January, with the company citing “continuing unsustainable losses”.