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Scores of jobs could be created as bus company bids to expand depot

PUBLISHED: 16:14 04 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:14 04 October 2019

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

One of the region's bus providers has revealed plans to expand its depot, which could pave the way for new jobs and increased investment in Norfolk travel.

First Buses is looking to expand its depot on Vulcan Road. Picture: Bill SmithFirst Buses is looking to expand its depot on Vulcan Road. Picture: Bill Smith

First Eastern Counties, which has two depots in the city area, has lodged a bid with Norwich City Council to increase the size of its base on Vulcan Road, in a scheme that would increase its capacity by 20 buses.

And bosses at the provider, which runs a large proportion of the services in the county, say it may see around 70 new jobs created if the plans go ahead.

The move would see the site swallow the former home of electrical company the Dodd Group, which relocated to Kirby Bedon towards the end of 2018.

Should the plans be approved, it would see former office buildings on the site demolished, allowing the bus depot to expand into the vacant land once the demolition has been carried out.

First Buses is looking to expand its depot on Vulcan RoadFirst Buses is looking to expand its depot on Vulcan Road

The project would mean First will be able to store 55 buses on site in total, compared to the 35 it currently has space for.

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Chris Speed, head of operations for First Eastern Counties, said the expansion had been planned due to current depots reaching the point where they were unable to accommodate any more buses.

He said: "We have submitted an application to increase our Vulcan Road site to accommodate an additional 20 buses, due to our other sites running at capacity.

"Over the last 18 months, we have experienced continued business growth through investment in new technologies, vehicles and extensions to our bus network.

"If the application is successful, there will be further associated benefits with up to 70 additional jobs being generated in the area and further enhancements to the Norwich bus network across the city and county."

The bus company currently operates two depots in Norwich, on Vulcan Road and Roundtree Way, with two others serving the region in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

It is not understood that any other depot will be affected by the Vulcan Road expansion.

Norwich City Council will consider the application in due course.

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