Lakenham passengers criticise First over change to bus route

Bosses at First buses have been criticised by passengers on another Norwich bus service for changes to its route.

A raft of changes brought in by the bus company have attracted controversy already, including the 21/22 service no longer serving the UEA and changes to the routes of the 17/17a Tuckswood and 10/10a Spixworth services. Now bus users in Lakenham who use the 9/9a service have joined the calls for the route changes to be reversed.

The change means the route no longer serves Barrett Road and a long stretch of Mansfield Lane, instead going down Long John Hill, turning right at The Cock Inn onto the lower part of Mansfield Lane and then left onto Sandy Lane.

Daphne Mundford, 78, has lived on Barrett Road for 48 years and says she now has to use taxis as her nearest bus stop is too far away.

She said: 'I've now got to walk right to the top of Cavell Road or right down to the Lakenham Cock pub to get to my nearest bus stop.

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'It's mostly old people round here. I'll have lived in my house for 49 years come June and we've always had a bus stop on Mansfield Lane.'

Mrs Mundford also said she believed where the bus now turned right at The Cock was 'going to cause an accident' because of a blind corner.

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County councillor for Lakenham, Sue Whitaker, agrees with Mrs Mundford and also feels the route change has not been thought through properly.

She said: 'I really do think it's dangerous. I have spoken with First and they have agreed to look at it again but realistically it won't be before July.'

The Evening News has also been contacted about the changes to the 9/9a service by Valerie Allcock, who also lives on Barrett Road and has complained to First, and Tony Herbert, whose 85-year-old mother lives on Harwood Road.

Norwich South MP Simon Wright recently spoke with First bosses to discuss the complaints from bus users since the changes were brought in on Sunday, January 15.

He was told that the situation would be reviewed in six months and that the changes had been brought in amongst rising costs, such as fuel and insurance.

What do you think? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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