National Express coach named after the University of East Anglia
A National Express coach has been named after the University of East Anglia as the company launches new services and saves Norwich's ticket office from closure.
As previously reported, the travel shop at Norwich bus station was facing the axe as part of Norfolk County Council cost-saving measures.
The information desk was saved at the 11th hour after National Express agreed to take it over.
Yesterday, coach company leaders unveiled a coach named after the university to help launch new services between Norwich and London, via the UEA, and to celebrate the ticket office takeover.
Andrew Cleaves, National Express managing director, said: 'We have named the coach after the UEA because we have increased the number of services to London from Norwich and have now included a stop at the university where students will be able to take the coach to both London and into Norwich.
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'People are looking for value for money in these times and coach travel offers a cheaper way to get from Norwich to London and it's a green form of transport.'
National Express will now run eight services between Norwich and the capital, up from five, together with its 10 services to Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick.
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The ticket sales desk will be open from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm.
It will initially sell its own tickets, Norfolk County Council park and ride tickets and First Bus and Chenery Coach excursions tickets. It is hoped that arrangements to sell other operators' tickets will be made in future.
The new services started yesterday.
Richard Bettle, environment officer for the UEA, said: 'We are delighted to have the coach named after the UEA and it fits in well with our long-term sustainable transport plan.'
Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning, travel and transport at Norfolk County Council, said: 'We are very happy that such a good partner has come on board and taken over the ticket office.
'It was something the public wanted and something we wanted - we didn't want to see the service close. We are seeing a massive reduction in our budget and finances and we are finding alternative ways of making things work and this is a perfect example of that.'