Overcrowding fears spark shake-up at Norwich Bus Station

Norwich Bus Station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Bus Station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Concerns that overcrowding was creating a safety issue at some of the stops at Norwich bus station has prompted a shake-up of where services leave from.

Norfolk County Council has made a string of changes, with buses moving to new stands, because of the problems.

Charles Sanders, managing director of Sanders Coaches, said the county council had told him the changes had to be made because of fears that some bus stops were getting too overcrowded.

He said: 'The council told us that the problem was that, with the X1 service to Peterborough increasing its frequency and a lot of the big services using bays nearby, too many people were crowding in those bus stops, so we would have to move.'

From Monday, Sanders' services will switch from Bay E, where they have departed from since they started using the Surrey Street station, to Bay M.

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A spokesman from Norwich Bus Blog said the issue was not exclusive to Bay E.

He added: 'Norwich Bus Station is becoming increasing overcrowded, in my eyes not by the amount of services but the way in which the bays are used.

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'Bays F, G, H, J (in the central row) seem relatively under used. Bay F is used by one service, whereas bays A and B are served by countless numbers of buses.

'Sanders is not the first company to have moved in Norwich Bus Station. The operators of the Norwich City Sightseeing bus, which passed through the station once an hour and not even all year round, moved from the main bulk of the station to the side bays - which are used as layover space.'

The £5m bus station was opened 10 years ago, but had to close in 2013 so that repairs could be made to finally fix a long-running problem with its roof

Sanders services affected are the X44, 44A (both run between Norwich and Sheringham) 45 (Norwich to Holt), X55 (North Walsham to Norwich), 5A (Norwich to Cromer via North Walsham) and 32 (Sprowston to Norwich via Thorpe Hamlet).

There had previously been some changes made to bays in December, but next week will see the further alterations to try to address the problem.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council, said: 'Some people may see a change to their usual bus station stop from Monday as following the increase in frequency of some services we've reviewed bay usage to ensure we make best use of the available space for both buses and passengers.'

She added that the council was putting up posters and using electronic displays to help let people know about the changes.

• What do you think of Norwich Bus Station? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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