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First buses agrees compromise for passengers in Old Catton

PUBLISHED: 08:39 11 December 2012 | UPDATED: 08:59 11 December 2012

Chloe Smith MP with the bus petition and residents in Old Catton.  Photo: Bill Smith

Chloe Smith MP with the bus petition and residents in Old Catton. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

A Norwich MP has welcomed the decision of bus operator First to review its services to Old Catton.

Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North, collected nearly 450 signatures on a petition also backed by Old Catton Parish Council, asking First to reconsider the removal of services along Spixworth Road.

The service’s re-routing in September to run along North Walsham left former passengers – including many elderly residents – with no easily accessible way of getting into the city.

But First yesterday confirmed it has lodged applications to alter the Orange line – that which runs through Old Catton – as well as the Pink and Purple lines.

If granted permission by the Traffic Commissioner the changes will come into effect on January 6.

The Norwich Evening News understands this will mean two buses a day diverted down Spixworth Road, between Lodge Lane and George Hill – one to Norwich at 9.30am and a return journey at 2.45pm.

Changes to the Pink and Purple lines are expected to involve minor timetable changes.

Miss Smith said the decision showed that “the power of a local campaign can achieve something.

“The parish council and local residents did a great job in making their voices heard and I hope that this service does make a difference for whom this bus is a lifeline.”

Old Catton Parish Council Bradley Sabberton-Coe thanked First for the changes and said they had been the result of teamwork.

“It’s a step in the right direction. We’ll keep pushing to get a regular service but this is brilliant.”

A spokesman for First said route reviews had been conducted “after discussions with passengers and stakeholders”.

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