December 8 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 16, 2013
Campaigners in Wymondham who are fighting to reinstate a popular coach service had their voices heard at a meeting with travel bosses yesterday.
More than 40 people packed into Wymondham Town Council’s offices to meet with Matt Goggins, head of public affairs at National Express.
The National Express 727 service to London airports was axed on March 18. Residents presented him with a petition organised by Wymondham Travel Centre, which attracted nearly 1,200 signatures.
Mr Goggins explained that the 727 service was axed due to falling passenger numbers and was no longer commercially viable.
“We used to offer a half-price fare for those over 60 which was part of a government scheme.
“We were in a situation towards the end of 2011 where that subsidy was withdrawn overnight. Last year we had one million less over 60s travel with us,” he said.
New routes were devised and, in a bid to shave 40 minutes off the journey time, a number of stops, including Wymondham and Attleborough, were culled.
Campaigners in Attleborough successfully fought to reinstate the service, which now runs twice a day.
Min Kennison, who lives in Wicklewood, said: “I get the feeling National Express have not thought about the rural aspect.”
District and county councillor Joe Mooney said: “It’s life changing for some residents here who are crying out to use your service. Wymondham is a growing town.”
National Express figures show that almost 100 people used the service every week.
Carol Dyer said the changes had been both life changing and upsetting.
“It has made things difficult for me. I have used this service regularly since it was Jetlink.
“It’s now going to cost me more to get to Stansted than it is to fly to Turkey,” she said.
Residents suggested ideas including making Wymondham a request-only stop and creating a new stop close to the flyover on Harts Farm Road.
Mr Goggins will report back in due course.