July 31 2014 Latest news:
Friday, May 9, 2014
Buses will pull up outside Great Yarmouth train station for the first time in years following months of campaigning by public transport passengers.
The East Norfolk Transport Users Association (ENTUA) has been negotiating with bus firm First and train operator Abellio Greater Anglia for several months, highlighting the need for bus to and from Vauxhall Station.
Passengers currently have to jump in taxis or walk into town after stepping off trains and while the recent refurbishment of Vauxhall Bridge has greatly improved the walking route, not everyone can manage the distance.
The new Number 3 service from First will stop at the station after collecting passengers from Hemsby, Newport, Scratby, Caister, north Yarmouth, Britannia Pier, Market Gates, and the Vauxhall Holiday Park.
While it will not serve the Golden Mile, ENTUA said the summer bus will serve most of Yarmouth’s most popular tourist spots while making across town travel easier for locals.
The service will run hourly from May 25 to September 20, going up to every 30 minutes from July 27 to August 30. The timetable will coincide with train arrival times.
Steve Hewitt, chairman of ENTUA, said: “We’ve pushed for this for months and we’ll keep pushing now for more locals to use the service, particularly people coming from Caister and Newtown.
“Our aim, and we are talking to First about this, is to have the service running all year round. It’s crazy to not have buses running to the train station.”
The summer seafront service is not new, but previously stopped at Market Gates.
“At the end of last summer we suggested that the service start calling at the railway station,” explained Steve.
“In November last year we got a meeting organised between us and all the heads of the various firms and we took another step forward in January. We’re really pleased with the outcome.”
Steve heaped praise on Danny Beales, of the First depot in Yarmouth, for listening to ENTUA’s ideas and contributing to a good working relationship.
Mr Beales, operations manager at the depot, said: “We are delighted to bring back the Great Yarmouth summer seafront service. This is a very popular service for both tourists and local people which we run every year during the summer.
“Timings are based on the scheduled train arrivals and this service will make it easier for tourists, holiday makers and commuters to access the town and surrounding area.”
The service will be operated by low floor, fully accessible buses and will run seven days a week including Bank Holidays from May 25 to September 20.
James Reeve, head of customer service north for Abellio Greater Anglia added: “We are pleased to work with FirstGroup at Yarmouth to promote the service between the rail station and the key tourist leisure centres in the district. Many visitors to the town arrive by train and being able to offer a seamless travel experience for onward journeys from the station is very important for our customers and helps to showcase Great Yarmouth as a great holiday destination.”
The Number 3 stops will be: Great Yarmouth Rail Station, Vauxhall Holiday Park, Market Gates, Britannia Pier, Seashore Holiday Centre, Caister Post Office, Scratby, Beach Drive, Newport Caravan Park, and Hemsby Beach. It will also call at the Waterways in north Yarmouth, Yarmouth Racecourse, Yarmouth Stadium, California Holiday Village and Hemsby’s Kingsway shops.