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Norwich parents frustrated over cancellation of bus route

PUBLISHED: 16:20 31 December 2018

Konectbus has proposed to withdraw services from a route in Norwich city, prompting concern among residents at Queen's Hills in Costessey that their children will have to find alternative transport to school

Konectbus has proposed to withdraw services from a route in Norwich city, prompting concern among residents at Queen's Hills in Costessey that their children will have to find alternative transport to school

Archant © 2009

Parents living in a housing estate on the outskirts of Norwich have expressed frustration over the proposed cancellation of services on a bus route.

Roads at Queen's Hills housing estate in Costessey remain unfinished and unadopted. Photo: ArchantRoads at Queen's Hills housing estate in Costessey remain unfinished and unadopted. Photo: Archant

In November, Konectbus, a bus operator based in Dereham, announced it would be withdrawing services on its route 5, which currently runs between Postwick Park and Ride to Queen’s Hills via Broadland Business Park, Norwich train station, Dereham Road and Longwater Retail Park. The company has said the planned cancellation, due to come into effect on Wednesday, January 2, is because of “unsustainable losses”.

Lyndsey Flaxman Dennington lives in Queen’s Hills. Her two sons, 11 and 13 years-old, attend Orniston Valley Academy and get there on the bus.

The travel costs £7 per week - but a similar service with the city’s other bus company, First Bus, would cost £12.50 weekly.

Ms Flaxman Dennington and her husband are planning to drive the boys to school instead. “It has taken away a bit of their independence,” she said.

Pupils living three miles from their school are entitled to free travel. However, only some of Queen’s Hills is located outside the three-mile radius. After the proposed cancellation is implemented, Ms Flaxman Dennington’s sons will no longer be able to travel to school with their friends, who live on the same estate but are entitled to free travel.

“It is really frustrating,” Ms Flaxman Dennignton said, “There will be more cars on the road.”

When the council granted planning permission for Queen’s Hills, part of the plan was a public transport initiative, introduced to encourage the use of public transport rather than cars, and was one of the reasons why only one exit was approved by the inspector after objections and appeals were lodged calling for a second exit.

Instead of approving a second exit, a compromise solution was reached - the bus lane.

However, a Norfolk County Councillor, the Liberal Democrat Tim East, has said that the “whole concept is now under threat with the prospect of isolating Queen’s Hills even further than it is at present from the wider Costessey community, Norwich and the highway network”.

The estate has suffered multiple problems, including unfinished roads, since the developer behind it went into administration in 2009.

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