The founder of Norwich's SOS Bus says the crucial clubland service must remain in the city amid threats to close it.

Just weeks after the city's NHS walk-in centre was saved, health bosses announced they were considering scrapping the Prince of Wales road initiative, which has protected clubbers for two decades.

They argue that a new wellness hub that opened at Castle Quarter earlier this year could expand its services and are looking into whether the bus is now surplus to requirement.

Following the announcement, the Evening News announced its SOS For SOS campaign to save the bus, urging people to fill out a consultation on its future.

Now, Colin Lang, who founded the service in April 2001 following the deaths of Nick Green, 16, and James Toms, 21, in the river, says he is "disappointed" to hear the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) is considering pulling its funding.

He said: "It's naive, they don't realise it's saving lives and money.

Norwich Evening News: SOS Bus founder Colin LangSOS Bus founder Colin Lang (Image: Newsquest)

"I was really disappointed when I heard, a lot of people have put a lot of work into keeping this going not just me, but the community and the Evening News.

"They want to use the hub to replace it, but I can't see how that'll work unless it's going to open until 3am and it's not near the river.

"This provides on-site first aid to prevent ambulance call-outs, not that you can get one anyway!

"It also stops the patient's drunk friends from ending up in A&E and causing problems there."

Mr Lang, who was made an MBE in 2008, says he has already filled in the ICB's consultation with his opinions on the service and has urged others to do the same.

"People think it's all about drunk people, but it's not," added Mr Lang, a former Norfolk police officer who was previously chief executive of local charities Nansa and Nelson's Journey.

"The bus is there when things happen like young girls being dumped by their boyfriends and left in the city centre on their own with no way to get home, it offers a place of sanctuary.

"I know the night-time economy has changed, but people are still worried, especially now the police station is closed at that time. There's nowhere to go for help.

"It has to diversify. Other SOS buses are doing things like drug awareness classes in schools, I think they need to start looking at doing things like that as well in order to grow.

"And if they do lose the funding they should be looking to get another grant, which knowing Voluntary Norfolk they already are.

"I wish them all the luck in the world, I don't want to see it go, that would be gut-wrenching."

Norwich Evening News: The SOS For SOS campaign logoThe SOS For SOS campaign logo (Image: Newsquest)

Lucy De Las Casas, development director of Voluntary Norfolk, which runs the SOS Bus, stressed the need for city folk to ensure their voices are heard.

She said: "At the moment we are still working with the ICB to understand their plans.

"For the time being we need people to fill out their engagement exercise so they can understand people's views and experiences.

READ MORE: 'Vital role' of under-threat SOS Bus hailed by watchdog

Norwich Evening News: The SOS Bus in Prince of Wales RoadThe SOS Bus in Prince of Wales Road (Image: Newsquest)

"But for now we're waiting to hear where we stand before we start fundraising.

"The ICB provides most of the funding for the bus so we really appreciate that."

The bus has 40 volunteers working on it, who give 2,300 hours of support each year alongside paid staff including paramedics and security workers in order to prevent as many ambulance calls as possible.

Currently, it costs roughly £150,000 per year to run.

Ms De Las Casas said most funding went towards paying for staff and repairs to the bus itself.

To take part in the survey visit:

The survey, which was opened this week, is set to close on Sunday, June 11.