‘It will cause problems’ - Anger at bus service re-routed to avoid parked cars
PUBLISHED: 11:41 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:02 19 February 2020
Changes to a bus service as a result of parking trouble will hit vulnerable people the hardest – its passengers have argued.
A re-routing of First Bus's Red Line service 23/23A, which runs from Queen's Hill to Thorpe St Andrew through the city centre came into effect on Sunday.
Buses now no longer stop at the Lodge Farm housing development in Costessey forcing passengers to catch services from Dereham Road instead.
First Bus said the change was partly due to ongoing issues with parked cars around the development.
The convenience of the bus links were part of the reason 86-year-old Iris Walker moved to Lodge Farm eight years ago and she said the changes will be difficult.
She added: "I use a stick and the walk to the other bus stop will be hard and in bad weather will be even worse.
"I like to go into Norwich a few times a week as it is important to get out and see people otherwise you can become isolated and lonely.
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"But it is not just me and other older people. It will affect children who use the bus to get to school as crossing the Dereham Road can be extremely dangerous.
"The service through the development is really needed and now it is gone it will cause problems for a lot of people."
Vanusa Bogalho, 34, takes the bus five days a week to her job as a trainee assistant manager at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. She estimates the Dereham Road bus stop will add another ten minutes to her journey.
She added: "The bus was very comfortable and convenient. I'm not that happy about it but it is worse for older people and the retired."
Norfolk County councillor for Costessey Tim East said parking was the problem as it caused buses to be held up frequently.
He put forward double yellow lines as a possible solution although added enforcing them could be difficult.
Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: "The recent change to our Red Line services 23/23A was introduced to extend journeys to serve Long Water retail shopping complex. Bus stops on Lodge farm were under used as most people board our services from the main road, so by changing the terminal point, we were able to provide a valuable link that is proving very popular to the retail park."
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