When will Postwick park and ride reopen?

Postwick park and ride coronavirus test centre. Date: 14 June 2020. Picture: Mike Page

Postwick Park and Ride coronavirus test centre pictured in June 2020 - Credit: Mike Page

Mystery surrounds when a Norwich travel hub will reopen after it was taken over during the pandemic for Covid testing.

The Postwick park and ride site is owned by Norfolk County Council.

Its bus services into and out of Norwich city centre were managed by Konectbus before the testing centre was established in 2020.

Postwick Park and Ride which is currently closed and being used at a Covid-19 testing station.Byli

Postwick Park and Ride pictured in 2020 when it was used a Covid-19 testing station - Credit: Sonya Duncan

But the tents have now gone after the government confirmed public testing facilities would close on March 31 this year.

Shaun Tooth, finance director of Konectbus, said: "We are in discussion with Norfolk County Council.

"Its opening is dependent on demand. There is more than enough capacity on our other park and ride sites. We are in discussion about opening again when demand is there.

"Passenger numbers are 50 to 55pc of pre-Covid levels but they are growing."

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Mr Tooth added that park and ride services around the UK were not as busy when compared to regular bus services.

The reduction of people using the park and ride was because of more people working from home, he added.

Konectbus also runs similar services from Harford, Thickthorn, Sprowston and Costessey - the latter of which is used for routes to the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Green Party Broadland district councillor Eleanor Laming

Green Party Broadland councillor Eleanor Laming - Credit: Contributed

Eleanor Laming, Green party councillor for Postwick on Broadland District Council, said: "Having a park and ride service is crucial.

"We are working on ways of reducing cars on the road and having a park and ride is one way to do this. It would be sad if it was not reopened."

She said there was a reduced bus service in Postwick village and the park and ride site would be beneficial for employees at the Broadland Business Park and future homeowners in the growing area.

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director at Norwich BID. Photo: Submitted

Stefan Gurney, executive director at Norwich BID - Credit: Archant

But despite saying park and ride services were important for the city centre, Stefan Gurney, executive director at Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) believed the four active park and ride hubs served the city well.

He said: "If it did not reopen we'd like to see the funding saved from the provision invested in electrical vehicles."

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said the site remained in the hands of the Department of Health and Social Care.