New bus company to take over long-running city centre service

One of the First Eastern Counties' Pink Line buses in action in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

One of the First Eastern Counties' Pink Line buses in action in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A city centre bus route which links together two suburbs will be taken over by a new travel company.

The 50/50A Eaton Park/Cringleford to Mousehold Heath, on the boundary of Norwich and Sprowston, run by Konectbus, will be run by First Eastern Counties from Monday, July 27.

It will become the Pink Line 10 and 10A after the change was decided by Norfolk County Council after different companies bid for the contract.

Buses will operate six days a week and stop on Gertrude Road, Silver Road, the city centre and Newmarket Road on the way to Eaton.

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The new number 10 service will travel to Pettus Road at Eaton Park or Intwood Road in Cringleford as the 10A.

Each service will operate hourly, providing a bus from Newmarket Road to Mousehold Heath via the city centre up to every 30 minutes throughout the day.

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David Jordan, marketing manager at First Eastern Counties, said: “We are continuing to expand our bus network, providing communities with links into and out of the city centre making bus travel an affordable, attractive option for travel in and around Norwich.

“As a direct replacement for Konectbus’ service 50 and 50A, we’ll be bringing our great value fares for travel across our entire network, live bus information and simple ticket purchase via the First Bus App to these additional areas of the city.

“Through working with Norfolk County Council and other key stakeholders in the city, we are developing a sustainable network of bus services that can help reduce car use, improve air quality and make the bus the mode of transport of choice for the city.”

Mr Jordan added the Mousehold Heath to Eaton route was long-established.

A statement on the Konectbus website said: “These routes will be operated by First under contract to Norfolk County Council. The new timetable will be confirmed by the operator on their website soon. Valid monthly and scholars tickets (still in date) will be accepted by the new operator. We would like to thank our customers for travelling with us over the past few years.”

Davina Langley, marketing manager for Konectbus, said the loss of the service was a shame for the passengers and bus drivers who had built up a rapport ever since the company took on the service in 2014.

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Before that it had been run by Anglian Bus, which was sold to the Go-Ahead group, which Konectbus is part of, in 2012 and was known as route 999.

Anglian Bus ceased trading with all its routes in 2017 and buses were transferred to Konectbus.

Over the past few weeks as lockdown restrictions ease bus services are increasing in frequency.

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