Bus service 'gone pear-shaped' since St Stephens regeneration

Tony Baker said he's "disgusted" at First Bus' choice to scrap central bus stops amid St Stephens regeneration works

Heigham Grove resident Tony Baker said he's "disgusted" at First Bus' choice to scrap central bus stops amid St Stephens regeneration works - Credit: Archant

A frequent bus user has slammed the decision to scrap some city centre stops as regeneration works continue.

Tony Baker of Dolphin Grove, off Heigham Street, gets the 30 bus into Norwich city centre three times a week and has branded the current service as "rubbish".

The 75-year-old said: "Sometimes it never turns up. It's either you wait for another hour or go to Dereham Road or Aylsham Road. A lot of the people who use it are elderly or disabled."

Tony Baker has used the bus services from Heigham Grove into Norwich City Centre since he moved to the area 50 years ago

Tony Baker has used the bus services from Heigham Grove into Norwich City Centre since he moved to the area 50 years ago - Credit: Supplied by Tony Baker

He explained that, before the 10-month St Stephens Street redevelopment and multitude of diversions, the 30 would stop at Castle Meadow before taking passengers further into he city centre to Rampant Horse Street.

A First Bus representative confirmed that normal service will resume once works are completed.

First Bus services on Castle Meadow in Norwich.

First Bus services on Castle Meadow in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

"It's more central for people to go to the shops and get back to the bus. But now? It doesn't stop there," Mr Baker added.

"We've missed it a few times. You've then got to catch the 21 and you can be walking with heavy bags.

"You can imagine those who can't manage that who have to wait another hour."

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Mr Baker said he has been using the bus services into Norwich for the 50 years he's lived in Heigham Grove and believes it has deteriorated since the regeneration of St Stephens began.

He added: "Assuming that the works finish on time, it'll probably be a year.

"First Bus is not considering the majority of their customers. I'm just disgusted, it's pear-shaped.

"If people in charge actually got on a bus and saw the kind of people who are using it and the service they're getting their thinking might be different."

Steve Wickers, managing director at First Norfolk and Suffolk, said: “While works are taking place in St Stephens, some bus stops have had to be changed temporarily to accommodate bus services that serve the central area.

"As I am sure people can appreciate, not all services can stop at every bus stop in the city as this would cause too much congestion and inconvenience to other road users.

"This change is a temporary measure and as soon as the works are completed Service 30 will be reinstated to serve Rampant Horse Street.”