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Splash the cash to make bus service run more often, campaigners say

PUBLISHED: 15:42 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:54 13 March 2020

Joanna Smith and Rowan Shingler want to see a bid to enhance the First number 30 service. Pic: Danny Douglas.

Joanna Smith and Rowan Shingler want to see a bid to enhance the First number 30 service. Pic: Danny Douglas.

Danny Douglas

A call has been made for government cash to be used to bring back a Norwich bus service which has been reduced in recent years.

First's number 30 service which First runs between Hellesdon and the city centre, via Mile Cross and Heigham Street, has been scaled back in recent years.

It now runs five times a day on Mondays to Saturdays, but campaigners say a share of government cash could be used to make them more frequent and extend it to areas such as the Queens Hills estate and Easton College.

Danny Douglas, Labour county councillor for Mancroft ward, wants to see the county council use some of the £917,000 which the government has awarded it through a scheme to get a better deal for bus users.

Mr Douglas says the money could help to expand the number 20 service and restore it to previous levels when it ran seven days a week and more frequently.

Former Labour city councillor Joanna Smith was out with teacher Rowan Shingler this week gathering signatures to support Mr Douglas's proposals.

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The proposals outline a return to a half hourly service at peak times, with earlier and later departures from the city centre.

They also suggest an extended service to Easton and Queen's Hills and to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and County Hall at peak times.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: 'As part of a commitment by the government to spend more on local bus services Norfolk has been allocated £917,442 over a maximum of two years.

'Before funding is allocated we have to set out our plans and each plan needs to meet a number of criteria.

'We have received many proposals from key stakeholders including elected members and local bus operators.

'Each one is being assessed to ensure it meets the funding criteria and full details about what has been put into the bid will be made available next week.'

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties said;' There are several funding streams pending relating to public transport improvements this year and as the main public transport provider in the area we are in full support of any enhancements that can be introduced to the public transport infrastructure in the city and county.'


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