How is fuel trouble impacting public transport in Norwich?

First Bus operation manager Chris Speed has praised his quick-thinking staff after a passenger was t

First Bus operation manager Chris Speed has praised his quick-thinking staff after a passenger was taken ill onboard a bus near Marks and Spencer in Norwich.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Problems at the petrol pumps is not seeing people flocking to public transport just yet, bosses have said.

But if the problem persists, providers are bracing themselves for the possibility as commuters look for ways to complete their commute without hunting for fuel.

With supply chain issues continuing to take their toll on filling stations around the country, alternative modes of transport may become more preferable to commuters in the coming days.

But Chris Speed, regional boss of First Buses, says he is yet to notice a difference in the use of his services.

Norwich had hoped to be awarded millions for transport improvements including buses. Picture: DENISE

Norwich bus station - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

He said: "I do wonder if fewer people are using cars, because driving from Gorleston to Norwich it almost felt like driving in lockdown again - until you got near a petrol station anyway.

"However, so far I have not noticed any sudden spike in the number of people using our buses around the city, it's about the same. If the problems persist though perhaps that might change."

He added that demand for petrol stations had seen the Red Line diverted to bypass the Pound Lane Sainsbury's as queues were causing significant delays.

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The bus provider has also put out warnings to passengers that some journeys may take longer as buses are getting held up in petrol station queues.

But Mr Speed added: "Our tankers are well stocked and our deliveries are continuing so we have no problems ourselves there."

Likewise, the region's rail network is yet to see a noticeable increase in demand - although others parts of the region have told a slightly different story.

Upper Crust has a branch at Norwich railway station. Photo: Archant

Norwich train station is yet to see an increase in demand due to the fuel crisis but says services are busier than before the summer

A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said: "We haven't had a noticeable increase in passengers at Norwich station, but it is still really busy and our station manager did notice the roads were a little quieter.

"In Colchester over the weekend though we did see the station getting far busier, with passengers commenting that it was due to the fuel crisis that they were travelling by train.

"We have noticed that Norwich and Norfolk, in general, have got a lot busier than they were before the summer and rail is a good way to get around, particularly if you are worried about fuel."

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