Postwick Park and Ride to remain closed due to low passenger numbers

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

The Postwick Park and Ride has not been in use since it became a Covid testing site - Credit: Mike Page

A Park and Ride to the east of Norwich will remain shut due to low passenger numbers, the county council has announced.

The Postwick Park and Ride was closed in 2020 and made way for one of the region's first Covid testing sites and questions have recently been raised over when it might re-open.

But it has now been revealed that the travel hub will remain shut until struggles at other sites have subsided.

The service has struggled since the reopening of the other sites that serve the city centre - the Airport, Thickthorn, Harford and Sprowston.

While other local bus services have recovered to 75pc of pre-Covid passenger numbers, Park and Ride services remain at 35pc.

Norfolk County Council is waiting until the four sites in operation reach this 75pc mark.

Martin Wilby, the council's cabinet member for transport, said: “Although disappointing, keeping the Postwick Park and Ride site closed is the right decision for the council.

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"The Park and Ride is an important part of our transport strategy and so we are doing what we can to keep the service running by subsidising the other four sites while passenger numbers remain low.

"However, we also need to minimise the cost and financial commitment to the council.

"Re-starting the service from Postwick would add between £100-200,000 to that subsidy – something which we simply cannot afford in these difficult financial times.

“We are working hard alongside all of our bus operators to increase passenger numbers across all services with campaigns such as our recently launched ‘Choose the bus’ campaign and working to deliver our bus service improvement plan for the county.”

The Postwick Park and Ride has not been in use since 2020 when it closed due to low numbers because of lockdown restrictions and became a Department of Health Covid testing centre.

The decision to keep it closed means that the subsidy for keeping the service running doesn't increase and will remain at about £500,000.

This figure will reduce the more passengers the services get.

Those wanting to travel to Norwich from the east of the city are encouraged to use the Harford or Sprowston services.

The taxibus service in Postwick will continue to run.