More bus priority, new routes, and discounted fares, all part of plan to improve county bus services
06 September 2022
Norfolk has been successful in securing £49.55m of funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) and today papers have been published which outline how the money will be spent to improve the county's bus services and facilities over the next three years.
Norfolk received the sixth highest allocation in the country and the funding consists of £30.9m of capital funding and £18.6m of revenue funding.
The plans outline 17 new measures across the county which give buses priority on the roads. These include new bus lanes in Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth and redesigned junctions across the county.
New or improved travel hubs are proposed for Sheringham, Cromer, Diss and Hunstanton which will provide better waiting areas with real-time information to help to give passengers a better experience as well as being integrated with walking and cycling facilities.
There will also be a county-wide review of bus stops with upgrades to improve access for people with disabilities, to provide more real-time information and a programme of works to reduce delays to buses.
Approximately £12 million of the funding will be spent on providing new or expanded bus routes and increased service frequencies on key routes, including more evening and weekend services. The detail of these routes will be worked up with bus operators and using feedback from residents, elected members and parish councils over the coming months.
The final element of the plan is to reduce fares, particularly for those under 25 who will receive a 20% discount, and in targeted areas where flat fares schemes will be piloted starting with Great Yarmouth.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, said:
“This is a robust plan which was developed with operators and influenced by feedback from more than 1500 Norfolk residents who took part in a recent consultation. More services and increased frequencies are key to enabling people to travel around the county by public transport and so it’s good to see that a significant amount of the funding will be used for this. The planned changes to infrastructure will reduce delays which will ensure an efficient and reliable service for passengers.”
Linda McCord, Independent Chair of the Norfolk Enhanced Partnership and who works for the passenger representative body Transport Focus said;
“Securing this money is a major boost for travel across Norfolk as improving bus services across the county is vital in improving rural mobility. Our Enhanced Partnership has already delivered a number of improvements including a new single ticket for use across all operators, a marketing campaign to encourage more people to use the bus, and a single customer charter for all operators – so I’m very excited to see this plan of improvements delivered over the next three years.”
Notes to editor:
The plans will be discussed at the Infrastructure and Development Select Committee on Wednesday 14 September.
- Full details of the proposals that were sent to the DfT can be found in the papers for the meeting.
- The plans will go before Cabinet on 3 October 2022 to be formally reviewed and agreed.