West Norfolk Community Transport Ltd, which already trades as ‘Go to Town’ on some routes it runs into Lynn from outlying areas not served by conventional bus companies, has announced its investment of £1 million to launch new routes for the town and area following the decision by Stagecoach to largely exit the area.
The company is a registered charity, so that any money made over and above costs is guaranteed to be ploughed back in to provide specialist dial a bus routes for those people who are unable to use ordinary buses, either because of their own mobility issues or because local transport is not provided in their village or near to their home.
The fund has been put together in order to buy a new depot, offices and maintenance area at Old Meadow Road, Hardwick, plus nine full size buses, all of which will be fully accessible, and all but two of which will have ’18 plate registrations and should be delivered from their British builders in time for the launch date. In a major boost for the town’s air quality, these brand new vehicles have all the latest engine technology, and on-the-road tests show them to have emission levels so low that they equate to one tenth of modern diesel cars.
The company will strengthen its ‘Go to Town’ brand and take over from Stagecoach town routes 2 to 5 on Sunday April 29th. Routes 2 (North Lynn) and 3 (South and North Wootton) will both run every half hour six days a week and less frequently on Sunday. Route 4 will be diverted via North Lynn and Lynnsport Way and run at up to half hourly intervals, so that parts of North Lynn will have an increase from the existing three to in future four per hour. This new route, is to get ready to provide buses to the new Orchard Place development, when the roads are completed and open.
The range of fares and tickets on offer will be changed and expanded, and whilst fares will be a little higher than with Stagecoach the discounts available are aimed to attract new users to the buses.
“This unprecedented investment by a local charity is good news for the whole town” commented Howard Russell, Chief Executive of West Norfolk Community Transport Ltd, who was new to the post last November. “It is good news because it makes a real step forward to dealing with air quality issues, and it is good news too because it will help fund our charitable aims and objectives”.
He added that the investment would only work if the plans attract people back onto the buses and help free up the ever-more-clogged town centre area roadspace. “It is not good news for anybody to be sitting in the routinely gridlocked traffic around the town centre” said Howard “and especially not for us to invest to stand still and that is why we are calling on both the County and Borough Councils to take bold and radical steps to end the current state of affairs which, as one South Wootton Councillor recently described it, will strangle the town centre’s economy.”
Details of the company’s new route timetables can be viewed on our website here or on our Facebook page, where fares and ticketing information will be added nearer the introduction date. It is also creating a new website dedicated to ‘Go to Town’ routes which will be launched soon. Further information is available on 01553 776971.