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Gold Stop in Attleborough

Norfolk County Council is committed to improving bus services in Norfolk, and has developed a bus service improvement plan. The aim is to have a public transport network that customers choose first for most journeys over other modes of transport and which offers simple and affordable fares and ticketing.

In March 2022 Norfolk received the sixth highest allocation in the country from the DfT for our Bus Service Improvement Plan and the funding consists of £30.9m of capital funding and £18.6m of revenue funding. Visit Norfolk Bus Strategy for more information.

Continue reading to find out how the money is being spent and the latest updates.

Travel hubs, bus stops and real-time departure screens

£9.8 million is being spent on integrated travel hubs and improvements to stops and waiting areas across the county.

A travel hub is a recognisable place with an offer of different and connected transport modes with a good standard of facilities and information provision.

Our first Travel Norfolk Travel Hub was completed in North Walsham, and works are planned for Hunstanton, Cromer, Sheringham and Diss later this year.

Plans for these include enhanced waiting areas and shelters, real time bus departure screens, and printed information.  There will also be integration with cycling and walking facilities for travel to and from the Hub.

 

Gold Stop in Attleborough

A Gold standard bus stop includes:

  • Improvements to the design and layout of the bus stop area
  • New bus shelters
  • Real time bus departure screens
  • Lighting
  • Additional seating if required
  • Improved printed information

Five Gold stops have been completed at Hunstanton Tesco, Attleborough Queens Square, Hellesdon Cromer Road Tesco and Swaffham Market Place.

The next schemes we are working on are at Gaywood, Watton and Loddon, with more to follow later in the year.

New bus stop poles, boarding points and road markings are being installed at key bus stops across the county. These are for new stops on new bus routes, as well as upgrades to existing stops.

Bus stop flag signs are being upgraded to new reflective designs so that bus drivers can spot the stops more easily in the dark.

We are working closely with bus operators to provide more printed information at bus stops where needed and in the last year 146 new timetable poster cases have been installed!

Works are underway to install a large number of new real time bus departure screens across Norfolk:

Screens will be installed as standard at all new Gold Stops and Travel Hubs.

At least 30 new solar bus stop screens will be installed this summer along key bus routes from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton and Sheringham to Cromer.

Up to 25 additional locations across the county will also benefit from new screens later this year and in early 2025.

QR codes are also currently being installed at every bus stop in Norfolk, linking to stop specific real time departure information.  This will show the same information as a real time bus departure screen on your mobile phone, and you can bookmark the link for future reference.

Fare promotions

As part of the Bus Service Improvement Plan, approximately £5.3 million of the BSIP funding has been allocated to the fares promotions to make bus travel more affordable in Norfolk over the next three years.

Take a look below what have been implemented so far:

£2 fare cap

Now extended to 31st of December 2024!

A single journey run by participating operators will cost no more than £2 as part of HM Government Help for Households campaign designed to support families through cost-of-living pressures. If your current single ticket is less than £2, this will remain unchanged.

King’s Lynn flat fare

The first fares promotion announced as part of BSIP, residents in King’s Lynn have benefited from cheaper bus travel within the ‘town zone’. The new flat fare which started on the 21st of August 2023 means that any single journey that starts and finishes within the King’s Lynn town zone, will cost just £1.50.

All five bus operators who serve the town have signed up to the scheme – Lynx Bus, WNCT Ltd, Stagecoach, First Bus and Coach Services Ltd.

The ‘town zone’ area covers key locations such as the Gaywood Estate, Q.E Hospital, Hardwick Retail Park, North and South Wootton.

Tickets

Group day ticket, weekly tickets and monthly tickets: The second fare discount announced as part of BSIP; regular bus users and people travelling in groups have benefited from cheaper bus fares from September 2023. The new fares discount which started on the 3rd of September 2023 allowed group day tickets for up to five people, weekly tickets and monthly tickets on all services across Norfolk were discounted by 25%.

Park & Ride

The third fares promotion announced as part of the Council’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), from September 2023 Park & Ride services had new fares introduced enabling passengers to travel all day on the service for one price. The new fares have been designed to provide more flexible fare options for those choosing to travel independently, as a couple or as a family or with friends.

The new fares coincided with the re-opening of Postwick Park & Ride, which further enhances the service, providing five out of town sites for those wishing to visit Norwich, from all major routes into the city.

Thetford flat rate

The fourth fare discount announced as part of BSIP sees the residents in Thetford benefitting from a new flat fare on buses within the Thetford town zone. The new flat fare which started on the 13th of November 2023, means that any single journey that starts or finishes within the designated zone will cost just £1.50.

Both operators that serve the town, Coach Services Ltd and Konectbus have signed up to the scheme. The Thetford town zone includes key locations such as Thetford Academy, Tesco, Sainsburys and the RAF camp.

Great Yarmouth capped fare

The fifth fare discount announced as part of BSIP, residents in Great Yarmouth have benefited from a new capped fare on buses within the Yarmouth town zone. This new fare started on the 31st of March 2024 means that any single journey within the designated zone will cost just £1.50.

The Yarmouth town zone covers all of Caister, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Bradwell, Belton, and Burgh Castle. All three operators that serve the town, First Bus, Sanders and BorderBus, have signed up to the scheme.

Bus priority schemes

£21 million is allocated to bus priority schemes including traffic light priority and bus lanes and route management.

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.

As part of the Transforming Cities and BSIP scheme, the addition of a bus slip lane on Queens Road in Norwich has now been completed in May 2024, will benefit bus users as the traffic lights will prioritise bus traffic in and out of the bus station, it will also benefit other drivers by reducing the bus traffic in the other lanes.

The Diss rail link was completed in August 2023 which now provides a bus only link road to enable a new bus service to run between the rail station and bus station / town centre.

Junction and traffic priority improvements were completed in May 2024 to the Heartsease Roundabout in Norwich.

We have successfully deployed virtual traffic light priority for buses at up to 40 major junctions across Norfolk on key bus routes and we plan to have 30 further sites up and running by March 2025.

The system works by communicating with the electronic ticket machine and when the bus approaches a signal it will either stay green or turn to a green light. In some cases too we have moved the physical location of a bus stop to make the traffic light priority more effective.

We have worked with bus operators to identify where buses are being delayed because of the inability to access the stop due to the bus stopping area being too small or due to indiscriminate parking. This also presents an issue for users being able to board and alight the bus safely. Where these issues are identified we have introduced larger bus cages and bus stop clearways. 

bus stop at North Walsham Travel Hub

Bus services

Every year Norfolk County Council reviews the contracted bus services to ensure public money is being used in the best way. The aim is to create a transport network that not only meets the diverse needs of our residents but also contributes to a more sustainable Norfolk. By enhancing accessibility and expanding services, we aim to make public transport an even more attractive and reliable choice for the everyone.

Improved frequency has been delivered on the following routes which provides additional benefits of earlier and later journeys:

Lynx

  • 34/35/36 Coastliner winter timetable Hunstanton – King’s Lynn
  • 49 Fakenham – King’s Lynn

Sanders

  • X55 North Walsham – Norwich
  • X40 Sheringham – Cromer – Norwich
  • Coasthopper CH1

First Bus

  • Yellow line Fakenham – Norwich
  • Purple line Harleston – Long Stratton – Norwich
  • Charcoal line Bungay – Poringland – Norwich

West Norfolk Community Transport (WNCT)

  • 3 King’s Lynn town service
  • 5 King’s Lynn town service

Evening services have been introduced on the following routes: 

Konectbus

  • 5B Stalham – Wroxham – Norwich
  • 11A Dereham – Watton
  • 4 Dereham – Mattishall – Norwich

First Bus

  • Red line Thorpe St Andrew – Norwich
  • 8 Great Yarmouth town service
  • Turquoise line Attleborough – Norwich – Spixworth

Coach Services

  • 84/86 Brandon – Thetford – Bury St Edmunds

Sunday services have been introduced as follows: 

Sanders

  • 210 Coltishall – Spixworth – Norwich

Konectbus 

  • 4 Dereham – Mattishall – Norwich
  • 3 & 11 Watton – Dereham – Norwich

Lynx

  • 39 Grimston – King’s Lynn
  • 48 West Winch – King’s Lynn

First Bus

  • Yellow line Fakenham – Norwich
  • Purple line Horsford – Norwich
  • Charcoal line Bungay – Poringland – Norwich
  • Turquoise line Attleborough – Norwich – Spixworth

Completely new services, or extensions / re-routing of existing services to serve more places have been delivered in the following areas:

Konectbus

  • 512 Airport Park & Ride to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
  • 35 The Nest football academy – Norwich International Airport – Norwich rail station – Norwich City football club
  • 82 Watton – Attleborough
  • 21/22/23 Dereham – Fakenham
  • 5 Rackheath – Salhouse Road – Norwich
  • 717 Hemsby – Norwich

First Bus

  • First Pink line extension from Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to Hethersett
  • First Green line extension from Wymondham to Silfield
  • First Purple extension to South Tuckswood in Norwich
  • First 2 & 3 Gorleston – Great Yarmouth
  • First 7 Caister – Filby – Acle – Norwich
  • First 17 Norwich – Broadland Business Park and Broadland Gate housing development

Coach Services

  • Coach Services 88 & 89 Thetford – King’s Lynn
  • Coach Services 90 Thetford – Attleborough – Norwich

West Norfolk Community Transport (WNCT)

  • 3H in King’s Lynn, serving 2 health centres in the north and south of the town
  • West village link service

What else have we been working on?

The Travel Norfolk website and journey planner were launched in July 2023 as part of the Good Journey campaign, with a harder launch in September 2023 as part of our ‘One Journey at a Time’ campaign which was shortlisted for a Public Sector campaign in the 2024 CIPR Excellence awards.

Travel Norfolk and branding

We pledged in our 2021 BSIP to present the bus network, with its different bus operators, as a single local bus network with clear information. We have achieved this by launching a single Travel Norfolk brand which delivers county-wide marketing campaigns, a website and integrated journey planner to help us achieve our objective to grow passenger numbers.  

We have created a single travel brand for the county for all sustainable travel options – buses, walking, cycling. The logo is now being used on all buses and on all promotional material to show that even though each bus operator has their own website and brand, they are all part of one single system.  

 

Travel Norfolk Website and Journey Planner

The Travel Norfolk website and journey planner were launched in July 2023 as part of the Good Journey campaign, with a harder launch in September 2023 as part of our ‘One Journey at a Time’ campaign which was shortlisted for a Public Sector campaign in the 2024 CIPR Excellence awards.