Brake on bus station improvement
A CASH shortage has put the brake on improvements at Great Yarmouth bus station it was revealed this week.Now it looks as if the town may have missed the bus after plans for a timetable and ticket kiosk at Market Gates Shopping Centre station were thrown into doubt.
A CASH shortage has put the brake on improvements at Great Yarmouth bus station it was revealed this week.
Now it looks as if the town may have missed the bus after plans for a timetable and ticket kiosk at Market Gates Shopping Centre station were thrown into doubt.
Norwich bus station is branded the most advanced of its kind with state of the art ticket machines, and real time electronic travel information. But Yarmouth remains the poor relation, with passengers waiting by often gloomy and windswept bus lanes and having to buy tickets on the bus.
At the moment people have to go the resort's library, tourist information centre or town hall to pick up timetables, or use an automated information point.
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Terri Johnson, 22, from Yarmouth, was among the passengers waiting to travel to Caister on Wednesday. She said: “It would be useful if there was a ticket office, as it would speed things up if you didn't have to pay on board. I often fiddle with change or get stuck behind other people counting up their fare.
“I have to use the bus as I can't drive, but it could be made a lot more pleasant and convenient.”
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Pensioner Edward Knight, 77, who regularly uses the bus service with wife Iris between Bradwell and Yarmouth, told the Mercury there was a shortage of information at the station. He said: “As we often travel from here we know where to wait, but there is not any information about the Bradwell service at the bus stop.
“It would be useful if there was somewhere to pick up timetables rather than having to walk to the library.”
Another regular passenger, Martyn Aylward, 38, said he tried to catch a bus to Belton on Sunday but didn't know the service wasn't running.
“If there was someone at the bus station you could speak it would save a lot of frustration,” he added. “Holidaymakers often have to ask where they need go to catch a bus, so having a ticket kiosk would be big advantage. There are not enough of seats here and it's generally not the most pleasant place to hang around.”
Thomas Nixon, 19, complained there was no sign where he had to wait to catch a bus to Yarmouth seafront.
He said: “I checked the timetable online, but it is a nuisance the information is not available at the station. You see a lot of confused people walking around and having a ticket office would be much more convenient.”
It is estimated that it will cost up to �40,000 to fit out a centre and another �114,000 to run the site annually with five staff.
Monday's county council Yarmouth area committee meeting was told that so far only �10,000 had been set aside for the bus information kiosk and that taking 10pc commission in ticket sales to help fund the centre would not meet its running costs.
In order to cut down costs the county council has also looked at setting up the information point in Victoria Arcade at a lower rent or basing the site in the sea front tourist information centre.
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