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Community rallies together after axing of bus stop

Concerns have been raised about bus route changes around Newport and Hemsby.

Picture: James Bass

Concerns have been raised about bus route changes around Newport and Hemsby. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

A community has rallied to fight the axing of what they say is a vital bus stop.

And First Bus says the reason for the Newport Beach stop being taken off the No 3 route is because of a need for a dedicated member of staff to supervise buses reversing.

They also cite a low passenger usage.

However, a group of more than 30 people gathered at the bus stop with their borough councillor, Shirley Weymouth, and leading parish councillors to voice their frustrations.

A Konect Buses service does stop at the site, but only twice a day in each direction.

Cllr Weymouth said the changes would mainly affect elderly people living on Fakes Road.

She said: “So many people who use the service are now elderly and it is not possible for them to walk back up Newport Road with shopping - it will make them very isolated.

“There are also the holiday sites on Newport Road which as a result are going to lose business.”

Until the changes, an extra member of staff was required to assist the bus to reverse on Newport Road, as the route meant it had to turn around and drive back towards Kings Way.

A First Bus spokesman said the decision was to ensure the safety of both pedestrians and passengers.

The spokesman added: “This was not a decision taken lightly, but with very few passengers travelling from Newport.

“It means the additional expense could not be justified.

“Norfolk County Council supports an all-year-round bus service from Newport and First continues to provide up to four buses per hour to Great Yarmouth during the summer period from the end of Newport Road.

“We would be happy to review our decision in the future if a safe means of turning buses at Newport can be found.”

Newport Road will continue to be served on weekdays by the No 71 Konect Bus at 8.58am and 11.28am to Great Yarmouth, and 11.07am and 2.07pm to Wroxham.

Mrs V M Speller, who lives in Newport, wrote to the Mercury saying: “They are saying they can’t afford to pay someone to be there to turn the buses but how is it that the Konect bus that only comes twice a day during the week has no trouble. “Many of the people who holiday here do not have cars and there are many with young children and many are elderly.

“I for one have trouble walking, it is worse when you walk back up Newport as there is a slight hill and if people have luggage or shopping it is quite a drag.”

Are you affected by the bus changes? Email kieran.lynch@archant.co.uk or write to our letters page at Great Yarmouth Mercury, 169

King Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1PA

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