Mixed reactions to Gapton Hall bus decision

A First bus driving through the village of Belton along Station Road South.Belton Transport Surey p

A First bus driving through the village of Belton along Station Road South.Belton Transport Surey proposing new routes through the village.Bus / Transport / Routes / First / Bus Pass / Concessions / RuralPicture: James BassCopy: John OwensFor: GYM NewsEastern Daily Press © 2010 (01603) 772434 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2010

The decision of a bus company to dismiss calls for a regular bus through to the Gapton Hall retail estate has been greeted by a mixed reaction.

At a meeting of the borough council’s Yarmouth Area Committee last week, First network manager Iain Rankine described the possibility of including the retail park on a bus route as unrealistic.

Mr Rankine cited insufficient infrastructure and heavy traffic among the factors standing in the way of the suggestion, which was raised by Norfolk County councillor Mick Castle.

However, his remarks have received criticism from some, including Steve Hewitt of the East Norfolk Transport Users Association.

He said: “Gapton Hall is the only major retail park in Norfolk that does not have a regular bus link, which is ludicrous.

“As far as traffic affecting scheduling, I am sure Gapton Hall Road is no busier than Southtown Road, and buses go down there. And surely if buses were to serve the area, surely this would alleviate some of this traffic.”

Ray Raymond, on Facebook, said: “Well heaven forbid that they use a service that would be of use.”

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Ken Eke said Gapton Hall was: “Without a doubt the worst retail park to access. And an absolute stroke of genius to put a drive-in fast food outlet, right on the entrance.”

Meg Harsley said: “I think it would be a great idea, especially for the people who work on the Gapton estate.”

Veronica Howell added: “Shopping is impossible for the majority of those of us without cars. It’s easier to go to Norwich than shop in our town. Most of the shops have moved out to the retail parks but no bus service. It beggars belief.”

Gail Champkins said: “What a shame, so many people would have used that service. Very disappointing.”

Not all of the reaction was opposed to Mr Rankine’s verdict however, with some feeling a regular bus link would not necessarily be a positive thing.

Ronnie Keane said: “The right decision was made as far as I’m concerned. Traffic in and out of Harfrey’s and Gapton is already very heavy. The roundabouts come to a standstill at busy times. Can you imagine adding buses into that?”

Gemma Louise said: “Good. How much more business would be diverted from the town? The traffic’s a nightmare anyway so it would make it worse with buses stopping and pulling out. It’s not realistic.”