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Townspeople demand better bus service

PUBLISHED: 18:51 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:51 30 June 2010

Protestors wait for a bus in Admiralty Road

Protestors wait for a bus in Admiralty Road

ANGRY bus passengers are stepping up their campaign to improve a bus service they have labelled the worst in the borough.

A group of protesters gathered this week along the route of the number 2 bus between south Yarmouth and the James Paget University Hospital.

ANGRY bus passengers are stepping up their campaign to improve a bus service they have labelled the worst in the borough.

A group of protesters gathered this week along the route of the number 2 bus between south Yarmouth and the James Paget University Hospital.

Barrack estate residents wanted to highlight their dissatisfaction with the First East England service which they claim is notoriously unreliable.

The campaign to demand an improved service has been organised by Susan Tasker who relies on the bus to travel to the town centre.

The grandmother-of-three said: “I travel with my mum Irene who is too frail to walk into town and you don't want to be standing around waiting for a bus in this weather.

“Only this week I was waiting for ages only for three buses to turn up at once, nothing changes it is very frustrating.

“Passengers are often waiting more than 20 minutes when there is supposed to be a bus every quarter-of-an-hour.

“We were told a depot manager would ride on the buses to investigate at the problem, but no-one has seen anybody.

“I have e-mailed and phoned First to complain so many times, but never get a response.”

She has organised an online campaign on social networking site Facebook which has received support from more than 40 people.

Nelson ward councillors Valerie Pettit and Brenda Taylor are also backing calls for First to improve the service, and the issue has been raised with Yarmouth MP Tony Wright.

Cllr Pettit said: “There are concerns about the standard of the service and the fact it could be reduced in frequency. This is a deprived area and many residents are reliant on the bus.

“A number of passengers have also complained about drivers taking the wrong route and leaving people behind.

“The issue was discussed at this week's community forum and I will be taking this up with the bus company at the first possible opportunity.”

First East England revenue and marketing manager Chelsea De Silva said: “If we find our services are not meeting people's needs we will look at how to improve them.”

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