Hundreds sign petition calling for coastal villages bus route to Norwich

The annual Hemsby Lifeboat Day on the beach.
August 2015.
Picture: James Bass

The annual Hemsby Lifeboat Day on the beach in 2015. It is hoped buses could travel straight from the village to Norwich - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

A councillor has called on transport bosses to create a bus route between coastal villages near Great Yarmouth and Norwich.

James Bensly, county councillor for the East Flegg Division, has handed in a 200-name strong petition asking for his home village of Hemsby and also neighbouring Ormesby and Winterton to have a direct route to Norwich.

James Bensley, Conservative candidate for Yarmout North and Central. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

James Bensley, councillor for East Flegg - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

He also envisions the route would pass through Martham and Acle as well.

The petition comes as Norfolk Council waits to hear if it is successful in securing £106m from the government's Bus Back Better Fund.

It follows the creation of a Norfolk Bus Improvement Plan in October, which Mr Bensly hopes can include the new route.

He says the route would be beneficial in boosting tourism, with 20,000 people alone estimated to holiday in Hemsby every summer.

Mr Bensly said:"This would unlock new opportunities for people of all ages while also having a positive effect of tourism and people being able to spend a day in the city.

"Norfolk County Council is doing a great job in working with local bus operators forming an enhanced partnership and we have asked the DfT for £106 million of funding to deliver the actions of the Bus Service Improvement Plan.

"This is to go out to consultation soon which will help prioritise what we should do if we do not get the full funding requested.

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"But I believe, as do my residents, that this is a priority scheme that should be in the Bus Service Improvement Plan and be part of this new enhanced partnership."

On Wednesday Mr Bensly spoke at a meeting of the county council's infrastructure and development committee, which looked at whether the authority will secure the £106m Bus Back Better Fund.

Calling for better bus links at the meeting he said: "These buses are financial stimulators."

He also called for what he called the creation of "fares for family" to offer discounts to encourage bus use.

The Norfolk Bus Service Improvement Plan includes a £41m bus priority plan to speed up journeys and £21m for "consistent bus network standards".

Once the council finds out how much it gets from the government, the bus improvement plan will go out to public consultation.