Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Cuts Cut The Mustard (2)

Park and Ride Presages Problems?
Until 2015, Norwich's Park and Ride services were operated on individual contracts with First, Konect Bus and Norse all involved at different locations. Then the whole job lot was awarded to Konect plus the management of Norwich Bus Station.
There was much positive publicity about the new services and their lovely new green buses.
Here is a 503 at Postwick just off the A47.
But it looks as if all was not well with the performance of some of these routes. In June 2016 a big change was announced.

Konect would take over the Anglian Bus service between Norwich and Great Yarmouth. It had been tweaked from route A47 to plain 7 ...
... and originally offered through workings with a very long drag from Great Yarmouth all the way along the coast  to Southwold.
A minute under two and a half hours!
Thus Konect merged the half hourly 7 with an additional X7 to the Park and Ride only in order to retain the every 15 minutes service of the former 503.
Clever eh? It saves the cost of one bus on the P & R, although the County Hall link only gets a 30 minute service.

We now go back to First Bus whose services between Norwich and the seaside had been greatly developed and increased in frequency. After the split of the X1, the still numbered X1 ran half hourly to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft ...
An additional X11 paralleled the X1 to Gorleston then sped off inland to Belton.
The publicity was smart ...
... flaunting the 15 minute frequency.
Konect, too, used smart vehicles ...
... but were never able to match the frequency of Fearnley's First.

As an aside, Anglian also reduced their lengthy 61 to run to Kessingland only ...
... but offering to connect with Konect at Great Yarmouth.
This left the run to Southwold in the sole "ownership" of First, but from Lowestoft only.
If geography baffles you, then here is a map showing the main points already covered.
Simple, isn't it?

So, following grim financial performance by the GoAhead East Anglia companies, we were expecting some savage pruning. 

From Sunday 12th March, service 7 will be withdrawn completely between Postwick Park and Ride and Great Yarmouth.

First Bus would appear to have won the battle of the A47. Bus watchers are, however, asking whether the every 15 minute X1/X11 might now get a prune of its own with the departure of the "aggressor"?

And what has happened to Postwick Park and Ride?

Konect will still run every 15 minutes but as part of a further re-organisation of its Norwich operation. fbb will elucidate further when full timetables are published; but there appears to have been some trimming elsewhere!

 Next bus OR rail blog : Wednesday 25th January 

1 comment:

  1. The timetables are on the Konnectbus website