New on-demand bus service launched in Norfolk County, UK
The new flexibus+ service will provide over 7,000 residents in Norfolk’s Swaffham and surrounding areas with a flexible on-demand bus service for a four-year period, six days a week.
Credit: Norfolk County Council
Norfolk County Council has announced that people who live and work near Swaffham can now rely on a new on-demand bus service, which began service in late March 2022.
Running between 07:00 and 19:00 every day (except Sundays), the flexibus+ service aims to transport people to work, study and shop, and can be booked by phone or online. The flexibus+ zone covers 85 square miles and has stops in Swaffham, as well as 20 villages and hamlets in the surrounding area.
The on-demand bus scheme has been made possible with a £700,000 grant awarded from the UK government’s Rural Mobility Fund. This money will allow the scheme to be set up and run for a period of four years, in which time it is hoped that it can become self-financing and therefore can continue to run for many years to come.
“We know how important good public transport is, and this scheme will bring good quality, modern and reliable public transport to more than 7,700 people who live to the south of Swaffham. Securing better public transport for Norfolk – particularly in rural areas – can be challenging, but this is a big step towards a key aim in our ambitious Bus Service Improvement Plan [(BSIP)],” said Councillor Martin Wilby, Cabinet Member for Highways Infrastructure and Transport. “The scheme is set to not only improve public transport links between Swaffham and nearby villages, but also open up connections to onward journeys to King’s Lynn and Norwich. If successful, this could be a model for schemes elsewhere in the county in the future.”
Councillor Fabian Eagle, County Councillor for the Brecks division, said: “I am very pleased that this service is available for the villages, as it will allow people to plan what they are doing and have a bus service that fits in with more flexible and varied lives.”
To help to get people to work and study, there will be a commuter service that can be booked to pick up people from 07:00 from any stop in the flexibus+ zone and drop them in Swaffham by 07:45. The on-demand service will run from 09:30 to 14:30 Monday to Friday and 07:00 to 19:00 on Saturdays, and can be used to go to and from any of the stops across the flexibus+ zone.
Concessionary cards for senior customers and those with mobility constraints are valid on the service, while children under the age of five and dogs can travel for free.
Until 30 June 2022, people who download the app will be able to book their first journey for free.
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