Bus service set to return to town’s estate
- Credit: Coach Services
A community has been reassured that a vital bus service is set to return to an estate.
Residents in Thetford raised their concerns that a bus service, on the Elm Road and Fir Road loop, would not be resuming after lockdown.
But Coach Services, which runs the buses, has confirmed that they are doing a phased return and have no plans to stop the service.
Rob Crawford, transport manager for Coach Services, said: “That’s not the case at all. We never had any intention of stopping the service.
“At the minute we are phasing the buses back in at a level we can sustain operationally.
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“Because we are trying to phase the return, we can’t do it all at once and not many people are travelling - we are still only operating at around 70 to 80pc compared to last year.
“I don’t think it will be very long and I am hoping to put on a service by the end of August, but we are just keeping an eye on numbers at the moment.”
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This comes after residents spoke with Thetford Burrell ward councillors, Chris Harvey and Terry Jermy.
Mr Harvey said: “We are trying to get people to use the town centre, but if there are no buses to take residents into the town centre, how will this happen?
“It really affects the elderly and young families who live on that route - for some people it’s their only link.”
As part of the phased return, Coach Services is currently using its double decker buses to double up on services as the number of people using public transport slowly increases.
In an emailed response to Mr Jermy, who questioned whether the service was going to return, a spokesman said: “The phased return means that we are doubling up on some services so every other bus on the 83 route will be a double decker.
“It is not possible to get a decker around Elm Road partly due to poorly parked cars which have greatly increased in number since lockdown.
“The parked cars around the area regularly cause delays to the normal service/smaller buses so this would need to be looked at before the service is re-introduced.
“This is a phased return and we do have plans to reintroduce a smaller bus around the estate when the services are increased.”