Uproar after First buses cancels vital service to Wymondham College

A First bus makes its way through Norwich. Pic: Edward Starr Photographer.

A First bus makes its way through Norwich. Pic: Edward Starr Photographer.

Edward Starr Photographer

Pupils have to walk down a dark lane after a key bus service was cancelled, a parent has claimed.

Three weeks ago, First Eastern Counties suspended a service from Wymondham College to Norwich and stops in between.

Parent Michael Nutt, whose twin sons used the service at least three times a week, said they were not notified of the cancellation of the 5.17pm 13c bus service. He has called for the service to be reinstated immediately.

A First Eastern Counties spokesman said they decided to re-route the service because few people were using it at that time.

But Mr Nutt, from Keswick, near Norwich, said: “It had operated successfully for many years bringing home from the college children who needed to stay on later at school for a range of after-school activities – such as sport, music, exam revision sessions and extra study.

“Now First buses expects these children to walk over half a mile in the dark down an unlit country lane with no footpath to catch a scheduled bus on the main road – a service which does not in any case call at all the stops of the 13c, such as Hethersett and Cringleford.

“Once the clocks go back, walking down this narrow country lane in the dark to catch a bus on the main road will be extremely dangerous.

“Wymondham College sits in a remote rural location and many day students have to travel some distance to get home.

“The 13c bus is for many the only way of doing so following after-school activity. The curtailment of this service badly lets down the children and parents affected.”

A spokesman for First Eastern Counties said: “We contacted the college in May advising them of our proposal to re-route the 13c at 5.17pm as very few people were using the bus at this time.

“To mediate the situation, the council provided new stops on the old A11 at the end of Golf Links Road allowing students to catch the service 13 bus at other times providing more flexibility and options from this location.”

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