Go-Ahead subsidiary, Konectbus, has finalised its take over of the contract to operate all six park & ride services in Norwich. B&CB originally announced the operator was the preferred bidder in March (see B&CB 1320, 27 March 2015), but a standstill order was in place at that time. The company has now been confirmed as the operator of the sites, starting in September 2015. Konectbus will deliver a new network of services designed by the company and Norfolk County Council.
The new contract is to see the introduction of new cross city links to open up access to more parts of the city without changing bus. There will be an improved ten minute frequency for Airport-Thickthorn during peak times, as well as a new Norwich Rail Station link from Postwick and the provision of smart ticketing on all services with a revised and simplified fare structure. Rest room facilities at parking sites are to be reopened. There will also be 18 new buses on the city centre services and refurbished vehicles on the remainder. These vehicles will have more comfortable seats with headrests; free on board Wi-Fi; media screens with next stop announcements, promotional messages about the city and about Park & Ride; CCTV systems and telematics to improve driving style.
MD of Konectbus, Gavin Hunter, said, ‘As a locally based company we are very pleased to have been selected to run all of the park and ride services in Norwich. We believe that the improved network with more destinations and the new buses we have invested in will offer an affordable and viable alternative to the car. As well as taking the hassle of finding a parking space in the city centre away, our services will offer other benefits such as free to use Wi-Fi and comfortable seating. People can then choose to spend their time on-board catching up on e-mails and work or can simply relax and enjoy the journey.’