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Future of major Fenland bus service still uncertain as deal revealed to save other routes

BUS SERVICE: A deal appears to have been struck securing the future of the 505 Spalding to King's Lynn bus service. Photo supplied.
BUS SERVICE: A deal appears to have been struck securing the future of the 505 Spalding to King's Lynn bus service. Photo supplied.

The future of a vital bus service between Wisbech and March has still to be finalised, despite the announcement of a deal securing other routes to and from Fenland.

An agreement has been reached to transfer most of the routes threatened by Stagecoach’s decision to pull out of operations in King’s Lynn to other operators.

But the announcement, made by Norfolk County Council late this afternoon, said the future of the 46 service from Wisbech to March is still to be confirmed.

The authority said: “The section that operates between March to Wisbech is being reviewed by Cambridgeshire County Council. The service will continue to run as normal in the interim.”

Independent operator Lynx will take over the section of the 46 between Wisbech and King’s Lynn from Stagecoach from April 29.

But a tender is still being sought for the 49A Wisbech to Sutton route by Lincolnshire County Council.

The future of many routes serving the Fenland area was plunged into doubt when Stagecoach announced its intention to review its entire King’s Lynn-based operation in January.

The company is now set to withdraw from most of the routes it currently runs in late April.

However, today’s announcement said the company will continue to operate the 50 route from Wisbech to Long Sutton, the 56 from Wisbech to Manea and the 66 Wisbech and Walsoken circular service.

It will also retain the 505 route from King’s Lynn to Spalding, which runs through Long Sutton, though journeys will only run on a half-hourly basis instead of every 20 minutes under the current weekday service.

Meanwhile, the number 60 route between Wisbech, Upwell and Three Holes will be transferred to West Norfolk Community Transport.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “Our transport team and local operators have been working hard to make sure that as far as possible the former Stagecoach services continue to run.

“Some services and timetables may differ from now. We’re expecting to have much greater detail on routes and timings over the coming days.

“As details emerge and services switch over to new providers we’ll continue to work with operators to review services by looking at passenger numbers and listening to customer feedback.”

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