Campaigners fail to change timetables for Wisbech St Mary

MP Steve Barclay MP Steve Barclay

Monday, July 7, 2014
3:06 PM

A campaign which called for an hourly bus service to go via Wisbech St Mary has failed to change the timetables at the head offices of the First Eastern bus company.

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The X1 bus route, which at 120 miles from Peterborough to Lowestoft, is the longest single route in the country, looks set to continue passing through the Fens via the A47 at Guyhirn.

Campaigners, including MP Steve Barclay, had hoped to re direct it via Wisbech St Mary which they said would only add a few minutes to the journey and would pick up valuable extra customers from the village along the way.

Former councillor and petition organiser Brian Sandall, said: “The bus stops at Thorney, then at the Shell garage near Guyhirn and then on to Wisbech - we could not see why it could not go through Wisbech St Mary instead.

“The village has no service to Peterborough - if anyone wants to get to the city they have to go into Wisbech first.

“Making this slight amendment would make a big difference to villagers. We weren’t even calling for every bus to go that way - maybe every other one or just two or three per day, just to give a level of service.

Mr Barclay said: “It is disappointing that after having met Steve Wickers of First Eastern and held a conference call to impress the desire of local residents on him of the need for a bus to serve Wisbech St Mary, this month’s timetable change will not include this diversion.

“There were however a number of factors at play behind this decision, not least the last-minute discover of joint plans between the Highways Agency and Norfolk CC to redevelop the A47 Postwick interchange.

“I will therefore be keeping up the pressure for the bus to serve Wisbech St Mary at the next timetable change and would encourage residents to make their feelings known to the bus company.”

A First Direct spokesman said: “The X1 is an express service between Peterborough and Lowestoft and while we recognise that there is a demand to serve Wisbech St Mary, we can not serve all villages on the route.

“Over the past few years we have had to increase our resources on the route due to the high volume of traffic on the A47.

“In order to gain some time on the western section of route between Peterborough and Norwich, we have recently announced that we are unable to serve Toftwood. The X1 is intended to be a limited-stop, semi-fast service.

“We constantly review our routes to ensure we provide the best possible services to our passengers. We are sorry we cannot meet the request to serve Wisbech St Mary at this time.”

3 comments

  • How is it that in Lincolnshire every single bus stop, even those in remote areas, have a clearly marked bus stop with timetable information and a raised kerb to help people on and off the bus? At busier stops there is a waiting shelter and a real-time "next bus" indicator. While over here in Cambridgeshire, taking Guyhirn as a prime example, there is not even a sign to show where the bus stop is, let alone anything else. This sums up the contempt Cambs County Council has for public transport. First Group aren't much better - to aid people trying to find the non-existent bus stop, they helpfully call it "Guyhirn Little Chef". Wake up, Worst Group, the Little Chef closed about 10 years ago!

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    Citizen of EUSSR

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • Thats true, @NorfolkandGood, there really does need to be a bus shelter at Guyhirn.

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    Steve Tierney

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

  • This is GOOD NEWS. The road through Wisbech St Mary is totally unsuitable for express double decker coaches, and the people using the new Wisbech Tesco stop and Weasenham Lane would have been disadvantaged. Also, Mr Sandall, you say that anyone wanting to go from WSM to Peterborough has to go into Wisbech first. This is not the case. They can catch the hourly Norfolk Green service towards March and change at Guyhirn. Maybe instead, you should be asking Cambs County Council to provide a proper bus shelter at Guyhirn for the poor people who have to stand next to the busy A47 in all weather. They provided one at Thorney Toll but not Guyhirn, for some bizarre reason!

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    Norfolk and Good

    Monday, July 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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