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Relief as popular coastal bus route is saved after Stagecoach slashes services

The Coasthopper will be run by Sanders Coaches and Lynx. Picture: Ian Burt

The Coasthopper will be run by Sanders Coaches and Lynx. Picture: Ian Burt

Confirmation that the popular Coasthopper bus route will continue has been greeted with relief by campaigners.

The route, which connects King’s Lynn to Cromer via many otherwise isolated rural communities, had looked under threat after operator, Stagecoach East, announced it was slashing its Norfolk routes.

But on March 7 it was revealed Sanders Coaches and King’s Lynn-based Lynx would step in to run different parts of the route.

And, rather than being cut, it appears that the route will actually be expanded through to Mundesley, although the name of parts of service look set to change.

Dr Marie Strong, Norfolk county councillor for Wells, said: “Having been a defender of the Coasthopper since it was under threat because it was the most heavily subsidised bus route in the county I am delighted it travels on.”

Under the new arrangements, Sanders Coaches of Holt will run the route from Mundesley to Wells, and this section will still be called the Coasthopper.

Lynx will provide the service from Wells to Hunstanton, however, this will be called the Coastliner - the name used for the route in 1995.

And although the service will still be connected to King’s Lynn, Dr Strong said this part of the route had never officially been part of the Coasthopper line.

Dr Strong also said there was a common misconception that the Coasthopper was subsidised by the county council, however this was no longer the case.

She said: “The Coasthopper requires no subsidy from the county and has not done so since September 2015.

“I can also confirm that all operators receive full payment for concessionary travel, that is ‘free pass travel’.”

An online petition launched last month out of fears the route was facing the chop got more than 10,000 signatures. Martin Wilby, chairman of the council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “It’s very welcome news that the future of services on the Coasthopper route looks to be secure.

“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.”

n For more information about what is to happen with former Stagecoach routes, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/stagecoach.

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