Bus is back in the loop!

Residents in Sprowston are celebrating the return of the Linacre Loop bus service, which starts running today.

The First Bus 11A Pink Line had stops on Falcon Road West and Linacre Avenue for many years on the route to the Tesco Extra supermarket on Blue Boar Lane.

The route continued to the new housing development near Sprowston Manor, before returning along Wroxham Road, through the city centre and then on to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

But during the lockdown period, three stops on Linacre Avenue – known locally as the Linacre Loop – were removed from the service.

A petition by local councillor Natasha Harpley and representations from fellow councillors Judy Leggett and John Ward, as well as Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, stressed the importance of the service, and Konectbus is now operating a bus covering this route – the 11B.

Ms Harpley’s petition was signed by more than 600 people and she said: “I’m so pleased that my petition caught Konectbus’s eye and that they were able to put together a service so quickly. Huge thanks to them for that and for all the expressions of support from local residents. This is a great result for Sprowston and for community campaigning. I wish them every success with this new route.”

Sprowston mayor Mr Ward said: “The loss of this bus service was something local residents felt very strongly about. We are very pleased that Konectbus have risen to the challenge and hope residents will respond by making full use of the service”.

MP Chloe Smith on the new bus serving the Linacre Loop.

The service has been scheduled to synchronise with the service from the city centre to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Jeremy Cooper, managing director of Konectbus said: “We are delighted to support the residents of the Linacre Loop, with the launch of Konectbus route 11B.

“This route will provide a lifeline for many of the local residents – whether it be to visit the local supermarkets for their daily shopping needs or access into the city centre. It is wonderful to see that buses continue to receive local political support and we encourage as many people as possible to use route 11B to ensure it remains a viable service for us to run.”

Ms Smith added: “We spoke to lots of residents who were worried about the Linacre Loop ceasing, because they can’t walk all the way to Wroxham Road bus stops for the alternative service. I’m pleased that Konect has responded to elderly residents’ needs and will run the service from today.”

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