Proactive community transport

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The operator has a varied fleet based on what was available when new vehicles were required. This is likely to become more standardised as the operator is planning to purchase brand new vehicles in future. JAMES DAY

James Day visits Howard Russell at West Norfolk Community Transport to find out how the company is adding a commercial arm to its work in response to legislative changes and commercial bus cuts

This year, Stagecoach East announced that it was discontinuing a number of services in and around King’s Lynn in West Norfolk, finding that they were no longer commercially viable. In response, local operators have stepped in the cover the services, one of which is West Norfolk Community Transport (WNCT).

Like many community transport operators, WNCT primarily operates urban and rural Dial-a-Bus services and various other services geared towards assisting people who are isolated from public transport, often due to age, disability or location. Interested to hear how the organisation had moved into its new operating territory, I visited Howard Russell at the WNCT’s base in the heart of King’s Lynn.

Howard joined WNCT as CEO in November 2017, and having come from a road haulage background, it is the first time he has worked in the community transport sector, or any other part of the bus industry.

He explained: “I came up for an interview, where the situation with the new legislative changes was described and it seemed like a new challenge. […]

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