The Coasthopper service in Norfolk is to continue on a commercial basis through the winter months, following an agreement between Norfolk County Council and Stagecoach in Norfolk.
The Coasthopper service, which annually carries around 500,000 passengers, will run an hourly service from October 12 between Hunstanton and Cromer until Easter 2016.
The council’s longstanding investment in Coasthopper, building the route from scratch, had previously provided a platform for the summer elements to be operated on a commercial basis. Now, Stagecoach in Norfolk will also operate this winter period and into next spring without council subsidy.
Toby Coke, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said:
“The Coasthopper represents a vital means of transport for many residents in west Norfolk and across the north Norfolk coast, so it’s great news that Stagecoach will continue to operate the route throughout the winter and until next spring.
“The fact that the County Council has managed to ensure that no subsidy continues to be required for this service means this is not just good news for passengers but the Norfolk taxpayer as well.”
Andy Campbell, Managing Director of Stagecoach in Norfolk, said: “Coasthopper is a superb example of partnership working between public and private sectors. The effort and investment put in by both parties since the service started in 1996 has produced the success story that we see today.
“I am delighted that we have been able to secure the future of the service with the winter timetable until next spring.”
It is currently unclear what this development will mean for the council-contracted Coasthopper service which was due to be operated by Lynx over the winter. Director Julian Patterson told CBW that the company was waiting to hear from the council as to its future involvement with the service.