24/01/2011

Then & Now - Buses between King's Lynn to Hunstanton

Above (top) - Eastern Counties Bristol VR VR190 VPW85S saw service with Eastern Counties, mainly from King's Lynn between 1976 and 1984, it is now owned by Julian Patterson and restored in an excellent condition as seen above at Norwich Bus Rally 2009

Above (Bottom) First Eastern Counties Volvo B7TL 30903 W758DWX seen here at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on the 40 to Hunstanton in July 2010.

In 1979 there was one main service with four variations (services 410-413) operated by Eastern Counties between Kings Lynn and Hunstanton

All of the services served North Wootton, Castle Rising, Dersingham, Ingoldisthorpe, Snettisham and Heachem, the four variations were;
410 via the main route above
411 via West Newton and Sandringham
412 via Sedgeford
413 via Wolferton
The services operated roughly every half an hour with the main 410 operating every hour, the 411 via Sandringham every two hours, there were also two outbound/three inbound 412's a day via Sedgeford and five 413's a day two of which served Wolferton. There were also late evening services up until around 2330.

Today, in 2011 First Eastern Counties, which took over Eastern Counties continue to operate the main King's Lynn to Hunstanton routes, the main difference to todays service is that all daytime services leave King's Lynn via Gayton Road, QE Hospital and the A149 bypass. There are five variations to the service which are as follows;
40 via main roads
40A via Castle Rising
40B via Mountbatten Way
41 via Sandringham
41A via Castle Rising & Sandringham
The 40, 40B and 41 are the main daytime services that each operate once per hour to give a combined frequency of every 20 minuites. There are still evening services up until around 0015 which run as 40A's.

Wolferton and Sedgeford are no longer served by any public bus services - the services there now being provided on a dial-a-ride basis by West Norfolk Community Transport. Castle Rising is still served by the X40 - see below for details.


The 'Express' services
In the summer of 2009 award winning local bus company Norfolk Green launched their hourly 35 'Fast' service between King's Lynn and Hunstanton. The service was started, mainly to provide a regular service to connect with their highly popular Coasthopper service between Hunstanton and Cromer, the service fast became a success with people enjoying its fast 35 minuite journey time between King's Lynn and Hunstanton which is achieved by leaving King's Lynn via the North Lynn bypass and only stopping on the A149 - the 35 also serves King's Lynn Railway Station and connects with trains to Cambridge and London in both direction which is a fantastic link used by tourists, holidaymakers, daytrippers and commuters alike.

In December 2009 First Eastern Counties decided they wanted in on the 'fast service' action launching their hourly (less frequent mid afternoon) service X40, however the service doesn't appear to be as much of a success as Norfolk Greens fast 35 service, the journey times for the X40 are slower as it leaves King's Lynn through town via Gaywood and Castle Rising which adds time to the journey and leaves it prone to traffic delays through town. The X40 also doesn't serve Kings Lynn Railway Station on outbound journeys.

So, to conclude, things have changed quite a lot in 32 years, but for the better in my opinion, there are now 5 buses per hour compared to 2 per hour in 1979.