It's less fuss by bus and all for a quid
The region's busiest hospital has teamed up with Norfolk County Council to help promote affordable and frequent bus services to the N&N.
As the busiest hospital in the region with over 2,000 outpatient appointments and 900 visitors a day, a parking space at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital cannot always be guaranteed, so the NHS Foundation Trust and Norfolk County Council are working together to improve and promote bus services.
Two new initiatives aim to make bus travel an even more attractive alternative to the car. The 'It's less fuss by bus' campaign is offering travel from the Costessey Park & Ride to the hospital for just £1. The cost of parking at the hospital is £2.00 for 3 hours.
Adrian Gunson, Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation said: “We are very pleased to be able to work with the hospital to improve access for patients and visitors alike. The service from Costessey is high quality and frequent and gives people a realistic choice of journey options at a very affordable price.”
Simon Wardale, NNUH Travel Co-ordinator, added: “We are very keen that more people make use of the good public transport links we have to the Costessey Park and Ride. We know that some people will have to park at the hospital but there are many people who could use the park and ride service as a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly option.”
At the same time, up to the minute information on all buses serving the NNUH is now on display on two screens that have been installed in hospital foyer areas as part of the European-funded CIVITAS SMILE project. All the services to and from the hospital are included.
The screens are testing an internet-based system, established by Swedish company Hogia, that has been developed by Mott MacDonald working in partnership with Norfolk County Council, and with bus operators First and Konect.
“The easy, up to date information on these screens is further encouragement for visitors and staff to leave their cars at home,” said Adrian Gunson. “Bus users can see how services are running. If a bus is late or cancelled it is really important that passengers can quickly and easily find out whats going on and what other bus service options are available.”
Dave Stephens, the CIVITAS project leader for the trial said: We will be asking people who visit or work at the hospital for their views on what information is most useful. As well as the display screens at the hospital, the information can also be sent out by SMS text message*.
If this trial goes well, the system could be developed to cover the whole of Norfolk, and could include other types of travel information such as problems on the roads.”
For people with a concessionary passes bus services will be free, subject to the normal rules**.
Notes for Editors
*Anyone wishing to participate in the trial of live SMS updates can contact Norfolk County Council on 01603 222311 or firstname.lastname@example.org
**In Norfolk, bus travel is free for concessionary bus pass holders after 8.30am.