Daily bus service
After being without a regular bus since 2011, Stanhoe now has a proper daily service to and from King’s Lynn.
The new Go To Town 21 service started on 4 September and is operated by West Norfolk Community Transport (WNCT).
Stanhoe Parish Council is subsidising the service for at least the first year.
“We want people to use the new bus,” says Stanhoe bus champion Rosemary Brown. “Numbers will be monitored, and we want the service to continue in the future.”
Three buses every weekday
Both to and from King’s Lynn there are three buses every weekday and two on Saturdays.
On the later services returning from King’s Lynn, passengers will have to ask the driver to stop at Stanhoe.
Like the existing WNCT Dial A Bus service serving Stanhoe, Go To Town 21 is a wheelchair-accessible minibus. Unlike the Dial A Bus, though, it runs to a timetable and you don’t need to book in advance.
The official Stanhoe stop is by the pond, but you can hail the bus anywhere in the village as long as you know which way it’s heading (more about this below).
Bus passes are valid on the Go to Town buses, or you can buy a daily, weekly or monthly ticket.
Understanding the timetable
The timetable is somewhat complicated, since the buses make a loop between Stanhoe and Docking. Depending on the time of day, the bus to King’s Lynn stops at Stanhoe either before or after visiting Docking – and similarly on the way home.
Rosemary suggests thinking of the service as a circular route. On weekdays it calls at Stanhoe pond at:
- 07.48, coming from Docking and going to Bircham
- 09.25, coming from Bircham and going to Docking
- 13.36, coming from Docking and going to Bircham.
On Saturdays it calls at Stanhoe pond at 09.00 and 13.18, both times coming from Bircham and going to Docking.
The bus returns from King’s Lynn bus station at:
- 12.35, arriving in Stanhoe via Docking
- 16.40, REQUEST ONLY, arriving in Stanhoe via Bircham
- 17.45, REQUEST ONLY at all stops beyond the QEH.
On Saturdays it returns from King’s Lynn bus station at 12.35, and at 16.00 by request on getting on the bus.
Other stops of interest include:
- Docking (chip shop, school, and Old Station corner)
- Bircham (King’s Head and church corner)
- Tapping House hospice
- Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn.
See the link below for the timetable on the WNCT website. Alternatively, Google Maps knows about the new 21 service and is often handy for planning public transport, especially if you don’t know exactly where the stops are. However, at the moment it’s not clear Google understands that there are morning as well as afternoon buses from Stanhoe.
Financial support for a community service
Stanhoe Parish Council has been following the setting-up of the Go To Town 21 service since January this year. The original plan did not include Stanhoe, but councillors persuaded WNCT to change the route in return for a limited subsidy.
As a result, the bus will cost Stanhoe £700 in the first year. Next year the cost is projected to fall to £350, and zero in subsequent years. The Parish Council has asked WNCT for regular updates on the numbers of people using the service.
“There are not many of us to use it,” Rosemary added, “but it is necessary for the young people who need transport to the college in Lynn – one at present, two in two years’ time, and then after that. And it’s a service to the community.”
WNCT is a limited company and a registered charity. Launched in 1992, it aims to provide transport services that contribute to social inclusion.
WNCT runs ten Go To Town services, plus “ring and ride” services to Norfolk villages (Dial A Bus and Flexibus), and dedicated transport services for King’s Lynn residents.