Lib Dems Keep the Pressure on for a Night Bus

JH
18 Jan 2024
Cllr Brian Watkins talking at a full council meeting of Norfolk County Council in December 2023.

ABOVE: Cllr Brian Watkins talking at the full council meeting of Norfolk County Council in December 2023.

Read about our previous efforts with the night bus here:

Optimistic Prospects of a New Night Bus Service to UEA

Lib Dems Push for Local Night Bus Service

 

Having secured unanimous backing for our proposal of a night time blue bus service from the Norwich City Council in November, County Cllr Brian Watkins asked a question at the December meeting of the county council asking if the Conservatives would rethink their current policy of withholding funding for the service


Norfolk received £50m in money from the government recently specifically to improve and expand bus services, much of which remains unspent, and a night-time blue bus would cost a mere 0.1% of this total. It would also provide young people a safe route home from the city centre and keep our neighbourhoods quieter as fewer are forced to do so.


In January, Lib Dem University Ward spokesperson James Hawketts asked a public question at the county council, again highlighting the low cost and high social benefit of such a scheme, requesting the council commit to the investment. Frustratingly, the Conservative cabinet member in charge of transport, Cllr Plant, replied that, while he was open to the possibility of a jointly-funded scheme, he would not be providing the level of funding that the UEA student union has said is necessary to get the project off the ground


Cllr Plant believes there isn’t sufficient evidence that a night bus would be financially sustainable. We think that this short-term bus funding provided to Norfolk presents us with the perfect opportunity to run a trial period and examine the actual evidence of usage at its conclusion. 


It seems nonsensical to withhold money specifically granted to improve our busses and that can’t be used for anything else. What point is accepting government money if they aren’t prepared to spend it to improve the lives of our citizens? We are calling for a fully funded night bus trial.

Watch Cllr Watkins' question at the December County Council meeting here:

Watch Lib Dem spokesperson for the University Ward James Hawketts ask his public question to the county council:

Watch the debate on our Night Bus city council motion in November. It begins with an opening statement from Lib Dem Cllr Lubbock.