Norwich park and ride

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Volvo B7TLs formally used on the Harford park and ride service when operated by First (First lost out on the contract for 2010)

Norwich Park and Ride is a park and ride bus service in the city of Norwich, East Anglia. The first of the park and rides was opened in the early 1990s at Norwich International Airport in Hellesdon,[1] while the sixth (and currently final) site was opened in Thickthorn in 2005.[2] With the addition of the final site, the Norwich Park and Ride became the largest park and ride services in the United Kingdom,[3] and provided the scheme with over 5000 permanent car parks – at the time the highest number for a park and ride scheme in the country.[2] The scheme has proven to be quite successful, winning the British Parking Association Park and Ride award in 2004,[3] and in the 2006/2007 financial year, 3.3 million people used the service, keeping 940,000 cars out of the city centre.[4]

Thickthorn Park & Ride - Service 601[edit]

Thickthorn Park & Ride is located near Thickthorn services in Hethersett (NR9 3AU). The site first opened in 2005, making it the newest Park & Ride site in Norwich.

It has 726 car parking spaces and is open Monday to Saturday. On weekdays it opens at 6.30am and closes at 8pm, with the last bus departing the bus station for the site at 7.30pm (except on Thursdays when the site closes at 9pm, with the last bus at 8.30pm in order to accommodate late night shopping in Norwich). On Saturday, the site is open between 6.50am and 7.00pm, with the last bus at 6.30pm.[5]

Konectbus, a Norfolk bus company, operate the service using three VDL DB250PF/Wrightbus Pulsar Gemini's in a pink livery. Each bus has a seating capacity of 65. There are three vehicles in the Thickthorn Park & Ride livery. YJ05PXA (fleet no. 500), YJ05PXB (fleet no. 501) and YJ05PXC (fleet no. 502). For more information visit the KonectBus website.

Harford Park & Ride - Service 602[edit]

Harford Park & Ride is located on Ipswich Road, Norwich (NR4 6DY), and is accessed via an exit off the Harford Interchange where the A140 meets the A47.

The site is open between 6.50am and 7.00pm on Monday to Saturday, the first bus departing at 7.00am and the last leaving Norwich bus station for the site at 6.30pm. The site has 1088 car parking spaces, including electric vehicle charging points, cycle parking and recycle facilities. A car boot sale is held at the site on a Sunday, when no services are in operation.[6]

Prior to 2010, when First owned the contract, Volvo B7TL Double Decker Buses were used. Now that Konectbus, a Norfolk bus company, operate the service, they use three Dennis Trident 2/ADL Enviro 400's in a blue livery. Each bus has a seating capacity of 80. There are three vehicles in the Harford Park & Ride livery. SN10CFD (fleet no. 600), SN10CFE (fleet no. 601) and SN10CFF (fleet no. 602). For more information visit the KonectBus website.

Airport Park & Ride - Service 603[edit]

Airport Park & Ride is located on Buck Courtney Crescent, next to the entrance to Norwich International Airport.

Prior to 2010, 603 was operated using Irisbus Agoraline's in a yellow livery. Now that 'Norse Group', operate the service, they use four Transbus Trident/Plaxton President's in a turquoise livery. There are four vehicles in the Airport Park & Ride livery. PN03ULT (fleet no. 7161), PN03UMD (fleet no. 7167), PN03UME (fleet no. 7168) and PN03UMG (fleet no. 7169).

Costessey Park & Ride - Service 604[edit]

Costessey Park & Ride is located next to the Royal Norfolk Showground in Costessey, Norwich.

Prior to 2012, 604 was operated using Optare Tempo's in a green livery. However, in 2012, operator Konectbus replaced these with three, higher capacity, Mercedes Citaro Articulated buses in a green livery. There are three vehicles in the Costessey Park & Ride livery, one still awaiting vinyls. BX54UDK (fleet no. 805), BX54UDV (fleet no. 806) and BX54UEA (fleet no. 807). Each vehicle has a seating capacity of 49.

The Optare Tempo's previously used on the 604 were re-painted into the standard Konectbus livery, and now operate other routes.

Postwick & Sprowston Park & Ride - Services 605 & 606[edit]

In late 2011, Norfolk County Council made the decision to merge the Postwick P&R (Service 605) with Sprowston P&R (Service 606), to allow Postwick Park & Ride passengers to travel to Anglia Square. Previously, the Postwick Park & Ride's route was direct to Norwich Bus Station from Postwick, while the Sprowston Park & Ride's route saw commuters travel from Sprowston to Norwich Bus Station via Anglia Square and Castle Meadow. The new route combined the two, traveling from Postwick to Sprowston via Norwich Bus Station, Castle Meadow and Anglia Square.[7]

Although the two routes have now combined, Norse still use two different coloured buses. Previously, Postwick P&R buses were red/orange, and Sprowston buses were purple. The buses are still in those colours, but are now branded with 'Postwick - City Centre - Sprowston' above the usual Park & Ride logo.

The buses in the purple livery are PN03ULL (fleet no. 7158), PN03ULU (fleet no. 7162) and PN03UMC (fleet no. 7166). The buses in the orange/red livery are PN03UMA (fleet no. 7165), PN03ULP (fleet no. 7159) and PN03ULR (fleet no. 7160).

PN03ULX used to operate the Postwick Park & Ride service, until it tragically caught fire on Postwick roundabout in May 2011, or 2010? Luckily, nobody was harmed or injured.


There are six purpose-built sites operating into Norwich bus station using colour-coded buses offering some 5000 parking spaces. Services begin running into the city at 06:40 Monday to Friday, with the last buses returning from 19:25 (20:30 on Thursday).

  • Norwich Airport (off the A140) to the north via Aylsham Road; 620 spaces, Turquoise buses.
  • Sprowston (off the A1151) to the northeast via Wroxham Road; 792 spaces, Purple and/or Orange buses.
  • Postwick (off the A47) to the east via Thorpe Road; 552 spaces, Orange and/or Purple buses.
  • Harford (off the A140) to the south via Ipswich Road; 1088 spaces, Blue buses.
  • Thickthorn (off the A11) to the southwest via the Newmarket Road; 726 spaces, Pink buses.
  • Costessey (off the A47) to the west via Dereham Road; 1100 spaces, Green buses.

All sites operated by Norse and services are run by Norse and Konectbus. In 2006 a total 3.4 million passengers used the service.

2005-2010 Contract[edit]

Between 2005-2010 the sites were managed and operated by three companies: First, KonectBus and Norse. Thickthorn Park & Ride was operated by konectbus, using the same VDL DB250PF/Wrightbus Pulsar Gemini's as what currently operate the 601 today. Harford Park & Ride was operated by First using B7TL/ALX400's. Airport was operated by Norse, using Yellow Irisbus Agora Line's and Costessey was operated by konectbus using Optare Tempo's. Postwick was operated by Norse using Irisbus Agora Line's and Sprowston was run by First, using purple B7RLE/Eclipse Urban's.

Proposed development[edit]

Expansion of Postwick site[edit]

It is proposed to add 500 places to the Postwick site as part of the Postwick Hub development which is associated with the Norwich Northern Distributor Road development.[8]


All buses used on the services are low-floor and are colour-coded.

  • Pink - Thickthorn P&R
  • Blue - Harford P&R
  • Turquoise - Airport P&R
  • Green - Costessey (Cossy) P&R
  • Orange/Purple - Sprowston to Postwick via Norwich P&R

Norse operates the Norwich International Airport, Postwick and Sprowston services, using turquoise, orange and purple Plaxton President double deckers. Konectbus operates the Harford, Thickthorn and Costessey services, using pink DAF DB250/Wright Pulsar Gemini double deckers, blue Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 double deckers and green Optare Tempo single deckers.


In May 2011, a Norse double decker operating on the Postwick park and ride service, caught fire on the A47 road. The bus was completely destroyed by flames after suffering an engine failure. Passengers were evacuated by the driver after stopping the vehicle on a roundabout, before the Broadland Business Park. Nobody was injured. Bus operator, Norse, found the rest of the fleet to be in good, working order.

In January 2013, passengers on board an Airport Park and Ride bus, operated by Norse, were evacuated while at the Airport Park and Ride site after the double decker bus caught fire. According to witnesses, black smoke was seen billowing from a vent above the drivers seat. Fire crews had extinguished the blaze within ten minutes and the bus remained in a decent condition.


  1. ^ "Park and ride site too busy for own good". Norwich Evening News. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "800-space park and ride to open". BBC News. 29 March 2005. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Work starts on new park and ride". BBC News. 19 June 2004. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "Figures for park-and-ride double". BBC News. 12 May 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  5. ^ "Norfolk County Council travel and transport". 2015-01-27. 
  6. ^ "Norfolk County Council Park & ride information". Retrieved February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Norwich Park and Ride route map". Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "NATS/Northern Distributor Road - Progress Report". Norfolk County Council. 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 

External links[edit]