Date published: 23rd August 2022

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) in partnership with Norfolk County Council, worked with representatives from Vision Norfolk and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) at their new Travel Hub in North Walsham. Stimulated by the works already happening as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) Project and supported by NNDC, this is a further example of how the project team for the travel hub is listening to the residents and visitors to North Walsham.

Representatives met with highways engineers on site to test the pedestrian walkway, access to the new bus islands and movement around the stops. This was to ensure that as many adaptations as possible could be made to enhance the experience for blind and partially sighted users.

As one of the biggest public transport user groups, it is vital that blind and partially sighted adults, young people and those with guide dogs are able to access the new hub and move around it so they can get on and off the buses safely and easily. Tactile studs on the pedestrian walkway have been installed to support users as they swipe the ground with their white canes. Raised granite sets at the entrance to the new islands give a different message to tell users that they have reached a bus island.

It is hoped that a different tactile surface can be added to signify the end of the walkway. The new Travel Hub will undergo a post completion safety audit in the coming weeks and comments from this user group will be shared with auditors.

This project is part of the overall investment in the town to encourage footfall and stimulate trade. It is anticipated that at the hub, passengers will have a better experience with brand new shelters, seating and newly refurbished toilets.

Bernie Reddington and Scott Vallance from RNIB and Edward Bates from Vision Norfolk, commented:

“We are pleased to have met with engineers and representatives from NNDC to talk about some of the issues and have a test walk around the site. It is vital that provision is made so that we are able to access this wonderful new hub as we are reliant on public transport to get about. We hope to be involved in further discussions as other phases of the town centre regeneration come about."

Richard Kershaw, North Norfolk District Councillor, commented:

“I am delighted to see the new Travel Hub open and operational. It’s great to see that NNDC and NCC are consulting with various groups of bus users to make sure that they can access the new hub safely and easily. It will encourage people to come to North Walsham, shop in the town, eat and drink here and be able to travel to and from safely and easily.”

Last updated: 12th April 2023