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Park and Ride boost for Dereham bus firm

PUBLISHED: 18:00 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:49 07 July 2010

Elaine Maslin

DEREHAM-BASED bus operator KonectBus launched its third Norwich park and ride operation on the back of positive 2009 financial results.

Last year saw the firm's turnover increase £102,900 on 2008 to £3.

DEREHAM-BASED bus operator KonectBus launched its third Norwich park and ride operation on the back of positive 2009 financial results.

Last year saw the firm's turnover increase £102,900 on 2008 to £3.4m in the financial year ending August 31.

Profit after tax was £428,701, up £95,600 on the year before.

The results come in the wake of the acquisition of KonectBus by transport giant Go Ahead, an employer of 25,000 people in bus and rail transport across the UK with revenues of £1bn in the last six months of 2009.

Steve Challis, one of the joint founding directors of KonectBus, said its success and steady growth was due delivering a quality service and having a good cross-section of customers, which meant it had not had a direct hit from the recession.

“We have always got our eye on the ball but first and foremost we look to deliver quality,” he said.

During the financial year to August 31 the firm put three new buses into operation and invested in new ticketing systems and equipment to improve fuel efficiency across all of its buses.

The operator is set to increase its staffing numbers from 60 at the beginning of the year to 70 after taking on the running of the Harford park and ride

service.

This was a result of winning five-year contracts for the Harford site and two other sites it was already operating.

To meet the demands of the new contract, the firm bought five new double deckers, taking its fleet of buses to 49.

The firm's financial statement said: “The strong performance in the year was topped with the company once again receiving recognition in the UK Bus Awards.”

KonectBus was founded 10 years ago in Saham Toney. Last September it launched a new service, the number 8 from Dereham to Norwich railway station via the bus station, extending it to an hourly service in November.

It also upgraded its buses on the Dereham and Watton to Norwich services and started post-16 fares to encourage younger people on the buses.

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