A £2.8m plan which would have added hundreds of spaces at one of Norwich's park and ride bus sites has been scrapped.

Norfolk County Council has pulled the plug on proposals to add 460 extra spaces to the 726 currently available at Thickthorn Park and Ride.

Officers at Conservative-controlled County Hall cited falling park and ride bus passenger numbers for the withdrawal of the planning application - at a time when the authority is about to make £45m of cuts and savings.

It comes only days after it emerged Postwick Park and Ride is facing closure to save money because not enough people are using it.

The two developments will raise questions over the long-term viability of the park and ride scheme, seen as crucial for tackling congestion in the city and creating sustainable public transport.

The Thickthorn application had included proposals for 389 standard parking bays, 30 bays for disabled drivers, 10 parent and child bays, 29 standard electric vehicle bays and two disabled vehicle electric bays.

There would also have been eight coach parking bays, extra motorcycle parking, bicycle storage, Amazon lockers, cycle and pedestrian links and information signs.

When the plans were unveiled in 2021, County Hall bosses said it would help cut congestion and could lead to a dedicated park and ride service between Thickthorn and Norwich Research Park.

The project would have been for using a share of the £32m the government awarded Greater Norwich from its multi-million pound Transforming Cities pot, also used for schemes such as the Heartsease roundabout changes and the £6.1m revamp of St Stephens Street.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: "We have taken the decision to withdraw the planning application which would have seen the size of the existing site at Thickthorn significantly expanded.

"As has been well documented, park and ride passenger numbers have struggled to return to pre-pandemic levels, which makes a site expansion hard to justify at this time when we face difficult budget challenges."

Eastern Daily Press: The scrapped plans for the Thickthorn Park and Ride siteThe scrapped plans for the Thickthorn Park and Ride site (Image: Norfolk County Council)

County Hall officers have been talking to the government about whether money due to be spent at Thickthorn can be used elsewhere.

The spokesman added: "We are committed to our net-zero transport ambitions for Norfolk and are currently in discussion with the Department for Transport on re-allocating the Transforming Cities funding to other projects which support and improve sustainable travel options, including Norwich park and ride, for the future."