1. ITV Report

Norfolk's 'Chatty Bus' aims to drive down loneliness

The Chatty Bus service aims to tackle social isolation. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A 'Chatty Bus' has been launched in Norfolk - aiming to tackle loneliness by encouraging strangers to talk to each other on public transport.

Operator Konectbus says one in three people "deliberately catch the bus to have some form of social interaction".

They have started running a "Chatty Bus" service, with volunteers dubbed "conversation champions" on board to socialise with passengers.

The first 'Chatty Buses' are running on Konectbus routes 5A, 5B and 5C to and from Norwich Castle Meadow and through surrounding villages, including Sprowston, Wroxham, Blofield Heath and Horning.

The scheme is being supported by volunteers from Aviva, Konectbus and Age UK, who handed out "Happy to Chat" badges to anyone interested in joining the conversation.

"There's a lot of talk about mental health and social isolation, so the fact that we are making ourselves visibly available to chat is fantastic."

– Rachel Perkins, Bus driver and volunteer

Chatty Bus has been launched with The Norwich Together Alliance, founded to try and tackle rising rates of loneliness.