Local residents angered at planned closure of A47 in King’s Lynn
PUBLISHED: 12:30 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:47 13 June 2017
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The planned closure of the A47 in King’s Lynn for maintenance work, which could bring nine months of delay, has garnered angry reactions from local people.
Labour councillor of the South and West Lynn Ward, Gary McGuinness, said the closure at the Saddlebow Interchange will place a heavy burden on traffic in the town centre.
He said: “When the closures have happened in an emergency, the whole of King’s Lynn grows to a standstill, small amounts of closures cause traffic chaos.
“If the closures happen overnight it may have less of an impact but I would guess it wouldn’t take long for diversions to be ignored. It’s an awfully long time to have diversions in place. It would be a disaster for anyone heading towards the North Norfolk coast.”
Work will begin next month and carry on into the new year. Diversion routes will take motorists through the A1101, A1122 and A10 around the outskirts of Wisbech and Downham Market.
The A47 will be closed firstly east-bound from Saddlebow followed by the west-bound carriageways between the Pullover and Hardwick Roundabouts on the outskirts of Lynn.
Mr McGuinness added: “Experience has shown that when there is an emergency the road between the Pullover and Hardwick roundabout becomes completely congested. People abandon their cars and find other ways to get home.”
Independent councillor Charles Joyce said there has not been much consultation about the planned works, which will affect the villages in the area more than his ward in West and South Lynn.
He added: “All I could say is I hope there isn’t an accident in the town centre. The last time Highway England resurfaced the A47 between Saddlebow and Hardwick the police felt forced to open the Hardings Way.
“It’s going to hit South Lynn very hard but the Fens and villages will be adversely affected between the Pullover and Hardwick roundabout, it’s going to be a nightmare for them.
“The consultation is at best negligible, the fact that it’s going to start in July people who live here would probably find a way around it but they’ll be frustrated and annoyed.”
But owner of C&A Superbikes in the Saddlebow Industrial Estate, Craig Whittred, said the closures will not affect him greatly, although he said: “It’s a long time for closures.”