Plan to relieve traffic bottleneck to boost Wymondham’s tourism
PUBLISHED: 19:09 06 July 2012
A major initiative to boost a Norfolk town’s tourist trade and improve housing developments by unblocking a notorious traffic bottleneck was launched yesterday by a local MP.
George Freeman, the MP for Mid Norfolk, is hoping to secure funding to widen the road under the Station Road railway bridge in Wymondham and replace the 118-year-old bridge to create a larger carriageway enabling traffic to move more freely.
Currently, the section of road under the bridge is only wide enough for two vehicles to pass with difficulty, which creates problems during rush hour periods when long traffic queues can develop.
The road also becomes flooded during heavy rainfall as it is at the bottom of a dip and water runs down under the bridge off neighbouring roads, a problem that could be addressed as part of the project.
Mr Freeman is also hoping rail operator Abellio, which secured the Greater Anglia Rail Franchise in October 2011, will invest in improved facilities at Wymondham rail station to attract more tourists into the town to visit the major sights including the famous Abbey.
Yesterday, he met with representatives from rail infrastructure owner Network Rail, Abellio and Norfolk County Council’s transportation department, as well as John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, and local South Norfolk councillor Beverley Spratt to discuss his vision for the town.
Ironically, heavy overnight rain had flooded the section under the bridge when the meeting took place at the site.
The Abellio and Network Rail representatives estimated the initial cost for the work would be in the region of £3m, but exact costings will be calculated following a feasibility study.
Mr Freeman said: “For too long, Wymondham has suffered from a lack of co-ordinated planning of road, rail, housing, schools and other infrastructure with different agencies responsible for different functions.
“The area action plan for Wymondham is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put together a plan for the town that sets a framework for a sustainable future.”
The results of the study will be discussed in September.