King's Lynn's new Prince William bus route will be quick and clean
Archant Â© 2011
A new bus route from the outskirts of King's Lynn to the town centre which could be named after Prince William opens today.
It gives bus passengers and cyclists a congestion-free ride from Wisbech Road to Boal Quay, avoiding the South Gates and London Road on their travels.
Ben Colson, managing director of Lynn-based bus firm Norfolk Green, said an average of 18 of its buses an hour used London Road during a typical day.
The new road will help reduce pollution on London Road caused by slow-moving or idling engines, as well as reducing delays by 10 minutes or more.
“It will make the timings much more consistent, that’s the crucial issue for us,” he said.
“If we can get it closer to a consistent figure, we can offer a better service down the road for people.”
The road heads down Saddlebow Road, past the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area (NORA) development, before taking to a new section of road that links it with Boal Quay, skirting Harding’s Pits and part of the Friars.
It passes through parks and past the new flood reservoir being built to reduce the risk of surface water flooding on the new development, which could well provide some interesting glimpses of wetland birds and wildlife when it is completed.
A group of dignitaries were the first to travel the new road, which councillors plan to name Prince William Way, yesterday.
There were bus spotters waiting to film the immaculate green double-decker on its inaugural journey in the sunshine yesterday.
It included a pause for a ribbon-cutting photo-call with West Norfolk mayor Zipha Christopher, along with county and borough councillors, engineers and designers.
Norfolk County Council project engineer Quentin Brogdale said the route was finished, meaning buses could begin using it, but there were one or two “enhancement works” awaiting completion.
It was built as part of a £5.3m package of improvements to roads in and around Lynn.
Works have also included extending former notorious traffic blackspot the South Gates roundabout to cut queues on Hardwick Road and London Road, along with widening Nar Ouse Way to three lanes to cut jams on Lynn’s southern approaches.
The money for the improvements came from the Community Infrastructure Fund, after Lynn was given growth point status by the Government.
A joint bid by county and borough councils for funding was successful.