Go-ahead for town transport plan

Light trails created by traffic heading out of King's Lynn via the South Gate. Picture: Ian Burt

Light trails created by traffic heading out of King's Lynn via the South Gate. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

A transport strategy to manage congestion as a town develops was today backed by councillors.

West Norfolk council's ruling cabinet has endorsed the blueprint for King's Lynn, which has taken two years to draw up.

Proposals range from minor changes, like tweaking traffic light timings, to major long-term projects for which funding is not yet available, such as dualling part of the A149 and re-routing London Road around the South Gate - which was first proposed more than 10 years ago.

Last week, councillors on West Norfolk's regeneration and development panel said they could not "wholly endorse" the strategy, because it was "not clearly defined".

In a recommendation to cabinet, they added: "They felt it needed work to envisage future scenarios which the transport strategy could address."

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But councillors on the seven-strong cabinet heard the document was a work in progress, which was expected to evolve.

Addressing them, Labour councillor Charles Joyce said a parkway station was needed to help curb congestion in Lynn. But the report said this had been precluded on grounds of cost.

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Earlier, councillors rejected two separate motions from councillors Alexandra Kemp and Francis Bone, calling for Harding's Way to remain a bus and cycle route along its entirety.

Councillors heard there were short, medium and long-term options in the report in the strategy, before agreeing to recommend it to full council.

Short-term options include reviewing the timings of traffic lights around the town centre, a campaign to encourage more children to walk to school, increased parking around King's Lynn ferry and improvements to cycle lanes.

Medium-term options focus on increased use of Harding's Way by buses, along with "additional traffic" and re-designing the town centre one-way system.

The South Gate could be made traffic-free by diverting London Road into the adjacent park, providing two lanes in each direction.

The report says the A149 could be dualled up to Knights Hill to include a "crawler lane", while the link road proposed for the West Winch development is also included. The strategy will now go before the full council for final approval.

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