Controversial road plans to be challenged

Hardings Way in King's Lynn where plans are afoot to build a new through road. Picture: Ian Burt

Hardings Way in King's Lynn where plans are afoot to build a new through road. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Controversial plans to build a through road on an area designated as a safe route to school are set to be challenged.

Hardings Way in King's Lynn has been earmarked as a potential road link across the waterfront area between Wisbech Road and Boal Quay as part of £5.3m of funding for transport improvements in the area.

In September 2017, West Norfolk Council granted itself planning permission to place general traffic and HGVs on one-fifth of Hardings Way, build three access stub roads for 50 houses on Hardings Way south and move the bus lane north 15m, and instructed Norfolk County Council to amend the two traffic orders that banned general traffic on Hardings Way.

The local community and council members were told in 2009 that the road would only be used for buses and that there would never be any through traffic.

Councillors are now set to urge the cabinet of West Norfolk Council to review all work planned for Hardings Way at a full council meeting on Thursday, October 17, in the hope that it will not introduce new roads and different types of traffic, and that the bus lane will remain in the same location.

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In a report to the council, independent councillor Alexandra Kemp said that a large number of residents in South Lynn and the Friars, and the Walpoles to North Runcton and Setchey, were now "aware of the harm, distress and adverse impact" on residents, for whom Hardings Way was the "only safe route" into King's Lynn town centre,

Ms Kemp's report states that it is uncertain if the road was built to withstand maximum weight HGVs, and an equality impact assessment also found that disabled people would suffer "significant detriment" as a result of the plans.

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There have been 1,400 online and written objections to general traffic on any part of Hardings Way, along with 123 written objections to Norfolk County Council against traffic orders.

In 2009 the headmaster of Whitefriars School was told that general traffic would never be allowed on the bus lane due to concerns about pollution near its playground.

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