Revealed - what people really think of King's Lynn
PUBLISHED: 06:31 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:21 12 April 2019
Never mind the traffic jams - King's Lynn still has plenty going for it.
From its festivals and its heritage, to the simple joys of sipping a pint at a waterside pub, the town and its proximity to coast and countryside has a lot to offer.
Thet’s what came across from responses to our survey asking people what they were most proud about, what they thought the biggest issues facing the town were and how they could be tackled.
Historic buildings, rich heritage and community spirit all came high on the list of positives, along with friendly people.
“People who don’t know you still chat at bus stop,” said one respondent.
Another raised a glass to their favourite local, the Ferry Lane Social Club, saying what they enjoyed most was “sipping a pint on the balcony at the Ouse Booze”.
A fellow respondant singled out a cocktail at Archer’s as their favourite town tipple.
Regarding what they liked the least, Lynners listed inadequate roads, traffic, street drinking and anti-social behaviour.
One stated: “The serial destruction of the town centre, from the 60s onwards. The over-concentration of chavs. The parochial, inward looking nature of the natives.”
Empty shops and the town’s one-way system also came under fire, along with parking charges and people cycling on pavements.
Some 48.3pc said they were proud to live in Lynn, while 32pc were neutral.
Asked whether Lynn was a town on the up, 22.1pc said it was, while 54pc disagreed and 37.2pc were neutral.
Some 49pc said closing shops was an issue in Lynn, where a number of town centre sites now stand empty.
Parking and crime were also highlighted as issues, along with the lack of child-friendly facilities, doctors and independent shops.
Asked what the biggest issue facing the town in 2019, some 35.7pc said infrastructure, while 17.4pc said the health of the high street and 13.9pc the state of the NHS.
Some 63.5pc thought Lynn was not attractive to business, while 36.5pc disagreed.
Park and ride came up as the most popular answer to easing congestion, with one respondent saying it would be essential if the proposed developments around West Winch are built.
Fewer traffic lights and better use of the roads we’ve got were also suggested - along with opening Harding’s Way, currently a bus and cycle route - at peak times.
While the suggestion has been met with opposition from people living in South Lynn, some 58.9pc said they thought it should be opened up, while 41.1pc were against.
Asked whether Lynn and West Norfolk were being held back by poor road links, some 85pc agreed.
Some 63.5pc said Lynn had got worse over the last decade, while 20pc said it was the same and 16.5pc better than before.
“Huge population boom without the supporting facilities and infrastructure,” said one respondent.
Others said: “Decline of the town centre, anti social behaviour, more people sleeping on the streets.”
And: “We are in danger of being forgotten, because we have no decent main roads or motorways. Businesses need decent road links.”
Asked what needed to change, one stated: “We need to be more proud of our town and tell people about it. It is one of the most historic towns in the whole UK.”
Another added: “More quality accommodation in the town centre, more parking, more frequent trains, more carriages, better road infrastructure.”
Reduced business rates, cheaper parking, fewer charity shops, more independent businesses and a new bridge across the Ouse to help cut congestion were also suggested.
Some 115 people took part - 59 male and 54 female - took part, with most describing themselves as British.
Eighty owned their home, while 35 said they rented. More than half had lived in Lynn for more than 30 years, while the commonest income was the £18,001 - £25,000 bracket.
Here are some of your responses:
Kevin Rouse, who lives in the town centre and describes himself as aged 45 - 54, is proud to live in Lynn and believes the town is on the up.
He lists his least favourite things as “traffic delays, lack of visible police in town centre and people moaning about King’s Lynn”.
Asked what he would like to see done, he said: “Set the traffic lights up so that the flow is better instead of stopping traffic on the main roads, then turning the side roads green but the cars can’t move as the main road is already full. Have them all working together instead of each junction conflicting with the next. Dual the majority of the A47/A17.”
Cycling instructor Rob Archer, 54, who lives in the Friars, loves Lynn’s closeness to water, beautiful old buildings and cycle routes around the surrounding countryside.
He is less keen on cars, pollution and what he calls “unimaginative councils”, while he is proud of how Lynn stood up as a community against the incinerator.
Asked what he would most like to see happen by 2029, he says: “All cars removed from the central area. Foot and cycle bridge over the river.”
Care worker Emma Millar, 47, from Gaywood, was one of many who identified infrastructure as the biggest issue facing Lynn. She thinks cheaper buses might help ease congestion.
Her least favourite things are “parking charges, expensive buses, lack of changing places or toilets available in the town for 24/7 use”.
She adds what she would like to see is: “Improved shopping. Improved disability access and inclusion facilities, cheaper parking. Keep the fantastic festivals and free events, keep the fab lumiere, keep the parks and green spaces.”
Donna Pearman, from North Lynn, is proud of the town’s history, people and green spaces but reckons there are “too many people and not enough room” in Lynn. Regarding what could solve the town’s congestion problems, she replied: “God knows.”
Afton Cochran, from Reffley, listed her likes as “low crime in most parts, generally friendly people, good place to raise kids”.
Asked what she would like to see, she responded: “More investment in roads, schools, GP surgeries, and the town centre.”
Businessman Colin Arterton, who lives in the town centre, says things have improved.
He lists: “Higher quality restaurants - the Corn Exchange and soon an improved theatre in the Guildhall of St George, reasonable rail service.
“We need to be more proud of our town and tell people about it. It is one of the most historic towns in the whole of the UK.”
His wife Amanda agreed the town was on the up. When asked what she would like to see, she added: “More entertainment in the whole Town and opportunities to engage with the youth of the town to higher their aspirations.”