Call for new park-and-ride to ease King’s Lynn jams

Willows Business Park Saddlebow, King's Lynn

Land in the foreground is the proposed site for the incinerator
Willows Business Park Saddlebow, King's Lynn Land in the foreground is the proposed site for the incinerator
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Land on the edge of Lynn that was once earmarked for an incinerator should now be used to provide a park and ride facility, a councillor has claimed.

The call follows last week’s warning by the boss of Stagecoach in West Norfolk that congestion around the town is getting worse.

Alexandra Kemp

Alexandra Kemp

But county transport officials say the measure would need to form part of a much wider strategy for reducing the jams.

And borough council chiefs have warned against implementing ideas that could deter people from coming into the town.

The future of the Willows site in Saddlebow has been unclear ever since Norfolk County Council scrapped plans to build a waste incinerator there almost exactly three years ago.

The new proposal for the land has been put forward by the area’s current county councillor, Alexandra Kemp, who has repeatedly lobbied for assurances that a burner scheme will not be revived.

She says the measure would not only prevent what she sees as “unsuitable” development schemes being put forward in future, but would also help to address current and future travel issues.

She said: “It would take traffic off the roads, improve public transport and would soon pay for itself.

“With all the traffic coming through the South Gate in the morning, and much more to follow from new development, intelligent infrastructure plans are still woefully lacking.”

Miss Kemp spoke out after Stagecoach East managing director Andy Campbell voiced his concerns about traffic levels in the town during a meeting of the borough council’s Lynn area consultative committee last Monday.

He said the problem was getting “worse and worse”, with some areas being particularly affected at peak times.

Tracy Jessop, Norfolk County Council’s assistant director of community and environment services, said the

She said: “Park and ride needs to be part of a co-ordinated transport planning policy and Norfolk County Council would be happy to support any discussions, as we have in the past.

“Where congestion is an issue in an urban area, park and ride would be expected to be part of a package of measures that also includes availability of other public transport options, on and off-street parking and strategies to encourage people to change their behaviour with regard to their transport choices.”

West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long also warned the scheme was likely to be expensive and may not generate the kind of benefits its supporters were seeking.

He is also worried that efforts to encourage people to use such a system may harm town centre traders.

He said: “I think at this point, people prefer to take their cars pretty close to the shops.

“We can’t price people out of the car parks and out of the town centre.

“I think the solution is not necessarily a park and ride, but getting the roads we’ve got flowing.

“I would suggest somewhere the other side of King’s Lynn might be better.”

Mr Long said a similar system had previously been tried at a site on the Hardwick Narrows and had not proved successful, because of weaknesses in bus service coverage.