Council backs plan to ban smoking at King’s Lynn bus station

King's Lynn Bus and Coach Station ANL-140608-180111009
King's Lynn Bus and Coach Station ANL-140608-180111009

Lynn’s bus station is to be made a smoke-free zone as part of a planned £1.6 million upgrade of public transport links in the town.

The move was approved by the West Norfolk Council cabinet during a meeting on Tuesday, where it also agreed to invest £300,000 in the project to improve links between the bus and railway stations.

Although the bus station is not covered by the legislation which bans smoking in public places, which was passed in 2007, the meeting was told that the council could enforce a ban there as a landowner.

Jemma Curtis, the council’s regeneration programmes manager, said Network Rail already enforces a smoking ban at railway stations, while similar restrictions have also been introduced at the bus station in Norwich.

Asked what experience there was of enforcing the restriction, she added: “By the very fact there are signs there, that is a deterrent in itself.”

The call for a ban on lighting up was first made in a public consultation on the proposed re-development of the station earlier this year.

The idea was then backed by a council committee which made recommendations to the cabinet last week. There are already restrictions on drinking alcohol in place at the bus station, though a designated smoking area may be offered.

And officials said the overall scheme had received “overwhelming public support.”

The revised proposals for the interchange also include the introduction of a new dedicated exit into Albion Street and Railway Road for buses travelling north, which currently have to go around the one-way system.

Meanwhile, Waterloo Street is set to become an access only road, with residents’ parking permits also being introduced, subject to the approval of new traffic orders.

Work on the project is expected to get underway early in the New Year and council leader Nick Daubney said: “I’m very much looking forward to this scheme starting.”

Environment portfolio holder Brian Long added that it “had to be a good thing” to make it easier for passengers to go between the bus and rail stations.

He said: “I always look at the environmental impact of schemes and this has a very positive impact.”