Cycling groups unhappy at King’s Lynn link road plan

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Campaigners have criticised a multi-million pound link road plan for Lynn, which they say does not adequately promote alternative forms of travel.

Officials from two local cycling groups raised their concerns about the route between Edward Benefer Way and Lynnsport before a meeting of the West Norfolk Council cabinet on Tuesday.

But members backed calls to prepare the scheme for a planning application and a bid to seek external funding.

As previously reported, the council’s preferred option, which is estimated will cost around £4.35 million to complete, is for the route to start at the junction of Edward Benefer Way and Hamburg Way, then run alongside the existing cycle path and on to Reid Way and Front Way before entering Lynnsport.

Rob Archer, campaign representative for CTC West Norfolk, said his organisation did not oppose improved road access, but added: “We are, however, very disappointed that walking and cycling have not been given sufficiently high priority.”

Mark Ray, planning consultant to the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Bike Users’ Group (KLWNBUG), said offering easier car access to Lynnsport would not help to reduce traffic levels.

Critics also argued that the officers’ report had not taken proper account of the national and international importance of the cycle path.

But Alastair Beales, the council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, insisted the council’s plan to build hundreds of new homes in the area around the road, was intended to reduce reliance on the car.

He also pledged that the authority would work with the cycling lobby on the issue and pointed out that there would be further opportunties to pass comment on the scheme, such as during the planning process.

Leader Nick Daubney said officers had clearly set out why the road needed to be built.

He added: “There is no doubt in my mind that to achieve all our objectives, this is the way to go.”

The meeting also heard that one aspect of development around the road could be a new pumping station that would enable water to be pumped away from the town and into the River Great Ouse at times of flooding.

The area’s Internal Drainage Board is currently looking at the issue.

The road plan is now set to go before a meeting of the full council later this month.