No decision made on King’s Lynn bus lane use, says council

Bus Route  Hardings Way  bollards left in the down position.
(The Boal Quay Entrance)
Bus Route Hardings Way bollards left in the down position. (The Boal Quay Entrance)
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Council chiefs have insisted they are still considering whether to open up a Lynn bus lane to all traffic, after the area’s county representative criticised the idea.

The future of the Hardings Way bus lane is one aspect of the development options for the town’s riverfront area, which are currently being drawn up.

Final plans for the scheme are expected to be outlined in the spring.

But local county councillor Alexandra Kemp says the current restrictions on the route’s use should remain in place, and has called on county council officials to back her stance.

She said: “Opening up Hardings Way to traffic would end the peace and quiet of the urban park and doorstep green of Hardings Pits, and the safety and independence of infants walking to Whitefriars School.”

She is also concerned that the possible siting of a car park near the Nar Ouse Loop could increase pollution.

Three development options for the riverfront area were originally outlined during a two-day public exhibition in November.

One of the schemes would see Hardings Way, which was first opened in 2011 and is currently only used by buses, cyclists and walkers, opened to all traffic.

The other two proposals would see the bollards that currently restrict access to the route moved, to allow residents of the new homes envisaged in the scheme to access the development.

Alistair Beales, West Norfolk Council cabinet member for regeneration, said the project had not yet progressed beyond that point.

But he added: “It’s right we look at that and have it as a development option.

“If it does progress, there will have to be some use, but it doesn’t mean to say it will be opened for general traffic.”

He also highlighted the council’s purchase of land in the Friars, which he said would enable the road to be widened at its pinchpoint, where only one bus can pass at a time.

A survey carried out by the borough council two years ago showed 56 per cent of respondents supported the idea of extending the route’s use to taxis and private hire vehicles, while 44 per cent opposed it.