As sure as night follows day, it seems, the beginning of the school summer holidays heralds the start of roadworks on the Gaywood approaches to the town centre, causing massive traffic tailbacks along Wootton Road and Gayton Road.
It’s torture for the hard-pressed traders at the Gaywood shopping centre, with dramatic slumps in trading and loss of income, and torture for the motorists, many simply trying to get to work, caught up in the traffic jams for heaven knows how long at a stretch.
One of the main causes of this seemingly annual problem is the number of major schools concentrated in close proximity in the Gaywood area. With the high concentration of traffic in the area throughout the rest of the year, there are very few windows of opportunity for major roadworks, especially in the depths of winter.
Indeed, with projections for a growing population for Lynn in the years ahead, it seems there will be even more pressure to maximise the existing secondary school sites in the Gaywood area to enable them to take even higher numbers of students – surely worsening the already dire problems of vehicular access in and around Gaywood.
Certainly, long term projections for development in the Lynn area do not seem to include large new schools on edge of town sites, so we must assume that the existing schools are going to have to cope with ever-increasing numbers.
This in turn will place ever-increasing demands on the road structure around Gaywood, making it necessary for further road improvements, as well as never-ending maintenance to keep up with the continual, and growing, wear and tear on existing roads.
So it seems that it will not just be this school holiday, but all the school holidays for years to come that there is a strong chance that the route through Gaywood will be subject to traffic turmoil.
And should the proposed housing developments at Lynnsport and Marsh Lane go ahead, it will only add to the Gaywood problem.
Even though it is proposed that traffic from the new housing estate is directed out on to a new road on to Lynn’s northern bypass, parents taking their children to the secondary schools and college will simply circle around and head into Gaywood – where else can they go when all the secondary schools are there?
There again, the problem does not just involve Gaywood, it involves the whole road infrastructure in and around Lynn. At the moment it is visibly creaking under the demands of today’s traffic, and the situation seems to be getting worse on a monthly, rather than yearly basis.
Something drastic really needs to be done – and the chances of that happening are nil. It will require many years of discussion and planning and wringing of hands (when the snarl-ups become intolerable). Only when we have total gridlock will the situation concentrate bureaucratic minds to take effective action.