It’s good to see the borough council finally moving towards a low-carbon transport future for West Norfolk with the introduction of electric car charging points.
Welcome though this is, it will be of little benefit to the vast majority of the borough’s residents who cannot afford an electric car. More urgently, thousands of residents of King’s Lynn, particularly the very young and the elderly, are suffering from the debilitating effects of air pollution. A few more electric cars won’t help much.
If our council is serious about improving the environment on our roads they would be prioritising walking, cycling and public transport use. Is it really acceptable that pedestrians often have to wait up to three minutes for pedestrian crossing lights to change in their favour? The waiting times for cars are typically 20 to 30 seconds.
And why is West Norfolk so far behind the rest of the UK in upgrading the streets where people live, work, shop and play to 20mph? This is relatively cheap to do, has little effect on journey times yet has huge benefits to health, road safety and can help reduce pollution.
Why are rural bus services still under threat of withdrawal? It can’t be a lack of money as they are prepared to waste £4million on an unnecessary and unwanted road at LynnSport simply to divert traffic away from pollution monitors. Meanwhile the parallel, very busy and popular cycleway (part of National Route 1) is still unlit and falling into disrepair.
How about a new railway station for the growing population of South Lynn? It would also serve the shops and industry of the Hardwick Industrial Area. Similar basic stations elsewhere have cost around £3 million. The required land is owned by the borough and it already has easy road access. It would certainly be a major catalyst for regeneration the southern and of the town and would repay its costs very quickly.
Let’s hope that this is the start of a green transport revolution in West Norfolk and not just window dressing.