Artful Codger, by Roger May, April 3, 2015

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The arrival of Easter is a key moment in the year for the tourist industry, which is so important to the economic well-being of North and West Norfolk.

While the area has seen a considerable increase in winter visitors, mainly birdwatchers and walkers, in recent times, it is the arrival of Easter that traditionally heralds a big influx of day-trippers heading for the coastal strip – and on to the beaches if the sun is shining.

True, the weather in our area can include sunshine and snow at this early point in the season, but it is unlikely to deter the optimists prepared to take their chance.

And I am sure that the traders at resorts such as Hunstanton will be breathing a sigh of relief that there are no major roadworks (as far as we know at present) scheduled for the key routes leading to the coast, unlike last year when the refurbishment work on the river bridges at Lynn caused tailbacks on the A47 and A17 for weeks on end throughout summer.

The areas further round the coast, from the Burnhams to Cromer, will be hoping for a fresh influx of visitors from the London area, now that the improvements to the A11 are complete, providing dual carriageway all the way from London up as far as Norwich.

Indeed, the Norfolk tourist authorities have already been putting out the message to Londoners that it is now easier to get to Norfolk, and once the new visitors arrive, it is likely they will spread out around the area.

While visitors will, hopefully, have few problems getting past Lynn on their journeys to the coast over the next month or so, the same cannot be said for those venturing into the town centre, where the roadworks around the bus station area have replaced the just-completed junction upgrade at North Street/John Kennedy Road as the latest pain for everyone who needs to get into Lynn on a daily basis.

I would not be surprised if commuters coming into Lynn every week are not in danger of developing a nervous tic, fearful of what is coming next. No sooner does one hold-up come to an end, than another springs up in a matter of days. What could possibly be on the horizon for the autumn?

The refurbishment work at the bus station, coupled with the upgrade of the pedestrian links to the nearby railway station, may be necessary, and should provide future benefits, but, boy, is it a trial for anyone forced to travel on Railway Road and Blackfriars Road.

It brings home how important this particular set of road arteries, sited at the very heart of the town’s traffic infrastructure, is to our everyday life, and how crucial this particular piece of “heart surgery” is.