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Bid to divert traffic round King's Lynn landmark in new transport strategy

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Traffic could be diverted around one of Lynn’s oldest landmarks as part of a new transport strategy for the town.

The aim of increasing capacity at the Southgates Roundabout is one of more than 30 proposals in the document, which is due to go before county and borough council committees next week.

The plan is contained within a list of medium term ambitions, which officials hope could happen over the next decade if funding can be secured.

The South Gate entry to King's Lynn on London Road.. (27444189)
The South Gate entry to King's Lynn on London Road.. (27444189)

But West Norfolk Council development portfolio holder Richard Blunt yesterday said firm proposals could be drawn up within a year, if the strategy is given the go-ahead over the coming weeks.

He said: “That is a targeted project and we’re going to be looking at that in a lot of detail quite quickly.”

Papers published ahead of a Norfolk County Council select committee meeting, where the strategy is due to be debated next Wednesday, suggest the aim of the project would be to widen the southbound side of the road.

That would enable two-way traffic to flow around the 14th century building.

And the papers said the scheme would also support a funding bid for heritage-based regeneration proposals.

Mr Blunt added: “We have got to protect our heritage. It’s got to create space at the South Gate.”

He added that he would also encourage officials to look at the possibility of introducing hatched markings in order to stop drivers from potentially blocking the Wisbech Road exit onto the roundabout during peak time jams, as a potential short-term relief measure.

The project is one of a number of road improvement schemes which are featured in the study, including dualling of the A149 between the Hardwick and hospital roundabouts, junction upgrades at a number of sites, plus new link roads between Wisbech Road and Nar Ouse Way and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the A149.

But Mr Blunt was keen to stress that whether many of them proceed or not will depend on whether investment can be secured from other bodies.

He said: “It’s not saying all these will go ahead but they’re things we’re going to look at.”

The strategy, which will be first considered by the borough council’s regeneration and development panel at a meeting on Tuesday evening, also includes an intention to draw up a car parking strategy for the town which will look at the possibility of creating a park and ride site.

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