Bid to halt extra traffic on King's Lynn bus lane rejected
Councillors have voted against reviewing controversial plans to allow traffic onto a bus and cycle route in Lynn.
West Norfolk Council gave itself planning permission in 2017 to allow general traffic on a fifth of Hardings Way – a road designated as a safe route to school.
The council also plans to build access roads in the area and to move the bus lane.
But last year councillors urged the cabinet to review the planned works, citing concerns over road safety and access to open space.
And after the motion to review was debated at a full council meeting held yesterday, but was refused by councillors, who agreed to move ahead with the planned changes.
Independent councillor Alexandra Kemp, who proposed the motion to review the changes, urged the council “in the strongest terms, to review all work planned to be done on or around Hardings Way, in the hope that they will not move the bus lane north, or introduce any new roads across it, and not allow any additional types of traffic onto it, or diminish any of its current features which enable pedestrians, prams and buggies to use it”.
She said: “We need to make sure that we don’t put people at risk of being harmed and we need to think about the health of people in areas at risk of Covid-19.
“We shouldn’t be putting traffic on any part of Hardings Way.”
And Labour councillor Jo Rust added: “It seems to me this council always take action that sees our poorer, more disadvantaged areas suffer further detriment.”
She added: “This is a beautiful open space close to the river, there’s lots of fresh air and it lacks the pollution of some other areas.”
But Conservative council leader Brian Long said: “There are people outside of King’s Lynn who are trying to get in every day for their work, to go about their business, to come to shop and enjoy the parks and recreational space, to enjoy the beautiful town centre – and at the moment they’re queued.
“That queue of traffic in the mornings especially is so bad that we see problems with air pollution.”
He said if councillors voted against the plans for Hardings Way they would be “causing a potential problem”.
Councillors voted against the motion to review, with 19 councillors in favour compared to 28 against, and two abstentions.