Councillor urges re-think over King’s Lynn retail park traffic congestion

Busy traffic scene  at the traffic light  Junction next to the Tesco petrol station Hardwick Road King's Lynn ANL-150604-081158009
Busy traffic scene at the traffic light Junction next to the Tesco petrol station Hardwick Road King's Lynn ANL-150604-081158009
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New proposals to tackle traffic congestion around a major Lynn supermarket do not properly address the issue, a councillor has claimed.

Pressure has been building on business leaders for several months to find a solution to the problems around the Tesco site and the Hardwick Retail Park.

But county councillor Alexandra Kemp, whose Clenchwarton and Lynn South division includes the site, says a plan from the park’s owners for a new access road to an additional junction on Hardwick Road “doesn’t make sense.”

She has called for a re-think, adding: “It’s not viable and I don’t think people will use it.”

The deadlock centres on the access road which leads to both the Tesco store and the retail park from the junction with Hardwick Road and Scania Way.

Miss Kemp’s preferred option is for a mini-roundabout at the point where drivers visiting the retail park rejoin the access road.

She said an alternative proposal has now been put forward by JLL, the company which acts as agents for the retail park’s owners, UBS, to build a new road around the back of the site which would feed into a new junction on the Hardwick Road.

But she fears drivers visiting the site from the east or north would not use it, because it would take them away from their intended direction of travel.

And she says the idea should be abandoned in favour of a roundabout.

However, Tesco managers have previously indicated they do not believe a roundabout would fully solve the congestion problem.

They also point out that a second exit from the site, via Campbell’s Meadow, was provided when the development of their larger store and the adjacent Dobbies garden centre was completed.

But critics have argued that many drivers still do not know it exists nearly two years after it first opened and say better signage is needed.

And Miss Kemp said: “I would urge Tesco to put the interests of the people of King’s Lynn and the other retailers first. We need to solve the traffic problems now.”

A Tesco spokesman said yesterday: “We’re always happy to engage with our neighbours and look forward to discussions continuing. We share the local community’s desire to find a lasting solution, and will be sure to keep local people updated.”

Meanwhile, Norfolk County Council officials have also backed Miss Kemp’s efforts to find a solution.

However, they say they cannot intervene directly because the road is owned by Tesco and therefore is not part of the network that they have responsibility for.

JLL have so far not responded to requests for comment.