County council report says Swaffham bypass ‘difficult to justify’
Swaffham councillors have reacted to a county council report regarding a new bypass for the town.
An environment, development and transport committee report stated any bypass should be to the west of the town.
However, it also said it would be difficult to make a case for a bypass link from the A1065 in the south to the A47 in the west given the low traffic flows that would be carried along with costs.
This also applies to the A1065 to the north.
County councillor Ed Colman, who represents Swaffham, said: “I welcome the publication of this report. I am particularly pleased to see that providing access from the south to Theatre Street appears to be feasible and will be working closely with county council officers to look at implementing this.”
Councillor Rob Bartram, who is the landlord of the Red Lion pub in the town, objected to any bypass being built.
“I think most businesses are against it in Swaffham. It is ludicrous,” he said.
“Bypasses kill the town completely. The town was half-killed when they did the east-west bypass.”
Mr Bartram suggested introducing a toll road as a cheaper alternative, which would also bring revenue into the town.“Swaffham should be a destination, not a passing place,” he added.
It would also encourage smaller vehicles into the town rather than big lorries which Mr Bartram said had no “interest in going into the town”.
He estimates this would cost anywhere between a quarter to a million pounds.
“As a business owner in the town it would be catastrophic and I am in talks with a lot of business owners who feel the same.”
Mayor Colin Houghton said: “In short, I think the town is divided on the issue. It has been around for many years.
"We are concerned about air quality issues linked to traffic and are a long way from making any decisions or proposals.”