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‘Get on with it’ - motorists hit out at slow start to King’s Lynn bridge repairs

GV of the Saddlebow A47 Flyover which is closed to traffic for bridge repair work
GV of the Saddlebow A47 Flyover which is closed to traffic for bridge repair work

Not enough work is being done to repair the Saddlebow bridge in Lynn while the road is shut off to traffic, residents have claimed.

Since the road was closed by Highways England on October 23, long delays have occurred on and around the A47 and nearby businesses have said they are being affected.

Paddy Green, managing director of GE-BE Transport, which is based on the Saddlebow industrial estate, said her colleagues are getting stuck in the delays.

“We have got 42 lorries on the road and they are getting caught in the traffic – everyone is getting caught in the traffic,” Mrs Green said.

“This morning I saw three chaps with a van which had a flashing beacon on the top, but there’s no one there doing any mechanical stuff.

“It’s so infuriating, every day you think they are going to be working but they are not.”

Mrs Green said she believed the route should not be closed off if work is not progressing, or that only one side should be shut off.

“This is going to last for months and it’s the only route into King’s Lynn from Peterborough and from the north,” she added.

“These contractors are from outside of town and they are not going to know the route or the volumes of traffic on the road.”

Motorists are now dealing with delays on a daily basis with no end in sight in the near future.

One such motorist, Victoria Fear, spoke of her frustrations.

She said: “This is a completely ridiculous situation and we are facing seven months of traffic hell!

“My journey to work would normally take 30 to 40 minutes (providing Cross Keys Bridge doesn’t swing) but now I am looking at the hour mark with the additional time spent waiting in long traffic queues for the Pullover Roundabout.”

Miss Fear said last week it took 15 minutes to get over the Pullover after joining the queue just before the A17 turn-off for Clenchwarton.

“The problem seems to be the sheer amount of traffic coming from the Wisbech side which doesn’t give the motorists on the A17 or Clenchwarton Road a chance.

“Perhaps the Highways Agency could put up some form of traffic lights or other traffic management options on the Wisbech side to give the other two roads a chance.”

The work, which officials say is necessary to repair damage caused in a collision in 2012, is part of an £18 million programme of maintenance along the A47 in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

It is hoped the work will be completed by late March.

Highways England has been approached for comment, but this was not received at the time of going to press.

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