King’s Lynn store’s traffic plan ‘will not solve the problem’, councillor warns

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Fresh talks are set to be held in a bid to resolve the issues around the Tesco branch on the town’s Hardwick retail park, after two potential solutions were put forward.

The store chain has proposed to develop a second exit for drivers who want to turn left out of the main exit of the retail park, opposite its petrol station.

But the retail park’s owners, UBS, want a mini-roundabout to be installed there instead.

And that proposal has been backed by local county councillor Alexandra Kemp, who has urged Tesco, who own the access road leading to the park from Hardwick Road and Scania Way, to act quickly.

She said: “A new left-hand lane would still let people turning right get trapped when oncoming traffic is busy.

“It won’t help the level of delay. We need a mini-roundabout now.”

Engineers are currently being consulted on the competing proposals following a meeting at the site last month. It is hoped that a further meeting will take place shortly.

But Tesco has already expressed reluctance to adopt the mini-roundabout proposal, which it argues it would not fully solve the congestion problem.

It has also rejected suggestions that its larger store and the adjacent Dobbies garden centre, which opened in the autumn of 2013, has harmed the fortunes of neighbouring traders.

They point out the existing access to the park was not altered and a second exit, via Campbells Meadow, was created as part of the scheme.

But critics argue that many shoppers do not know that exit even exists and insist that better signs are needed so it is used more frequently.

However, Miss Kemp claimed the mini-roundabout idea was first put forward more than a year ago.

She reiterated that shoppers had told her they were boycotting the area because of the congestion and fears that will only increase unless something is done.

She said: “The public expects a solution to fix this problem now. Tesco seems to want to wait. That’s no good.

“Tesco own the access road so they should choose the best solution, the mini-roundabout. People tell me they are boycotting the estate because of the congestion.

“The delay is holding up commerce in King’s Lynn.”