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Think again on new road into King's Lynn

How do they think that opening a new road into town will possibly solve Lynn’s appalling congestion and pollution problems? Lynn’s medieval and Victorian streets simply can’t handle any more motor traffic. Elsewhere, the report points out that in 2011 61 per cent of commuters came into town by car as opposed to a national average of 54 per cent. Rather than call for more pollution, congestion and road casualties they should be asking “why?” Perhaps they should consider why public transport continues to deteriorate while getting more expensive, and why there is still no safe pedestrian or cycle crossing over the A149 between the Hardwick Roundabout and Babingley, nearly seven miles. People from Roydon, Grimston, Pott Row and Gayton are forced to use their cars for a journey that could easily be made by cycle if there was a safe route into town.

Councillors need to realise that they will NEVER be able to cope with the growing population of the town if they assume, and plan for, everyone travelling everywhere by car. It’s good news that 17 per cent of journeys are made by active travel, that is to say walking and cycling, but that figure should be much higher, and elsewhere in Europe it would be nearer 50 per cent.

Hardings Way, King's Lynn (2309913)
Hardings Way, King's Lynn (2309913)

Rather than considering expensive mega-projects and opening popular foot and cycle routes to cars, councillors should be asking how more people can be dissuaded from driving into town and how walking and cycling could be encouraged and maybe setting an example themselves. Rather than subsidise parking, perhaps they should think the unthinkable and use increased parking charges to help subsidise bus services.

Perhaps reduce the time pedestrians have to inhale noxious traffic fumes while waiting for pedestrian crossings from the current three minutes down to the Department for Transport recommended one minute? Treat walking as a solution to congestion, not a cause.

If they really want a landmark project to put Lynn on the transport map how about a foot and cycle bridge linking the South Quay with a park and walk scheme on the old Del Monte site in West Lynn , keeping cars out of the historic town centre altogether?

It’s time for bold decisions – not rehashing 1980s-style road schemes.

Rob Archer

Transport spokesman for West Norfolk Green Party

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