Lynn bus lane ‘could be opened up to car drivers’

Bus Route  Hardings Way  bollards left in the down position.'(The Boal Quay Entrance) ANL-141231-084353009
Bus Route Hardings Way bollards left in the down position.'(The Boal Quay Entrance) ANL-141231-084353009
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A Lynn bus lane could be opened up for the use of car drivers under proposals being considered by transport officials.

Informal discussions have taken place on the idea of relaxing the restrictions on use of the Hardings Way route, which links Wisbech Road and Boal Quay.

But opinion is divided over whether the plan should be implemented or not.

The £1 million route opened in 2011 as a route intended solely for the use of buses, in order to reduce pollution on nearby London Road, cyclists and pedestrians.

A set of retractable bollards stand at each end of the road to enable buses with suitable recognition technology to use it and keep other vehicles off it.

Although the idea of opening the road to additional traffic has previously been put forward as part of wider efforts to reduce air pollution in the town, it is only now that work has begun to determine whether the idea should be implemented or not.

During a meeting on Monday, West Norfolk councillors who represent Lynn wards were told that county Highways officers are looking at whether the lane should be opened to taxis and to allow access for other motorists wishing to use the Boal Quay car park.

The meeting was told the study is in its early stages and the idea is “some way” from becoming a formal proposal.

But Lesley Bambridge, who represents the St Margarets and St Nicholas ward on the borough council, backed the proposal.

She said: “I have stood there on several occasions and seen two buses going that way and two coming back per hour. Its a very underused road and it needs to be used.”

However, South and West Lynn councillor Charles Joyce said the route was popular with cyclists and parents who walk with their children to local schools.

He suggested that other measures, including a park and ride, should be pursued first to help ease traffic congestion.

He said: “The county council put that forward for sole use of public buses. I can understand the issue with London Road but there are other ways to ease the problems on London Road.

“It just doesnt add up. It’s not something I can support.”

Any move to change the rules about the use of the road would have to go out to public consultation and would require the implementation of a new traffic management order.

County highways officers say they expect to complete their assessments during the summer.