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Major King's Lynn road 'inadequate' for current traffic levels, report claims




A key Lynn road has been branded “inadequate” for the volume of traffic using it, which officials claim would justify a dual carriageway if it was being built now.

Preliminary work to make the case for upgrading the A149 between the Hardwick and hospital roundabouts has been undertaken.

And the route is one of three highlighted in an annual review of Norfolk County Council’s strategic infrastructure development plan (NSIDP) this week.

Any bid to dual the A149 at Lynn would cost at least £50 million, according to a new report.
Any bid to dual the A149 at Lynn would cost at least £50 million, according to a new report.

The aim to upgrade the A149 was among dozens of projects included in a new transport strategy for Lynn published earlier this year.

The NSIDP, which went before the county council’s ruling cabinet yesterday, lists it as an “up and coming project”, meaning it fulfils the plan’s criteria but that insufficient information was available for it to be included as a priority project at this stage.

But the document also revealed that preliminary work, ahead of a full feasibility study, had been carried out.

The A149 is subject of "extensive queuing and delays", according to Norfolk County Council's draft infrastructure plan.
The A149 is subject of "extensive queuing and delays", according to Norfolk County Council's draft infrastructure plan.

It said: “A key finding from that work is that traffic flows are currently about 38,000 vehicles per day.

“If a new road was being planned for to accommodate this level of traffic it would need to be of a dual carriageway standard. This illustrates the inadequacy of the current road.”

The report suggested that dualling the route between the Hardwick and Knights Hill roundabouts would cost at least £50 million and government funding would need to be sourced.

But finance portfolio holder, and North Coast representative, Andrew Jamieson said he welcomed the prospect of improvements there and to the A10 around Setch, as well as the prospect of a relief road for West Winch.

He told colleagues: “It’ll make that whole route stand up very well.”

The plan also highlighted the Pullover roundabout, where the A47 meets the A17 just outside Lynn, as another up and coming project.

It further estimated that work on the West Winch relief road, seen as essential to enabling the delivery of several thousand new homes in the area, could start around 2024 if funding is secured.

It is one of 17 projects listed as being under local authority control included in the plan, together with the provision of a new roundabout off the A148 which is intended to facilitate a major development of nearly 1,000 homes on the outskirts of Fakenham.

Bill Borrett, portfolio holder for adult social care, said: “I think this report goes to show that even though we’ve had the most dreadful year in recent history, the county council has managed to get on with business as usual. It’s a huge achievement.”

Fakenham division representative Tom FitzPatrick also highlighted the advances made in broadband connectivity, with the proportion of homes connected to superfast links rising from 42 per cent to 95 per cent in seven years.

He said: “In the middle of the pandemic, we’re not sitting still, we’re not looking to our laurels. We’re pushing on and doing other things.

“I think we know in the future more people are going to want to work from home and we’re giving them the capacity to do that.”



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