New exits opened in bid to beat King’s Lynn retail park jams

No Caption ABCDE ANL-150212-200100009
No Caption ABCDE ANL-150212-200100009
Share this article
Have your say

Two new exit points have been unveiled at a Lynn shopping centre in a bid to ease congestion for motorists during the Christmas rush.

There have been repeated calls for action in recent months to reduce delays around the Hardwick Retail Park.

Unvelling completed access works Hardwick Retail Park. Gary Smith ( Surveyor of the project ) ANL-150212-200111009

Unvelling completed access works Hardwick Retail Park. Gary Smith ( Surveyor of the project ) ANL-150212-200111009

But a new exit has now been built next to the Jollyes pet store.

The existing access next to Pizza Hut, which was originally an entry-only point, has also been widened to allow traffic to leave the site by turning left.

And an existing exit point opposite the Tesco petrol station will be widened in the new year to allow a second lane of traffic to turn left to leave the site.

Gary Smith, a surveyor for JLL, agents to the site’s owners UBS, said: “We’re doing everything we can to try to alleviate the situation and, in the long term, I think it will work.

“It’s just a question of educating people that there are other exits available.”

But county councillor Alexandra Kemp believes more still needs to be done and has renewed her calls for a mini-roundabout on the site.

That proposal has previously been blocked by Tesco, who own the main access road from the Hardwick Road lights which serves both its store and the retail park.

But Miss Kemp said this week: “I’m working to secure a meeting with Tesco to get the mini-roundabout back on the agenda.”

She maintains that would make it easier for drivers to turn right towards the lights and keep traffic moving.

She added: “Keeping the traffic moving is crucial to Lynn’s economic success, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.”

And Mr Smith said the retail park’s owners were still keen to pursue that option as well.

The new exit at Jollyes allows drivers to turn right and loop back towards the traffic lights at the junction with Hardwick Road and Scania Way.

Alternatively, drivers can go straight on, around the back of Tesco and Dobbies stores, before turning right towards the roundabout at Campbell’s Meadow.

Leaflets will also be placed in stores around the area to inform shoppers of the new arrangements.

Temporary signs have also been put up to outline the alternative routes for motorists.

And Mr Smith said: “The main thing is if people are backing up, there are other options now.”

Concerns about jams in the area have been raised on several occasions since police were forced to warn motorists to avoid the area altogether because of the sheer volume of drivers trying to access the site on the final weekend before Christmas last year.

Mr Smith said they had been working on proposals to tackle the problems since then, but had only been able to begin construction at the start of November, once planning permission had been secured from West Norfolk Council.

He added that resurfacing work on parts of the car park which have not been affected by the current work will also be done in the new year.

He said the company’s priority had been to ensure the new exits were completed first.

However, Miss Kemp said she was contacted by a driver who claimed he had been stuck in traffic for 40 minutes at the retail park last weekend.