Park-and-ride to be considered for King's Lynn as part of Transport Study
A park-and-ride system is likely to be among the options which will be looked at in a bid to address Lynn’s transport problems.
Members of West Norfolk Council’s King’s Lynn Area Consultative Committee (KLACC) met on Monday to discuss a draft Transport Study and Strategy Report which runs beyond 2030.
Documents published ahead of the meeting outlined more than 60 measures which are set to form part of the final study. They include an investigation of whether a park and ride would be a “suitable” measure.
Several potential sites have been identified as possible locations for it.
But the papers said: “Impacts on town centre car parking and revenues alongside town centre car park charging will be required if a Park and Ride is to be successful.”
The park-and-ride scheme has been earmarked as a long-term proposal.
Short-term, medium-term and long-term proposals were all outlined by officers Alan Gomm and Peter Jermany during the KLAC meeting this week.
Among the short-term proposals set out include enhanced signage and publicity for the West Lynn Ferry, pedestrian and cycle improvements to Tennyson Avenue, a pedestrian crossing for London Road and improvements to the Queen Mary Road junction.
These short-term options would be delivered by 2022 according to the officers.
Mr Jermany said: "We are looking at a comprehensive car parking strategy for Lynn which would include a park-and-ride system to serve the town and safe alternatives to the private car for schoolchildren."
Mr Gomm added: "The ferry is well represented in our strategy because it's a really useful thing. Influencing behaviour is really important. We want to encourage public transport as part of the West Winch development.
"It's completely pointless to build new homes just to build them into the traffic."
An agenda document for the meeting showed driving a car or van is the main mode of transport for journeys to work by residents in Lynn, standing at 61 per cent. This exceeds the national average of 54 per cent.
Medium-term proposals were also presented to the meeting which is currently targeted for the period of 2022 to 2030.
These included enhanced access to the ferry, a link from Queen Mary Road to Fairstead and potential linkages for pedestrians and cyclists at Hardwick.
Independent councillor Alex Kemp voiced concerns over Hardings Way saying she did not want to see additional traffic there by removing the bus lane.
She also said the Transport Plan should increase buses on the A10 at peak times and rule out the idea of a 300 homes development in West Winch.
Ms Kemp added the plan had "no sense of urgency" over the "crumbling infrastructure" of the West Lynn Ferry and making it more accessible.
And Labour councillor Margaret Wilkinson said there are congestion problems at Gayton Road, especially when pupils are being dropped off at Springwood High School.
She said any proposed developments to ease congestion by widening access to the hospital would not ease traffic on the other side of Gayton Road, heading towards the town centre.
Mrs Wilkinson added: "The biggest issue we have is at the hospital as they park on the Fairstead Estate and do not park at the hospital unless they have to.
"We do not want any more traffic there. We tried to get a park-and-ride but it was too expensive for the county council to even think about."
Mr Jermany admitted: "We unfortunately cannot tackle every junction through the scheme as it is a question of funding."
Conservative Lesley Bambridge said: "I find that this is not very user friendly for the people who actually live in King's Lynn. The residents in the Friars have already had the Valingers Road lights covered up.
"A county councillor did not know the area but agreed to the lights being covered up. Why I am saying this is because it is not user friendly to be driving in and walking to work. More needs to be done to solve the problems on the roads getting out of King's Lynn.
"This is not really looking at residents. It's just ways of getting people into work and out again.
"The problem with the Southgates Roundabout is not the the number of lanes but the traffic lights which mean you can't get onto the roundabout if the traffic is stopped."
She and other councillors also highlighted safety problems with Tennyson Road in terms of a pedestrian crossing and a lack of signage.
Conservative Richard Blunt said: "I am not sure we are going to solve all the problems but it is a case of getting to the next step. The detail is yet to be defined and there is a lot more work to be done to turn this into a real project.
"At this stage, we are saying this is what we are going to do by looking at all the schemes. I want you to think of these as opportunities to go forward.
"It has to go through a full planning application and it will be reviewed so lets not panic at the moment."
Long-term options were also discussed beyond 2030 including a direct link from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to the A149. A link between Wisbech Road and the Nar Ouse Way was also set out as well as train frequency improvements and an Ely area enhancement scheme.
Labour councillor Charles Joyce said the A149 hospital link is "long overdue".
He added: "It will not cure problems on Gayton Road or Fairstead but it will certainly help."
A preliminary timetable was also shown to the meeting in which feedback will be considered before a strategy is put before members of the West Norfolk Council Regeneration and Development Committee on 28 January 2020.
The county council cabinet will receive the strategy on February 3 the day before West Norfolk Council's cabinet discuss it.
Mr Gomm added: "It's about making a scheme for funding so we have got to have the realism there. We want to secure funding, we are not just sitting around with these on show."
More by this authorBen Hardy