The Artful Codger, January 2, 2015

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Well, that didn’t last long, did it? My desire to drive at full speed into 2015 on a wave of optimism has been slowed to a crawl by the news of impending roadworks on my main route into Lynn.

The Northern Bypass, leading into John Kennedy Road, is the latest major transport artery set to suffer disruption for a lengthy period – in this case ten weeks – from early this month.

The work is necessary to create a new roadway into the housing development on the old Pilot/Zoots site, providing a four-way junction with John Kennedy Road and North Street.

Given that we are now heading into what are potentially the worst three months of the winter, let’s hope there are not any prolonged spells of bad weather that could cause even longer delays into the spring.

It’s not as if there are other, easier alternative routes into town. The Christmas period saw virtual gridlock at times on the Hardwick Road approaches into town.

This is particularly worrying when you consider all the road-widening work and the provision of additional lanes that was carried out at Hardwick prior to the opening of the giant superstores by Tesco and Sainsbury’s on either side of this important gateway to the town.

The main problem appears to still affect traffic trying to get out of the estate road nearest the roundabout on the Tesco side.

It’s all very well having additional lanes on Hardwick Road, but if they are already full with traffic backed up from the roundabout, there is nowhere for vehicles coming off from the estate to go.

In this respect, the Hardwick Retail Estate appears to be the victim of its own success, but this is of little consolation to shoppers caught up in the gridlock, or retailers on the estate who must be worried that if the traffic problems persist long-term – and possibly worsen – it is going to put customers off using the area.

Further consternation on the traffic situation in Lynn has also arisen regarding the proposed housing development at Lynnsport and Marsh Lane, with hints that there may be restrictions on the current access to Wootton Road, with the emphasis being placed on use of the proposed new road from the development to the Northern Bypass.

With the three major schools and the further education college all situated in the Gaywood area of Lynn, the idea of funnelling traffic from the new development out on to the Northern Bypass seems a recipe for future town centre traffic chaos during the rush hour (Rush! You’re joking!) on weekday mornings.

Perhaps it’s all part of a cunning plan by the county and borough councils to get us all to take up cycling and walking in order to get into town or to do the school run. In most other respects, it simply looks a surefire recipe for traffic gridlock – and very soon.