In less than a month before the Norfolk County election you provide one candidate – Alexander Kemp – with a front page exclusive (Friday, April 7)!
Reheating the park-and-ride argument and raising the spectre of a revived incinerator plan for that site is pure electioneering and serves no real purpose beyond promoting this candidate’s campaign. Where is the evidence that large numbers of mid-long distance commuters, tourists and shoppers are coming into Lynn necessitating a park and ride scheme? I doubt it exists. Lynn is not a city, its range of shops is limited and its heritage does not yet bring in the hordes of tourists that we see in larger centres. If we really want to address the traffic problems in Lynn and on the main routes into Lynn we need evidence first (e.g. about road users’ journeys) before we come up with a solution!
However, it is not hard to understand why traffic on our roads is increasing and why the transport infrastructure is struggling to cope. Observing recent trends in society – the massive rise in online shopping, school selection policies, more of us working and juggling family commitments, a larger over-65 population group dependent on the car or the support workers that attend them, poor bus services and limited routes, the growth in new housing developments on the outskirts of town, and the cultural caché of owning a car – suggests that car use and road traffic will continue to increase in West Norfolk. A park-and-ride scheme is least likely to provide any solution to the trends outlined and, given the funding cuts and limitations imposed by this appalling Conservative government, I doubt there are any long-term solutions to our traffic problems on the horizon either.
I would like to suggest one small behavioural change that we can all put into practice right away, however: zero-tolerance of bad and selfish driving. These drivers exacerbate peak time traffic problems by jumping the lights, sitting on pedestrian crossing and cross-hatched areas, weaving across lanes, swapping lanes and blocking lanes in the attempt. All it takes is a small collision or two on these already congested roads to create gridlock. Improving our etiquette on the road – a bit of patience and common civility – might just make life a bit better.
I am now looking forward to my front page promotion!
Dr Deborah Holman, Labour candidate for Clenchwarton and Lynn South