Referring to your article reporting council discussions about opening the bus-only route to all users, I cannot believe that Councillor Bambridge allegedly backed the proposal to allow cars to use the bus-only route based upon her reckoning of only two buses both ways per hour.
That will be proved incorrect by bus operator records. I served on the NORA consultative group for ten years, being involved in the bus route decisions. I live in Bridge Street, backing onto the bus-only highway, and I see the bus numbers about constant, yet proliferate at times, as predicted at the consenting planning meeting in 2011. Not all buses use it. This seemingly quick fix might create more problems than it solves if it requires bus lanes, thus widening/re-alignment, and could compromise better options desperately needed, seemingly not recognised in long-term thinking, not least of which is adequate school access provision. The impact of a steep incline in worldwide population will affect Lynn and district; some of it seems to be arriving already in the provision of major residential sites all around us, currently causing public consternation, affecting all gateways to town and probably about to add much more traffic and congestion. What is needed is an effort to remove transport movements from the west/north from entering London Road, by providing a hump back bridge from Millfleet over the River Great Ouse, seemingly stupid, but wise if it is significantly beneficial by regenerating river use and town vitality.
A bridge, long overdue, could provide endless renewable energy and open up land closer to town for west/north access and town expansion, access to car parks and even a relocation of council offices, if that relieves congestion in its present location, to make way for northern development vehicles. In the long term, with aspiration, it could open up opportunities for a vast lake to provide much profit for the town, opportunities for leisure and lake activities, lake-related industry in towns around it, tourism and certainty of protection for wildlife.
The bus-only route is still a good decision, because it removes most buses from London Road and the risk of consequential bus lanes to slow-moving traffic gushing harmful fumes. It allows reasonably free-flowing traffic we now mostly enjoy to suit road branches into residential and other areas to make the town workable. It could be used by taxis and perhaps for licensed distribution of goods in bulk to town stores. It should not take local town buses away from circulating either side of London Road.
Major population increases (thus employment/residential development) north, east, south and west of the town will need access to town vitality and our magnificent leisure facilities. That will increase congestion in Tuesday Market Place whilst car parking spaces diminish, coaches park and the narrow two-way access is unresolved. Solutions seem possible and London Road traffic will increase. The town trade will continue to evaporate to out-of-town expansion towards Cambridge yet be increased by major tourism if the River Great Ouse is regenerated. A decision to allow all traffic use on the bus-only route would not therefore permanently reduce pollution in London Road. It might, however, create a rat run.
Desmond K Waite, Bridge Street, Lynn