Following discussion at this month's meeting, KLWNBUG broadly welcomes the proposed inclusion of the following cycling measures in the King's Lynn Transport Strategy:
- Tennyson Avenue pedestrian & cycle improvements (but see below about dismissing the bridge idea)
- Historic quayside cycle route
- Way-finding & signage provision (we call on the councils to adopt the local route network and add the numbers to route signs);
- Cycle lane continuity through town
- Port Quarter pedestrian and cycle access improvements
- South Lynn to Hardwick Road crossing review - six crossings is at least double what it could be!
- Park/Fairstead/Hardwick cycle link improvements
- More cycle lanes and cycle lane cameras - we await details!
- Secure cycle parking with CCTV
- Some minor cycle lane repairs - although we feel these only went into the transport study process because Norfolk's Transport Asset Management Plan is failing cycling and walking.
We oppose the following bad proposed measures:
- Repainting the dangerous substandard JKR cycle lanes - redesign them, as proposed in the past!
- Opening Harding's Way to additional motor traffic - it was built as a Safe Route to School and is South Lynn's only greenway to town - hundreds of people are campaigning against this;
- Gaywood Park to Fairstead link road - this was assessed incorrectly to ignore some severe detrimental effects;
- Dualling the A149 Eastern Bypass - it is already dangerously difficult to cross when cycling or walking;
- Wisbech Road to A148 link road - this would add more obstructions to walking and cycling into town from the south and undo any simplifications of South Lynn to Hardwick crossings;
We feel that the following proposals seem to have been incorrectly assessed and probably dismissed without proper reasons:
- Pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Great Ouse (benefit-cost ratio is not considered in the report)
- Pedestrian/cycle bridge or underpass across the Tennyson level crossing (weak assessment of benefit-cost and no mention of railway authorities being consulted)
- Park and Ride/Stride/Pedal/Rail/Sail (undervalued possible use of existing infrastructure and benefit to other transport modes)
- Cycle Hire (excluded despite scoring the same as other schemes carried forwards)
- Improved cycle parking for the West Lynn ferry (appears to be dismissed in favour of more car parking, contrary to policy)
- 30mph speed limit Hardwick Bridge to Southgates (ignores that one carriageway lane over the blind brow is used as a cycle route)
- Hospital-Gayton Cycle Route (ignores possibility for synergy with Fakenham Greenway project)
And we feel the consultants have bizarrely completely ignored many of our suggestions, including:
- Safe Crossings of the A149 Eastern Bypass - the authors note this as a major problem in an early chapter, but consider no remedies;
- Complete the West Lynn and Clenchwarton cycleway by providing a cycleway across the cut bridge and extend to Millennium Way;
- Actually building the rest of the stuff the county council thinks it has already built!
- Default 20mph in all residential areas, to make walking and cycling feel safer: Friars, Chase, North End and North Lynn, Park and Fairstead as priorities;
- Hardwick junctions cycle priority measures;
- Upgrade Norfolk's Transport Asset Management Policy to prioritise walking and cycling fairly, so we no longer wait five months for a manhole cover to be replaced or six weeks for a dangerous tree to be cut and need to use the transport strategy process to get basic maintenance done.
We also question whether it is correct that reducing pollution and improving air quality in the town is only 5% of the aim, the lowest weight of any of the objectives.
The errors and omissions above undermine what could become a useful strategy. It is nothing short of scandalous that all of the cycling and walking schemes are short-term to be done within the next three years, then nothing is proposed to be done in the medium or long term, so it looks like we will get no further improvements before 2036! Where is the ambition? Where is the vision?
KLWNBUG representatives will attend the stakeholder meeting this week with interest, submit our comments and further reports will follow! You can find the council stage two report at https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/info/20010/regeneration/696/kings_lynn_transport_study - please try not to get too angry trying to read through it! If you have more comments we should pass on, let us know.