The Assistant Director presented information on the Active Travel Programme and Active and Clean Connectivity. A copy of the presentation is attached.
The presentation included information on the programme rationale, the work to date, the revised programme overview, details of the Active Travel Hub on the Nar Ouse Enterprise Zone, next steps, and timescales.
The Chair thanked the Assistant Director for the presentation and invited questions and comments from the Panel, as summarised below.
In response to a question from Councillor Hudson, the Assistant Director confirmed the cost of the project.
Councillor Manning felt that improvements to the bus service would be required and asked if subsidy for buses had been costed into the project. The Assistant Director explained that large employers would be engaged in the scheme and then routes could be looked at. He explained that there were other options available for active and clean travel such as cycling and lift shares.
Councillor de Whalley hoped that active travel would be promoted to the community as well as businesses and he was concerned that the Nar Ouse Active Travel Hub was situated outside of the key area for the LCWIP. The Assistant Director explained that there were community benefits of the scheme and he made reference to the provision that would be made available at Baker Lane and that options to link the travel hubs from Baker Lane to the Nar Ouse area could also be looked at. The Assistant Director explained that the LCWIP interventions would improve connectivity throughout the town, and it was acknowledged that options were defragmented at the moment, but the LCWIP interventions and the Active Travel Hub would offer choices.
Councillor Hudson made reference to the fifty car park spaces at the Nar Ouse Hub and asked if this could be increased. The Assistant Director explained that the Towns Fund covered funding for fifty spaces, but the planning application would be for 150 spaces, so that the site could be developed in phases if necessary. Bus stops and changing/storage facilities would also be provided.
In response to a question from Councillor Morley it was explained that provision of car parking for the KLIC would be retained.
In response to questions from Councillor Humphrey it was explained that it was not a requirement for businesses to do a travel survey, but it was a recommendation from the DfT and it could be used as a tool to assist with recruitment and retention.
Councillor Bubb addressed the Panel under Standing Order 34 and commented that this was a lost opportunity for a South Lynn Railway Station. The Assistant Director explained that there was not enough funding available in the Town Deal Project for the construction of a new Railway Station.
The Chair commented that the bus hub was a good idea and that fifty car parking spaces would not be enough, but acknowledged that further opportunities may be available in the future. She hoped that the hub would develop into something with cafes, restaurants and shops and commented that punitive measures for car users, such as congestion charges would reduce the amount of cars coming into the town centre. The Assistant Director explained that measures such as changes to the gyratory system and Southgates could also reduce congestion in the town centre.
In response to a question from Councillor Nockolds, the Assistant Director explained that some of the smaller interventions as part of the LCWIP had already started and it was anticipated that the scheme would be delivered in full in 2024/25.
Councillor de Whalley referred to the infrastructure on the old Hunstanton Railway line, which was well used, and he hoped for quality infrastructure in other areas to encourage use.
RESOLVED: That the update was noted, and the comments of the Panel would be taken into consideration as appropriate.