Published: Thursday, 19th January 2023
Published on behalf of Norfolk County Council:
Norfolk County Council has welcomed news that Government funding has been awarded to a key project aimed at improving transport and travel links in the Southgates area of King’s Lynn.
The project is one of more than 100 projects that have been given a share of £2.1 billion from round two of government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund.
Councillor Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council Portfolio Holder for Highways and Infrastructure said:
“This is great news for the west of the county and the success of this bid is a testament to the strong partnership working between the borough and county councils.
“Funding will enable us to deliver the transport aspects of the borough council’s transformational masterplan for the Southgates area as well as active travel measures in the town centre.
“These measures align well with the Town Deal projects being progressed and will support sustainable transport movements on the key corridor into the town from the West Winch strategic growth area. Our visionary Bus and Active Travel project will transform a key gateway into the town and reconfigure the outdated gyratory road system. Working in partnership with the borough council, the scheme will facilitate a bold transformational masterplan to regenerate the area around the historic 15th century Southgate. The route under the gate will be used for modes of active travel - such as cycling and walking - rather than for general traffic. The scheme will also help improve road safety and air quality.
“All of these measures lie on the key corridor into the town from the West Winch strategic growth area.”
Cllr Stuart Dark MBE, Leader of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, added:
“Borough officers worked closely with county colleagues to develop the bid. Providing vital local detail and context. The announcement today, of the successful allocation of the full amount of funding from the Levelling Up Fund, is well deserved and very welcome.
“The findings of our consultation on the Southgates masterplan showed that 77% of the public agreed with the vision set out for the area. This funding means that the heritage asset of the South Gate can reach its full potential and be protected. Meanwhile the scheme will improve access and economic growth in the town. This additional £24m of funding means that we can achieve more of the ambition for King’s Lynn set out in the town investment plan and will complement the £25m of investment already secured in the towns fund.
“I’m grateful to Norfolk County Council for identifying the potential of this transformational scheme for the Southgates and King’s Lynn as a whole. This successful bid shows the real benefit of effective collaboration.”
Place-based changes can improve the lives of local people and are at the heart of the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda. Norfolk County Council and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk therefore set out a vision to guide future development in the Southgates area.
This masterplan sets out how the area can be used to support economic growth and improve access to the town, while protecting and enhancing important heritage assets such as the South Gate itself.
The masterplan shows how improvements to highways, heritage and urban design can provide long-term economic benefits and create an attractive and active gateway to King’s Lynn. The STARS project provides the transport interventions to support the Southgates masterplan.
The STARS scheme is responding to challenges which include:
- Unwelcoming and intensely vehicle dominated areas on the gyratory (one-way system) and South Gate entry point into King’s Lynn
- Poor road safety record
- Very poor pedestrian and cycle environment
- Failure to connect to active travel links and green spaces
- Government directive that all transport schemes must have significant bus, walking and cycling measures to obtain public funding
The scheme builds on existing initiatives and information:
- King’s Lynn Transport Strategy – adopted in spring 2020
- Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) – adopted spring 2022
- Resolving air quality issues Railway Road
- Town Investment Plan (TIP)
- Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) initiative in Southgates area
- Borough Council Southgates masterplanning by consultants BDP
- Community feedback from Town Investment Plan (TIP) and Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP)
- Bus Back Better and the NCC Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP)
Environment and Sustainability
- Contributes to tackling climate change and meeting the Council’s Net Zero Carbon targets by 2035
- Residential layouts will consider relationship with junction and natural assets to manage potential air quality and noise impacts
- Achieve Biodiversity Net Gain
- Switch to Active Travel will deliver on Climate Change and Healthy Lifestyle agendas
- The in combination impact of the schemes will provide a sea-change to perceptions of sustainable travel within the town