Accident fears expresses over loss of King’s Lynn road barriers

Where have all the safety railings gone from the side of the main road through Gaywood asks Paul Macey. ANL-140331-084804001
Where have all the safety railings gone from the side of the main road through Gaywood asks Paul Macey. ANL-140331-084804001
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It took weeks to complete and caused major disruption, but residents and traders say one of the main routes into Lynn is now more unsafe after a new crossing was installed.

The railings were taken away as part of the six-week project at the junction of Lynn Road and Queen Mary Road, which was completed last month.

County council officials say they have no plans to replace the barriers, as their work should make it easier and safer for pedestrians to negotiate the busy road.

But local people want them put back and fear the potential consequences if that does not happen.

Terry Snowden, chairman of the Gaywood Business Association, said local people were not consulted on the move and that new problems were now being created by lorries mounting the pavement to park in order to make deliveries.

Fellow trader Nicholas Kulkarni said: “Already we are seeing children and adults running across five busy lanes.

“At night, children on unlit bicycles merrily jump the kerbs on and off the road to cross it.

And Mr Snowden added: “It made the pedestrians cross where they should cross.

“There will be an incident. I don’t want to say that and we don’t want it to happen, but it is an incident waiting to happen.”

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “We have invested in making it easier and safer for pedestrians to cross at the Queen Mary Road junction by installing a new crossing, and increasing the size of the central island.”

She said the layout was also designed to be safer for cyclists, who had complained of feeling “squashed” between the railings and traffic.

And she insisted that the design met road design guidelines, which the barriers, which were first installed more than 20 years ago, did not.

She added: “Current guidance says motorists drive much more slowly if it is clear they need to interact with pedestrians and cyclists.”

But campaigner Paul Macey, who led calls for improved road safety measures around the Tuesday Market Place following the death of three-year-old Rio Bell during the 2012 Mart, is backing the call for the barriers to be put back.

He said: “There is no reason why those barriers should have been taken down. The most important thing is safety.

“There is no point in waiting until you get a near miss. It’s better to have it put right now.”