Campaign launched to raise £50,000 for West Lynn road crossing

Launch of West Lynn Crossing fundraising campaign, Cllr Alexandra Kemp (4th left), with Martin Cuthbert (McDonalds West Lynn, King's Lynn and Hardwick, owner/operator) (far right) who has pledged ?500 in support of the crossing.'Also in pic other Poppyfields residents and youngsters. ANL-150221-174356009
Launch of West Lynn Crossing fundraising campaign, Cllr Alexandra Kemp (4th left), with Martin Cuthbert (McDonalds West Lynn, King's Lynn and Hardwick, owner/operator) (far right) who has pledged ?500 in support of the crossing.'Also in pic other Poppyfields residents and youngsters. ANL-150221-174356009
0
Have your say

An appeal has been launched to raise funds for a pedestrian crossing near a West Lynn housing estate that county roads chiefs won’t pay for.

Organisers estimate that £50,000 is needed to fund the safety measure on Clenchwarton Road, near the entrance to the Poppyfields housing estate.

And the Safe Crossing for Poppyfields cause received its first contribution from the manager of a nearby fast food restaurant at the weekend.

The appeal was launched after council chiefs rejected calls, including a petition signed by more than 300 people, for a crossing in the area after a girl was injured in a collision with a car last autumn.

County councillor Alexandra Kemp, who is leading the campaign, said it was “outrageous” that the authority was spending so little on road safety schemes, compared to the millions being committed to schemes like developing the old RAF Coltishall site.

She said: “The County’s criteria for crossings are duff, out-dated and downright dangerous.

“They explain away the significance of the accident records to justify a do-nothing approach time and time again.”

“The crossing is needed for a safe route for infants living on the Poppyfields estate to walk to school and proper community life, to end the isolation of Poppyfields by connecting it with West Lynn village and with local amenities, the bus stop, the shop, the church and the church hall.

“The absence of a safe crossing forces people into cars and causes congestion up at the school. The proper approach is for walkable neighbourhoods that encourage people to walk and take exercise. When will Norfolk catch up?”

Following talks with roads officials on Friday, Miss Kemp said the crossing plan will include other traffic calming and road narrowing measures, which are designed to slow traffic down before they reach the crossing.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said a low accident record at the site, and a lack of available funding, meant there were no plans to install a crossing.

But she added: “We take safety concerns seriously and our road safety team have recently held a meeting on site to discuss any potential future options if they were to be privately funded.”

However, resident Claire Watkins, whose daughter Alisha was hurt in the collision which triggered the latest campaign in October, said: “We’ve got to think about the people who live on those roads. We need some sort of crossing.”

Alisha was injured as she attempted to cross the road to catch the 505 bus into Lynn, which stops on Clenchwarton Road near the Poppyfields junction.

Miss Watkins said: “My daughter won’t even get on the bus anymore. It has taken her independence away.”

The campaign received its first contribution on Saturday in the form of a £500 donation from the McDonalds restaurant near the Pullover roundabout.

And franchise owner Martin Cuthbert has called for other local firms to get involved with the appeal.

He said: “I thought it’s needed first and foremost and it’s something we should get behind.”

“This is about local mums with a local issue needing a little bit of help and guidance. Businesses can do that financially or give their expertise.”

Local school children will also be invited to take part in a competition to design a logo for the campaign.