Clearway order planned to prevent parking problems around Bawsey site

Police bollards line both sides of the B1145 at Bawsey, at the former entrance to the sand pits and car park area. ANL-150807-180608009
Police bollards line both sides of the B1145 at Bawsey, at the former entrance to the sand pits and car park area. ANL-150807-180608009
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Motorists could be prevented from parking along the B1145 at Bawsey if a new traffic order is made.

Norfolk County Council is looking to make a clearway order from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Roundabout to the junction with East Winch Road to prevent parking problems along the road.

Cars left by visitors to Bawsey Pits prompted an emergency closure of the B1145 in 2013 when more than 200 vehicles were left on the road.

The car park has been closed since the deaths in July last year of Ryan Pettengell, 41, of Lynn, and 16-year-old Umar Balogun.

Inquests have now been held into both deaths.

A county council spokesman said: “Following the investigation, which included site observations, discussions with police and a review of the accident statistics, it is proposed to introduce a ‘Clearway’ Traffic Regulation Order which would prohibit parking and/or stopping on both the carriageway and verges.”

Residents and members of the public will be able to make comments on the order later in the summer.

But there are concerns that the order could force visitors to park along nearby Brow of the Hill in Leziate.

Tony Crane, Leziate Parish Council chairman, said: “The introduction of the clearway on the B1145, while in principle would appear on the face of it to be beneficial, is likely to displace any parking.

“During the last parish council meeting, we mentioned that there was no reason why the car park should not be re-opened, which would alleviate the issue.”

Bawsey is currently owned by Sibelco which is the process of selling the site to Wisbech businessman Kevin Salter, who is looking to create a visitor attraction to boost tourism in West Norfolk.

A spokesman for Sibelco said: “It is an interesting proposal and we would welcome any measures to improve road safety.

“We will take a look at the details and make comment if asked to do so as part of the planning process.

“We closed the gates to the informal car parking area – a move that was effectively endorsed by the coroner, who said we had done everything we could to promote public safety.

“We appreciate that people are choosing to park inconsiderately on the road – but that must be a matter for the police and local authority to tackle.

“There is no obligation on us to provide parking at Bawsey Pits.

“Public access is maintained to the network of paths on the site.”