‘Failure’ claim in West Lynn crossing dispute

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Officials have failed to adequately provide for the safety of residents on a West Lynn housing estate for more than a decade.

That is the claim from the village’s county councillor and now almost 250 people have signed a petition calling for improved safety measures on Clenchwarton Road, close to the Poppyfields housing estate, in a bid to tackle the problem.

Demands for the additional safety measures have intensified after a teenage girl was injured in a collision with a car there last month.

But divisional county councillor Alexandra Kemp, who is leading the campaign for a crossing in the area, says action should have been taken much earlier.

She said residents had voiced concerns about road safety in the area even before planning permission was granted for Poppyfields in 2004.

She claimed there had been a “collective failure” on the part of both West Norfolk Council and Norfolk County Council to properly address the issue.

However, borough council officials have said it would have been down to highways officers to determine whether a new crossing should be a condition of planning consent.

And, ahead of the county council’s environment, transport and development committee today, where she hopes to raise the issue, Miss Kemp said: “We have really got to see this happen this time.”

She added: “I don’t think they’re going to say ‘Here’s £150,000, go and build it’, but I want to highlight it.”

Although financial contributions were agreed towards bus links and the Lynn pedestrian ferry, no provision was made for an additional crossing when permission for the estate was granted.

However, officials at the time maintained that a footpath along Clenchwarton Road towards a traffic island at the junction of Clenchwarton Road and Lynn Road would provide safe passage for residents, though that has been disputed.

Following the latest incident, which happened on October 20, Norfolk County Council highways officials said the low accident rate on the road meant other sites in the county would be a higher priority for funding than West Lynn.

They said there had only been two accidents on Clenchwarton Road in the last five years.

But, a total of 238 people have so far put pen to paper and signed the petition calling for a new crossing on the 
road.

And Miss Kemp said that, including last month’s incident, there had now been seven accidents on Clenchwarton Road and other surrounding routes since 2008.

She maintains that children’s need to cross Clenchwarton Road to get to the village primary school and to catch buses into Lynn makes the provision of a crossing essential.