The Harding’s Pits Community Association endorses all the points which your correspondent,
Rob Archer, has made about the proposal to open up Harding’s Way to all vehicles. As he so rightly says, Harding’s Way is not a bus lane, it is a cycleway and pedestrian route which is also used by buses. As such it provides a quiet and safe route for the many people who use it, in particular the children walking to and from school. There were also excellent points made regarding this from Vicky Fairweather, (Lynn News, April 1 –“We need routes free of traffic”). Why, when pollution and traffic management are key issues for Lynn, would it make sense to undermine a well-used, non-vehicular and public transport route into the town – as well as a popular recreation area?
Generally our association is in sympathy with Cllr Bambridge, but we have to query her assertion that Harding’s Way is “underused”. Surely Cllr Bambridge must know that Harding’s Way was never intended as a general vehicular route – and the CIF grant to build the bus lane in 2009 was obtained to improve community infrastructure.
The money used to build the bus lane will have to be repaid to the Government if it will be opened up to all traffic. There are also several practical points to be addressed: the sluice, blind chicane, the cycle path junction and narrow carriageway.
Is the sluice of sufficiently strong construction to be able to take the strain, or will it have to be rebuilt? Certainly it will have to be widened if vehicles are to pass safely. If the sluice bridge is wide enough and strong enough for a general vehicular road, it certainly could not retain a safe pedestrian/cycle corridor as well. How much will it cost to straighten the blind bend on either side of the sluice? What about the junction with the cycle-path, which crosses Harding’s Way? Will that require traffic lights?
What we really need is a more thoughtful plan for the town that will relieve growing traffic congestion for the long term. Isn’t it now time to re-examine park and ride?
Jane Dearling, Chairman Harding’s Pits Community Association