I was astounded to read Councillor Bambridge’s comments on opening up the Hardings Way cycle, walking and bus route to general traffic.
Do those who choose to walk and ride their bikes into town really deserve nothing better than being squeezed onto narrow pavements alongside noisy, polluting traffic? Are they really so insignificant that they are invisible, as suggested by the comments about the route being unused? If traffic pollution is the problem, opening new roads is hardly the answer. How does Cllr Bambridge think this will encourage people to leave their cars at home and walk or cycle instead? To encourage people to walk or ride their bikes, you have to provide attractive, traffic-free routes, because walking and cycling along busy roads is just horrible and people don’t want to do it. Moreover, people need quiet, green spaces to escape to and Hardings Way, sandwiched between the River Nar and Hardings Pits Doorstep Green, provides this for hundreds of people. Far from destroying walking and cycling routes, the council should be doing the opposite. It is unacceptable that hundreds of people living along the old A17 in the villages of Walpole Cross Keys, Terrington and Clenchwarton are denied the choice of using their bikes to get into town because there’s no safe cycle route . This is exactly the sort of route that in the Netherlands would have a proper cycle route all the way along, making cycling a real travel choice for hundreds of people. It is, after all, only an hour’s gentle cycling from Lynn town centre to Sutton Bridge, and it’s flat. Yet it’s currently only an option for the brave because there’s no cycle path. Why not? Why is there still no cycle route to Hunstanton and the villages in between? Why no route from Grimston and Gayton into Lynn? Why doesn’t Lynn have a bus service fit for the 21st century that matches that of other similarly-sized towns, with regular buses right through the day from early morning to late night? You will never know how different Lynn could be until you give people a choice and by failing to provide that choice the council is failing Lynn. If there is a pollution problem it is entirely the council’s fault for treating people who want to walk and cycle as second class citizens. It’s time they accept that responsibility and start answering some of these questions.
Vicky Fairweather, Annes Close, Lynn