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Apology over disruption caused to King's Lynn cyclists

An electricity operator has apologised for any inconvenience caused by a closed cycleway in the Lynn area.

Cyclists have bemoaned a lack of warning signs upon approaching the closure from Reffley to Springwood just off Queen Elizabeth Way.

UK Power Networks has temporarily closed the cycleway for safety reasons to install new high voltage underground cables.

The closed cycleway due to work being carried out by UK Power Networks. Picture: Julie Allum
The closed cycleway due to work being carried out by UK Power Networks. Picture: Julie Allum

This is as part of a £3 million project in which UK Power Networks will be removing 68 poles that have been supporting electricity cables in Gaywood, Snettisham and Little Massingham since the 1960s. It means the overhead lines that cross the A149 above drivers’ heads will be removed.

The major scheme, which started in June, also crosses land next to Gaywood River and will involve cabling under fields and drilling beneath the A149.

A spokesman for Power Networks said the work will boost the reliability of power supplies for the area.

Regarding the cycleway closure, he added: "We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will do everything possible to complete the work ahead of its scheduled end date of October 31. We will investigate whether we can place extra signage on the approach to the site."

Local cyclists took to social media to complain about the official diversion taking them down the A148 with no temporary measures to "make it any less scary to cycle on."

A member of the King's Lynn and West Norfolk Bicycle Users Group said: "No warning from any exit point on Springwood to say the shared footpath/cycle path is closed on to Reffley.

"Whilst you can get past the barrier if it was very wet or muddy you may end up in the dyke if you choose to cycle. On my return I decided to go to the top of Gayton Road, and again there was no sign to say it was closed further along."

Cyclist and chairman of the Harding's Pits Community Association Rob Archer said: "Surely there should still be diversion signs on-site and at the entrances to the affected routes.

"I totally support the work they are doing and accept there is no alternative but to close the cycleway but our point is that there are no diversion signs at the entrance of Gayton Road as there would be for a normal closure.

"This is one of the busiest cycleways in the area and there has been no thought over it."

Mr Archer added that lots of schoolchildren use the route and would have to cycle on Wootton Road, which he described as an "unpleasant" experience for cyclists.

UK Power Networks has asked customers not to approach its teams if they see them working unless it’s an electricity emergency, and, if they do, to maintain social distancing at all times.

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