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Council engineering work at King's Lynn's Harding's Way stops - but is it for good?




Controversial work at Lynn's Harding's Way has been stopped.

However, it's unclear whether the work to relocate a bus gate near its junction with Wisbech Road, enabling the construction of new access roads, has been postponed or cancelled.

A temporary traffic order banning vehicles from using Harding's Way while work was carried out was revoked last week.

It said: "Norfolk County Council as traffic authority for...Norfolk is satisfied that engineering works on bus gates are no longer required."

Norfolk County Council member champion for cycling and walking Andrew Jamieson meeting campaigners at Hardings Way last August. Also pictured in the foreground are Cllr Alexandra Kemp, Kevin Waddington and Sally Beadle.
Norfolk County Council member champion for cycling and walking Andrew Jamieson meeting campaigners at Hardings Way last August. Also pictured in the foreground are Cllr Alexandra Kemp, Kevin Waddington and Sally Beadle.

But a joint response from West Norfolk Council and Norfolk County Council issued on Friday suggested that the work is only temporarily shelved.

It said: "Planned works for Harding's Way are presently on hold; an associated temporary traffic order for the works has been withdrawn.

"Both the borough and county councils are presently focussed on lockdown related planning which will influence when a decision can be made regarding the scheme."

Cllr Alexandra Kemp, county member for Clenchwarton and King's Lynn South, has long campaigned against any development of the Harding's Pits area.

She has welcomed the work being stopped but called for clarity on whether it was off the table for good.

"I'm extremely disappointed with Norfolk County Council clearly saying there's no need for the works and then saying it might be reinstated at a later date."

Miss Kemp pointed to the outcome of a walking and cycling survey by Vision King's Lynn which found that most people want more off-road segregated cycle lanes.

She insisted that the councils should be encouraging active travel and the current road through Harding's Way was a popular and safe route for children going to and from schools.

"This is the right decision [to stop work]," she said. "Harding's Way needs to be respected forever as the route for pedestrians and cycles into town, from the south.

"We shouldn't be developing that area. We're looking at higher sea levels and the flood defences would cost a great deal.

"Also there are 91 species of birds on Harding's Pit and developing that area will affect their habitat."

Miss Kemp has emailed the county council's highway design and development manager Paul Donnachie urging certainly over the scheme.

Referencing the borough council's poor handling of King's Lynn Innovation Centre, she wrote: "The borough knows that development in the rapid inundation zone along the riverfront is unviable, with the high flood risk and high cost of flood defences, for which there is no money.

"We do not want millions more public money wasted in an unviable scheme."



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