King’s Lynn areas should have chance to bid for road safety funding, report says

Alexandra Kemp ENGANL00120131028142036
Alexandra Kemp ENGANL00120131028142036
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Communities in Lynn could be given the chance to bid for road safety funding under proposals to be debated today.

A Norfolk County Council committee will examine plans to extend the opportunities already offered under its parish partnership programme to areas without a parish council.

The move has been welcomed by one of the authority’s Lynn members, though she says more still needs to be done to ensure areas like hers can secure the safety measures they need.

Last month, the county council launched the latest round of its parish partnership programme, in which parish councils can apply for grants towards road safety projects in their areas.

The scheme allows parishes to secure matched funding from the county for measures including keep clear markings outside schools and signs warning drivers if they are breaking the speed limit.

Now, a report to be presented to the authority’s environment, development and transport committee, which meets in Norwich this morning, proposes to extend that to non-parished areas.

Officials have recommended the provision is extended to non-parished areas, with bids limited to a maximum of £25,000.

They say applications should be submitted via elected members and the council should also work with district authorities to secure additional funding for projects.

One area that could potentially benefit if the recommendations are approved is West Lynn, where a campaign was launched to build a pedestrian crossing near the entrance to the Poppyfields estate after a girl was injured in a collision with a car in October 2014.

Alexandra Kemp, the village’s county councillor, said the proposals were welcome, but argued that more help was still needed to reflect the great difficulties faced by communities without a parish council to raise the necessary funds.

She said: “This is good news, but it won’t build a crossing at Poppyfields, because that will cost £100,000. It doesn’t go far enough.”

Residents began to raise money towards new safety measures in the Poppyfields area and have so far collected around £1,000.

But Miss Kemp said all of the alternative funding options pursued as part of the campaign specifically excluded the provision of new crossings, as they are deemed to be the responsibility of councils to provide.

However, the county council has previously stated that the Poppyfields site’s low accident record did not justify additional safety measures.