King's Lynn campaigners' rally to protest against development work in Harding's Way
A rally in Lynn tomorrow (Saturday) will protest over major development work in Harding’s Way.
West Norfolk Council wants to build housing off the route.
The council already has planning permission to provide three new access roads at the southern end (Wisbech Road) and to relocate a bus gate.
A traffic regulation order was amended in May to open up a 125m stretch of Harding’s Way from its junction with Wisbech Road to all vehicles. Only buses and cycles had previously been allowed.
Campaigners will be making their feelings known at the 11am gathering.
They say the route will be less safe for cyclists and pedestrians, particularly schoolchildren, while air quality will be reduced.
Spokesperson Kevin Waddington says the work could contravene an agreement over the funding for Hardings Way as part of the £5.3million King’s Lynn South Transport Major Scheme.
Mr Waddington said: “This agreement stipulated that the funds were for the purpose of providing a safe and pollution-free route for cyclists, pedestrians and children on their way to primary school.
“I simply don’t accept that this work is not a breach of that agreement.”
A Norfolk County Council spokesperson said: “The proposed scheme and traffic order will enable access to commercial premises, derestricting the southernmost 125m for that purpose only. The proposals also involve constructing an additional length of footway and cycleway where none currently exists.
“The remainder of Harding’s Way is not affected so the route will remain a key bus, cycling and walking route. A detailed audit process concluded that the scheme does not contradict the CIF2 funding.”
A new access road will be provided to Overtons Coachpainters Ltd.
Owner John Overton says his long-established business is the only commercial property still in the area.
“I don’t really want to be surrounded by houses but as long as it doesn’t stop me working then it’s not a problem,” he said.
Mr Overton said there had been a proposal by West Norfolk Council more than 10 years ago to move his business to the Hardwick Estate but it never materialised.
“I’d still be open to a move,” he added.