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Row over 'extraordinary' legal advice in King's Lynn bus lane debate

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A row over legal advice cut short debate on the future use of a Lynn bus lane.

Two separate motions calling for a review of plans to relax restrictions on the use of Hardings Way were tabled to Thursday’s West Norfolk Council meeting.

Both were referred to the authority’s ruling cabinet following counter-motions proposed by council leader Brian Long.

Hardings Way
Hardings Way

But, on the first of them, independent leader Jim Moriarty protested when a legal official advised that the proposal to refer the issue to cabinet had to be voted on without further debate.

He described the advice as “extraordinary”, arguing that the directly opposite advice had been given on a similar issue earlier this year.

He said: “I will be taking this further. You know me well enough. It will be coming back.”

Alexandra Kemp, who proposed the motion, added: “People need to see who’s in favour of democracy and who’s in favour of shutting up the council.”

But Mr Long argued he was only following a request made in the motion itself.

Plans to move the bollards which prevent general traffic from using Hardings Way to enable new development in the area have proved highly controversial.

Opponents claim the scheme is a step towards the route being opened up completely, although others argue the current rules do not give value for the money spent building the road in the first place.

Miss Kemp urged the Conservative administration to listen to people “from some of the most deprived parts of the town”, where she says there is widespread opposition to any change of the current restrictions.

Labour's Francis Bone, who tabled the second motion, said there was a risk of a bad decision being made through what he described as a lack of "due diligence."

Charles Joyce added: "This is a bus only lane and we should have more of these. Where it has exclusivity it can travel much better."

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