Letter: Jane Dearling, July 18, 2017
The Harding’s Pits Community Association (HPCA) is completely opposed to this proposal and asks that Harding’s Way is not, under any circumstances, changed from its present status as a bus, cycle and pedestrian-only route to allow access to all vehicles.
In particular, we ask cabinet to reflect in its decision the views of the public consultation on Option 3 in which 77 percent of respondents were opposed to opening Harding’s Way to all traffic.
The assertion that the move to “relieve congestion on London Road” is completely counter intuitive; it will simply lead to additional congestion elsewhere, whilst depriving Lynn of one of the most successful, well-used, pedestrian, cycle and bus routes into town.
Harding’s Way (HW) borders the important community resource, which is the Harding’s Pits Doorstep Green (HPDG). Doorstep greens were set up by national government to provide an essential green lung for urban communities which otherwise lacked such facilities. This is certainly the case for both the Friars area of the town and South Lynn. HPDG is the only area of public open space beside the river which has not been urbanised and where there are considerable environmental and wildlife element.
Since HPDG was established there have been continual moves to erode both its nature and its size. The introduction of buses to HW, which was originally a foot and cycle path, has had a deleterious effect on the green already, imposing an unhappy urban element and making the original path unsafe for unaccompanied children. The vast majority of current users are on foot or cycles (not buses) and it is quicker (and a lot more pleasant) to walk into town from South Lynn via Harding’s Way than to drive via London Road.
Introducing general traffic will worsen the entire environment. This proposal will also worsen air quality. Moreover HW will have to be widened, turning it to what will essentially be a through road with all the attendant environmental draw-backs.
In 2008 Norfolk County Council bid for money under a Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) to improve public transport in Lynn.
The aims were to: “Reduce the number of car trips and improve the reliability, journey times and quality of the public transport service; the bus route will significantly reduce bus journey times by providing a congestion free route for buses between South Lynn, NORA and Lynn town centre.
It will encourage an increase in use of bus services, cycling and walking in Lynn.”
Opening up HW to general traffic will obviate all these aims.
Despite being bounded by heavily built-up urban areas Harding’s Pits remains a haven of peace. With Harding’s Way open to all traffic the entire area will become unsafe for children and cyclists, pollution will increase and it will no longer be a haven for anyone.