'Lives at risk' fear over narrow walkway next to busy West Norfolk road
People in a village near Lynn are being put at risk because of a narrow footpath that runs alongside part of the main route through their community.
That is the warning from residents and representatives in Setch, where traffic using the A10 passes within inches of walkers and cyclists close to the bridge over the River Nar.
County transport officials say they are willing to look at potential solutions and have installed a new section of path nearby.
But they say they can’t widen the existing path because of the nature of the road, which is the main route to Cambridge.
However, resident Dave Knights, who uses a mobility scooter, says he is worried about the risk of being struck by a vehicle as he uses the path.
And he fears the problem has become more urgent because of the increasing numbers walking and cycling in the area during the coronavirus crisis.
Asked whether he felt he was potentially risking his life using the path, he said: “I am.
“Since Covid, a lot of people are using the footpath for cycling or walking. I see a lot of nervous people.”
Mr Knights said traffic regularly passes within inches of his scooter when he uses a narrow pavement close to the bridge over the River Nar and he has now decided to wait for vehicles, particularly larger ones, to pass before he goes onto it.
But, despite increased use of the route during the Covid pandemic and a lack of provision on the other side of the road, he claims officials said there had not been enough incidents to justify improvements there.
Divisional county councillor Alexandra Kemp said she would make a formal request for a new footbridge to be installed on the other side of the road, following talks with Highways officials this week.
She said: “That is the only solution that Highways have assessed to be viable.”
On the present problem, she added: “That’s not right. I have been speaking to officers about improved links to Hardwick. They’re supposed to have a comprehensive plan.”
A Norfolk County Council spokesman yesterday said a new trod path recently installed through the Parish Partnership system had offered some improvements.
But she added: “It is unfortunately not possible to widen the path on the west side of the bridge to make it the same width as on the east side of the bridge due to the nature of this key route.
“We would be happy to look into whether there are any other feasible options to boost cycling and walking at this location.”