Protestors over development in King's Lynn make their point
The very wet conditions may have affected the turnout but a protest against development work in Lynn has been deemed a success.
About a dozen people gathered at the southern end of Harding's Way last Saturday morning to demonstrate over the onset of work to move a bus gate and create three access roads.
The work could pave the way for West Norfolk Council plans to build housing in the area, although nothing has been formally proposed yet.
Last weekend's protest was the latest in a series, some of which have attracted up to 50 people.
Campaigners want to preserve what they say is one of the last "truly rural" areas of the town. They are also against future heavy traffic use of a roadway which was created primarily as a bus and cycle lane and is a safer pedestrian route than nearby London Road.
Protest organiser Kevin Waddington is a 77-year-old keen cyclist and environmentalist, and lives close by in Queen's Avenue.
He said: "We had enough dedicated people that came out on Saturday. Considering the weather was pretty foul it wasn't too bad.
"Also there were rumours about the numbers allowed because of the coronavirus restrictions but I'd checked on the government website and organised protests are an exception.
"That may have had an affect on the numbers."
A report in last Friday's Lynn News previewing the event included a statement from the owner of Overtons Coachpainters, which is due to benefit from a new access road.
John Overton said he'd still be open to rekindling historic talks with the borough council about the business being relocated to Hardwick Industrial Estate.
Mr Waddington has written to Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor and executive director Tom McCabe urging them to explore this opportunity.
"It seems to me this needs to be followed up," he said.
"At the moment there are only two ways to get to that business - from the south along Wisbech Road, which is a residential area, or the South Gates roundabout which we know is a congested area.
"I'm not really sure about the costing of an access road but surely it would a lot less than a move to the Hardwick estate.
"It would seem to be a win-win situation."
Meanwhile, Mr Waddington is still awaiting a reply from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government on whether the county council work contravenes agreements within the grant from the Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF2) which enabled the establishment of Harding's Way.
The county council told the Lynn News last week that it was confident it did not.
However, Mr Waddington remains unconvinced and, furthermore, he claims that a shift in government policy towards active travel supports campaigners' view that Harding's Way should remain as it is.