Marshals could help to keep King’s Lynn road safe when annual fair returns

PUBLISHED: 16:56 07 August 2012

Flowers and tributes were left in memory of Rio Bell who died after he was hit by a car in King Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Flowers and tributes were left in memory of Rio Bell who died after he was hit by a car in King Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Families could be marshalled across a busy road during next year’s Lynn Mart in a bid to boost safety.

West Norfolk Council’s regeneration, environment and community panel will discuss several recommendations to improve the crossing at the top of King Street when the annual fair returns to the nearby Tuesday Market Place.

The recommendations have been put forward by the Mart task group, which was set up following the death of three-year-old Rio Bell at the crossing in February and is made up of representatives from police, the county council, Norfolk Fire and Rescue service, and the showmen.

It also includes representatives from a campaign group which secured more than 5,000 signatures calling for King Street to be closed while the Mart was in town. But closing the road is not one of the options being put forward.

A county council spokesman said: “The view of experienced highway engineers advising the task group is that closing the road would create fundamental access problems in the centre of King’s Lynn – including the servicing of shops – and would lead to congestion and increased risk elsewhere.

“There are other options available, such as having a marshal at the crossing point to make sure the traffic stops and people can cross safely.”

Another option being put forward is to increase the number of barriers blocking parts of the crossing at King Street and introducing temporary traffic lights. Reducing the number of days the Mart operates to eight has also been mooted.

Alison Gifford, chairman of the King’s Lynn Civic Society, which is also part of the task group, said the recommendations put forward were “very reasonable”.

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue service added: “Whatever arrangements are made, it is important to ensure emergency access is maintained.”

But Paul Macey, who has campaigned for the closure of the road, believes the proposals could even make that area more dangerous. Any recommendation agreed by councillors on August 29 will then be put to cabinet and the full council.

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