Council meets to discuss whether road where Lowestoft youngster Rio was hit by a car should be closed while the Mart is in King’s Lynn

Campaigners will hear today whether a council will back calls for a road where a boy was killed to be closed during King's Lynn Mart.

Three-year-old Rio Bell from Lowestoft died after he was hit by a car in King Street, on February 15. He had been visiting children's day at the Mart, in the nearby Tuesday Market Place, with his family, before the accident happened as he ran across the road between the Globe and Prezzo.

More than 5,000 signed a petition calling for King Street to be closed while the annual fair is in town, which has been presented to West Norfolk council.

Tonight the issue will be debated by the full council, after campaigners Paul Macey and Joshua Yates address councillors.

'It's something they can't really ignore,' said Mr Macey, a learning assistant from Reffley who was one of the first on the scene after the accident.

'If the same thing happens next year and they haven't made a recommendation people will hang them out to dry, the public just won't stand it any more.'

West Norfolk council oversees safety at the fair. It does not have the power to close off roads around it, but can make a recommendation to the Norfolk County Council, which is responsible for highways.

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West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney said the council was 'sympathetic' towards the motives of campaigners.

'We've discussed the matter with the petitioners,' he added. 'They are welcome guests of the council, they're welcome to speak and the council respond accordingly.'

A county council spokesman said: 'Fortunately accidents in and around the Mart are extemely rare, but we are always ready to consider suggestions for improvements.

'Closing roads is not always straightforward, since local residents and businesses will have needs and rights of access, and traffic forced on to other streets may create fresh problems elsewhere.'

Mr Macey said campaigners did not want the roads closed for the entire two weeks in February that the Mart was in Lynn.

'It's pointless closing the roads off every single day it's there because their argument's going to be it disrupts business, it does this, it does that,' he said.

'After 5pm, on Children's Day and on Saturdays, that's the time it needs to be closed, we don't want it closed all day, every day.'

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