Former Norwich mayor vows to fight to save East Coast Truckers’ Convoy
A former lord mayor has vowed to fight to save the region's popular children's convoy, the future of which has been put under threat by the police reducing their support.
Jill Miller remembers waving off the truckers' convoy as the city's lord mayor in 1986 and is dismayed that such a popular tradition to help disabled and disadvantaged children could be coming to an end.
Appalled that the police are to stop their motorcycle outrider support along the route to Lowestoft's Pleasurewood Hills theme park after this year's 26th convoy in August, she said: 'I intend to write to the prime minister and both Norwich's MPs. The truckers are doing just what David Cameron wants people to do in giving up a day for voluntary work and their efforts look like being thwarted.'
While police have told the truckers they can use alternative escorts, Glen Johnson, founder of the organising charity East Coast Truckers, points out they would not have the power to stop traffic or go through red lights, so the convey would not be able to stay together.
Mrs Miller, 71, of Heigham Street, Norwich, described the convoy as one of the highlights of her time in office.
She said: 'It started in Catton in those days and there were fewer trucks, only about 60, but it was a wonderful event. Seeing the children's faces light up with excitement was amazing. Many of these children might only have one day out a year and it would be disgusting if the convoy ended after this year.'
The charity runs a number of other events and has even opened a holiday home, but the convoy, watched by 75,000 spectators along the route last year, is seen as the big fundraiser. Assistant chief constable Kevin Wilkins said the police had worked hard with the organisers to discuss safe and alternative ways of organising the event. They were pleased to have agreed a plan with organisers regarding this year's event.
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