Campaigner dresses as ‘council clown’ in cycle route protest
- Credit: Kevin Waddington
A protester dressed as a 'council clown' to highlight opposition to proposals that residents fear could open a bus and cycle route to cars and lorries.
Some 1,400 people have signed a petition against proposals by West Norfolk council to move a bus gate 15m on Harding's Way, in King's Lynn, to open up neighbouring plots of land for development.
Cyclists and parents of children who use it as a safe walking route to Whitefriars School, fear it will be the first stage to the entire length being opened to all vehicles.
A community rally held near the junction with Wisbech Road on Saturday drew dozens of protesters including residents from Walpole St Peter, North Runcton, Roydon, Gaywood, Setchey and the Friars.
Organsier Kevin Waddington, who lives on nearby Queen's Avenue, said he had dressed as a clown called 'Dummcotf', which means fool in German, to satirise the council's case.
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He said: "The turn out shows the strength of feeling. There was a big contingent from the cycling community, but most people were just local residents, including mothers and grandmothers who take the little kids either walking or cycling to the primary school along Harding's Way."
The rally also heard from Alexandra Kemp, county councillor Clenchwarton and King's Lynn South, councillor Michael de Whalley, Rob Archer and Robert Raab.
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Councillor Francis Bone who represents the Friars, and Alderman John Loveless, also attended.
Almost 100 signatures and messages were collected to present to the borough council Leader, Mr Long, who sent his apologies.
Alexandra Kemp said. " Harding's Way keeps pollution and congestion off London Road. No council serious about congestion puts traffic on a bus lane. This is a climate emergency.
"This is the only safe route in to town for prams, buggies, families, children, people less able to walk and for the whole community. Now it's quiet and safe. With traffic and HGV's, it would be noisy and dangerous. People would get into their cars, instead of walking. Parents would drive children to school, instead of letting them walk."
She added that the council had put in for planning permission for three roads across the bus lane without saying what the development would be and that she has put a motion to the full council meeting being held on the October 17 calling for a stop to the planned works.