Plan to make pedestrians walk on road ‘reckless and irresponsible’
- Credit: Adrian Cable
A parish council has branded as 'reckless and irresponsible' plans for pedestrians to share the road with traffic around a blind bend leading to and from a new housing estate.
The metre-wide on-road path proposed for Harvey Lane in Dickleburgh, a narrow country lane that leads to Wheatfields, a housing development that is currently under construction, would see pedestrians and traffic separated by a painted white line.
Dickleburgh and Rushall Parish Council, which has waged a campaign against the proposal for more than two years, is concerned the path will be used by parents taking their children to the nearby village primary school. It has proposed two alternatives but says they have been rejected by the developers Hopkins Homes.
'This is a very simple and shocking matter,' said chairman of the parish council Terence Blacker. 'We have come up with two alternative paths - one, a proper pavement on the south side of Harvey Lane; another past existing houses to the playground.
He added: 'We are concerned that this plan, if implemented, will put the lives of residents and their children in our village at risk. As a parish council, we believe that, when other safe routes for the path are available and deliverable, the construction of an on-road pathway is reckless and irresponsible.'
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South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has also expressed concerns about the plans. While pointing out he had no objection to new housing, he said: 'I am very concerned, however, that the safety of Dickleburgh residents is being put at risk because not nearly enough effort has been put into keeping pedestrians on Harvey Lane safe, particularly when those pedestrians are highly likely to be children.'
Simon Bryan, development director for Hopkins & Moore, said: 'Our plans to build 22 high quality new homes at Dickleburgh, including the significant improvements for pedestrians and road users of Harvey Lane, were duly considered and formally approved by South Norfolk Council in March 2017.
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'The improvements to Harvey Lane include widening the road and creating new footpaths over the majority of the length of the road, including near the school and village hall.
'Where we are constrained, defined pedestrian margins will be created and new road signage installed to improve pedestrian safety. These are significant improvements to Harvey Lane which currently has very limited facilities for pedestrians.'