On the day of three-year-old Rio Bell’s funeral in Lowestoft, West Norfolk council agrees it will discuss closing the street where he was hit by a car near King’s Lynn Mart
Campaigners today presented a petition with more than 5,000 signatures, calling for roads around King's Lynn Mart to be closed while the fair is in town. It came hours after the emotional funeral of a three-year-old boy who died after being hit by a car.
West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney promised there would be a discussion of the issues at the next full council meeting, on March 29.
'We understand people's concerns and share the deep sympathy for the family of Rio Bell,' he said.
'Through the petition process the community can demonstrate its strength of feeling on key issues and bring them before full council for discussion.'
Mr Daubney told petition organiser Joshua Yates and Paul Macey, who held little Rio's hand after the accident, that they would be able to speak at the meeting.
'We were devastated by what happened to that little boy,' he said. 'It was a dreadful, dreadful incident.'
More than 1,000 people signed the petition the night it was set up by Mr Yates, just hours after the accident happened, on February 15.
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'To get 1,000 on the first night was just incredible,' he said. 'It shows how much people care about this subject.'
Mr Macey, who earlier attended Rio Bell's funeral, in his home town of Lowestoft, said: 'It was heart-breaking to see the mum, the dad, the tiny little coffin.
'It's important for the council to realise the feelings at the funeral, the absolute devastation.'
More than 150 people attended the service at St Peter and St John Church in the Kirkley, Lowestoft, earlier today.
Mourners heard how the little boy had changed the lives of those he touched with his love.
In a moving eulogy, the Revd Andrew White said: 'In the time I have spent with members of the family over the last few days, I have been struck by the total absence of anger and bitterness or any need for revenge.
'What has been present is the courtesy and graciousness with which I have been made welcome into this family at their greatest hour of need.
'At times like this words fail all of us, but through all the pain and loss, they have managed to speak very powerfully of how they were all affected by Rio and how their lives were changed forever with the arrival and presence of this boy, now held onto with affectionate memory.'
The service heard Rio, who was born on July 1, 2008, had two sisters, Amber and Lacy and a brother Drew who he loved playing with.
He loved playing Mario Kart on Nintendo DS, Thomas the Tank Engine and his Spiderman suit and he was well known for saying 'Mr Gorgeous' and also 'Good boy'.
During the service Rio's family lit candles in his memory and his coffin left the church for Kirkley Cemetery accompanied by the Whitney Houston song I Will Always Love You.
Rio was hit by a car between the Globe and Prezzo, in King Street. The scene of the accident, which involved an Audi A4 car, is just yards from the Tuesday Market Place, where the Mart is traditionally held each February.
At the meeting on March 29, the council could recommend the county council impose a road closure order while the Mart is in progress.
Campaigners hope King Street and St Nicholas Street the roads will be closed on Children's Day, Saturdays and aftger 5.30pm.