Legal view sought on A148 footbridge decision

A charity is seeking legal advice over whether the county council has been negligent in not providing a footbridge on a busy north Norfolk road.Homeowners living along the A148 Holt Road near Cromer, have been campaigning for Norfolk County Council to introduce better safety measures - including a footbridge over the North Norfolk Railway line - for about two years.

A charity is seeking legal advice over whether the county council has been negligent in not providing a footbridge on a busy north Norfolk road.

Homeowners living along the A148 Holt Road near Cromer, have been campaigning for Norfolk County Council to introduce better safety measures - including a footbridge over the North Norfolk Railway line - for about two years.

Now Living Streets, a national charity which fights for the rights of pedestrians, believes the council is putting people at risk by failing to provide the footbridge and is seeking legal advice on whether a case of negligence can be brought against it.

John Peacock, Living Streets Norfolk representative, said the footpath leading to the bridge from Cromer and continuing after the bridge towards Aylmerton has never been connected.


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He added: 'Through not completing this vital link the council has left pedestrians and local residents dangerously exposed by forcing them out onto a very hazardous stretch of road over a bridge with no footway or escape route from fast moving traffic.

'Would you build a new road and then leave an incomplete 200 yard gap in the middle? Pedestrians have as much right to a safe and well constructed footway as car and lorry drivers expect a safe and well constructed road.'

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Last night the county council said, while it agreed a footbridge would be the ideal solution for the Holt Road, it had to consider the county as whole whenever it made improvements.

A spokesman said: 'A footbridge costing �800,000 would be equivalent to half the current year's budget for local safety schemes and would be at the expense of projects at sites which have an established record of people being injured and sometimes killed.'

The council said high visibility, a low accident record on the road and a relatively low number of people using the pathway meant other schemes had to be prioritised ahead of the footbridge.

Mr Peacock said he believed the reason so few people used the route to walk to Cromer was because of fear. He added: 'It's because it's dangerous. People are too frightened to use it.'

A public consultation over plans to alter the speed limit along the A148 - including a drop to 40mph near the railway bridge - is being carried out.

Anyone with views should write to Mrs L Page, Department of Legal Services, Norfolk County Council, County Hall, Norwich, NR1 2DH, or email trafficorders@norfolk.gov.uk by May 5.

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