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Accident waiting to happen at Hunstanton

18th March 2008 - the following article is reproduced by kind permission of Lynn News

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to protect future generations of Hunstanton amid concerns that lives are being put at risk while accessing the town's recreation ground.

Mark Harriman believes a new entrance and zebra crossing for the playing area off Westgate is crucial before a youngster is killed while crossing the busy A149 to access the facility.

He has called for both Norfolk County Council and West Norfolk Council to come together to work on a scheme aimed at improving access to the site and now wants Hunstanton residents to back the idea.

Mr Harriman, secretary of Hunstanton Environmental Landscape Programme and Hunstanton Civic Society member, told the Lynn News: "We need help to confirm and identify the need and to encourage the borough council and county council to co-operate urgently and resolve this.

"We must safeguard Hunstanton's future and I know there is an accident waiting to happen. I am surprised someone has not been killed there."

Mr Harriman, who takes his three-year-old grandson to the playing field, believes the problem can be solved by creating a new pedestrian crossing between Greevegate and Westgate, while moving the entrance to the playing field.

He added: "This must be achieved in a manner without confrontation and in consultation with the town council.

"It needs an active campaign by local people to make sure future generations are protected and looked after.

"It is not a big thing, this is relatively low cost and needs the co-operation of everyone to ensure we are on a level playing field."

The campaign for the crossing was launched by Hunstanton Town Council and has been supported by the town's chamber of trade and Royal British Legion, while a group of parents have started a petition calling for the scheme.

Hunstanton Mayor Cllr Richard Bird said: "We started this campaign after a child was run over.

"He was in hospital for 24 hours but, fortunately, he was a fit 15-year-old.

"Had it been a younger child or older person it may have been different."

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said highways engineers have been in contact with Hunstanton Town Council and the crossing is an issue which needs to be discussed with the borough council.

He added: "We cannot say at this stage what our view is on the suitability for a crossing.

"We have an enormous amount of requests for crossings and we have to be clear where they might go and if they are appropriate.

"It is an interesting idea and we are happy to discuss it further but we cannot say if it will automatically qualify for a crossing."

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