Protestors in King’s Lynn are to take part in a Save Harding’s Way community walk tomorrow (Saturday) amid fears the bus route could be opened to general traffic.
Walkers are due to meet at the Wisbech Road end of the route at 11am to highlight their concerns.
Harding’s Way, which opened in 2011, currently allows buses, cyclists and pedestrians to access the town centre from South Lynn avoiding congestion on Southgates Roundabout and London Road.
The route, which cost £5.3m, skirts Hardings Pits and cuts through Boal Quay Car Park to join South Quay.
Following a public consultation, members of West Norfolk Council’s regeneration and development panel last month voted to endorse a riverfront redevelopment plan which could see the road opened to all traffic.
A range of measures are proposed as part of the project, including new flats, commercial space, additional watersport facilities and a new public square at Boal Quay.
The Harding’s Pit Community Association has opposed changes to Harding’s Way, which was originally a footpath.
In a letter to borough council leader Brian Long, association chairman Jane Dearling said: “The assertion that the move to ‘relieve congestion on London Road’ is completely counter intuitive; it will simply lead to additional congestion elsewhere, whilst depriving Lynn of one of the most successful, well-used, pedestrian, cycle and bus routes into town.
“Since Harding’s Pits Doorstep Green (HPDG) was established there have been continual moves to erode both its nature and its size.
“The introduction of buses to Harding’s Way has had a deleterious effect on the green already, imposing an unhappy urban element and making the original path unsafe for unaccompanied children.
“Introducing general traffic will worsen the entire environment.
“New roads always lead to an increase in traffic and in addition to the immediate area of HPDG this proposal will also worsen air quality, congestion and public safety to those parts further into the town centre.
“Moreover, Harding’s Way will have to be widened, turning it from a relatively quiet route, to what will essentially be a through road with all the attendant environmental draw-backs, including pollution, that roads produce.”
Tomorrow’s walk has been organised by Norfolk County Councillor Alexandra Kemp, who has warned the changes could ruin the “peace and quiet” of Harding’s Pits.