COLUMN: Richard Bacon MP – ‘I am concerned about the safety of Dickleburgh residents’

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.

Dickleburgh residents will be only too aware that Hopkins Homes has started construction work on 22 new houses on land off Harvey Lane.

While I am in no doubt that we need more houses in this country, I am very concerned that not nearly enough effort is being put into keeping pedestrians on Harvey Lane safe.

Time is now of the essence as we cannot afford to wait until after an accident has occurred

Parents and children from these new homes won’t be able to walk to the school or into the village on a pavement.

Instead, they will have to use an “on-carriageway over-runnable pedestrian margin” where their only protection from passing cars will be a thin strip of white paint. That simply isn’t good enough.

I have called on South Norfolk Council to take the lead in finding enough land along the southern side of Harvey Lane in order that a proper footway can be provided.

Time is now of the essence as we cannot afford to wait until after an accident has occurred.

BOUNDARY CHANGE

Many residents have been in contact to say they are concerned about the proposal, contained in South Norfolk Council’s community governance review, to alter the parish boundaries between Roydon and Diss.

The proposed change would have seen some streets currently within Roydon parish become part of an enlarged parish of Diss.

Leaving aside geographic issues, this dispute had the potential to generate bitterness and anger, which neither parish can afford at a time when Diss and Roydon need to be working together on their joint neighbourhood plan.

Drafting the plan will be a challenging enough task and this dispute would have been a deeply unhelpful distraction.

I am very pleased that the electoral arrangements review committee at South Norfolk Council has recommended that the proposed boundary changes be shelved.

The full council still needs to approve this decision but councillors on the committee clearly took local views on board in reaching their decisions, which is what democracy is all about.

COACH SERVICE AXED

Residents in the Waveney Valley who are looking to travel to London, in the run-up to Christmas or in the new year, now face less choice when making their travel arrangements.

National Express has decided to scrap its 497 Lowestoft to London route, which had provided a link into London for towns such as Beccles, Bungay and Harleston.

According to National Express, the route is no longer financially viable, so this decision means that travellers must find their way to Diss in order to access alternative routes into London.

This is a disappointing decision which will inevitably disrupt festive travel plans for many people in the Waveney Valley.

Even if National Express felt it had no choice but to withdraw the service, I fail to see how the company could not at least have waited until after Christmas to axe the route. Bah, humbug.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Finally, I’d like to end my column by wishing Diss Express readers and all my constituents across South Norfolk a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year.