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PUBLISHED: 18:19 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:41 03 July 2010

WHILE I have no wish to engage in a drawn out dispute through your letters page, I feel I must respond to the article on page two (Backers of cycle path fight back) and the writers in your letters page last week regarding the cycle path from Gorleston to Hopton.

WHILE I have no wish to engage in a drawn out dispute through your letters page, I feel I must respond to the article on page two (Backers of cycle path fight back) and the writers in your letters page last week regarding the cycle path from Gorleston to Hopton.

Had I been advocating covering a country lane with tarmac, I would have expected opposition.

As I was only concerned with preventing that happening, I was somewhat surprised at the hostile reaction. Of course, the usual cards are being played - the nimby card, the snob card, and, inevitably, the save the planet card. A bit strange that one, since I'm the one who doesn't want to tarmac the countryside.

Perhaps you will permit a condemned man to say a few last words in his defence.

All three of your correspondents are obsessively concerned with safety issues with the existing cycle path. This path must have been approved by an army of box ticking Health and Safety Executive inspectors and has been used safely for so many years now that it can fairly be described as having a well proven safety record. It appears, however, that they would prefer a cycle path that is actually on a road rather than use the one that runs alongside a road.

Vivianne Trorey says she has stopped using the lane because it is overgrown and rutted. She obviously has not been there for an awfully long time. At the risk of putting ideas into her head, it is almost wide enough to be a bus route; well, for a small bus maybe. Rutted, yes, country lanes are like that. The implied snobbery and accusation of selfishness I find offensive.

While R F Ward was busy counting the number of cars on the driveways in Warren Road, it seems he did not notice that virtually all the entrances are blind. There are no pavements, which makes it impossible to exit the driveways without easing the front of the car directly on to the road to obtain a clear view. This is why there are traffic calming measures in place such as a clearly marked 15mph requested speed limit and speed restricting humps.

These are not there so much for the residents as for other road users who may not be aware of the potential hazards. Unfortunately, and like it or not, cyclists are not renowned for their adherence to rules of the road; most of them ignore the 15mph limit and the younger ones love to use the humps as high speed launching pads. In short, this is quite simply not a safer route for cyclists.

I am not scaremongering with talk of thousands of cyclists. The word thousands was first used by Cllr Butcher when opining on the number of potential beneficiaries of the proposed scheme.

In the article on page two, Cllr Butcher stated that he knew of only 27 objectors to the scheme.

May I respectfully remind him of the meeting he attended, together with between 60 and 70 Warren Road residents, on October 22, where, on a show of hands just one was raised in favour of the scheme. I totally refute that 3,000 people are being, in his unfortunate choice of words, "held to ransom".

Nobody is holding anybody to ransom. What is more, all 3,000 of his inferred hostages can jump on their bikes and use the footpath any time they like, in fact, many do. Walkers already share the footpath with cyclists with no significant problems. If it is too muddy or rutted for the bikers they have only to go less than 1,000 yards up the road to a nice clean smooth one. Just how many do they want?

Finally, Cllr Gunson states that the proposed route is classed as a Restricted Byway thus enabling the council to do the work. It is my understanding that Warren Road is not, neither in entirety nor in part, recorded on the Definitive Map and Statement as a Restricted Byway nor does it have any other recorded highway status.

It is, in my opinion, what it has always been, a private street - that is, a street not maintained at public expense. If this status has been changed, I have no knowledge of when, or by what legislative means this was achieved. Perhaps Cllr Gunson might care to enlighten me.

ALEX SIMPSON

Warren Road

Gorleston

Any parent encouraging their child to walk or cycle should be commended although it is an unfortunate truth that cyclists are becoming more at risk from increasing traffic. I have cycled both the A12 and Warren Road routes many times and have children both at Cliff Park High and Hopton Primary. I must say that at this time I am not prepared to let them cycle either route for safety reasons.

A barrier along the A12 would improve matters, but why should our children exercise their lungs alongside the internal combustion engine when they could be breathing fresh country air, without the risk of lorry turbulence unbalancing them. The only concern I have with Warren Road is how its current limited use, makes it feel isolated at times.

The most basic approach to safety is to remove the hazard. An improved Warren Road would provide a rare but golden opportunity to achieve this task relatively easily.

It would be fantastic to see groups of children leading the way in greener heathier living by cycling or walking to school.

Warren Road home owners may wish to consider that if children are not encouraged to cycle or walk short distances now, they may be more likely to be driven or drive them in the future. This will add to global warming which in turn may further increase coastal erosion.

Think about it!

D HALLADAY

HOPTON-ON-SEA

Via email

I HAVE been following the current saga of the Warren Road cycle path with amusement, anger and a certain amount of contempt. Surely the obvious answer was to have built the path from Warren Road to Hopton in the first place before wasting money on the main road one. As I was living in Gorleston even before the Lowestoft Road was dualled I am not being wise after the event, people were using this path to Hopton for years. Horse riders, walkers, motorcyclists and joy riders in cars- I even ran there practising as part as part of the Cliff Park cross country team, much to the annoyance of the golf club as I seem to remember. There is also an amusing story to be told about a chum who was followed by police in Hopton (he had a faulty headlight on his moped) and he hid up in a hedgerow near Warren Road for nearly an hour hoping to escape retribution only to discover the police calmly having a tea break and waiting for him to reappear at Warren Road. This was before Warren Road was turned into something a lot different than it is now. The road was lined with large trees and it disappeared off into the countryside. The steam trains, of course, ran nearby and was there not a small holiday camp at the Cliff Park end or am I just imagining it?

I just look at the area now and weep. Hopton is of course just one large housing estate, totally lacking in character and yet another slice of Essex suburbia. Just to drag Mr and Mrs Dove's letter (Wind farm plan is monstrous - Mercury letters last week) into the equation, while I agree with most of their comments do we want anymore expansion of our villages?

Have you seen Carlton Colville lately or Belton and Caister to name but a few. I suspect Mr and Mrs Dove are like a great many of the Mercury's letter writers - not born in this county or have not lived here very long and so do not know how it was so much more pleasant to live in this area before it became spoilt by over-development.

M S Dimmack

Burgh Castle

RE the letter in last week's Mercury “Wind Farm plan is monstrous.” The objectors stated: “All the villages voted 'No' to the wind farm.” This is not the case, I am one of the vast silent majority of villagers in Hemsby who are for the turbines. The small minority of objectors were the only ones attending the open meetings to air their views, the rest of Hemsby folk were quite happy with the erection of the wind turbines and do not see them as monstrosities at all. They are elegant attractions which add to the landscape. They do not produce toxic obnoxious chemicals to pollute this land for milleniums to come, they are relatively silent, inert and environmently friendly. The original plans have been scaled down and the turbines will be smaller than originally intended. Wind, wave and solar energy is the way forward, not gas or coal as stocks of these are being depleted, and we would have to import these at colossal cost. Nuclear power is far too hazardous (remember Sellafield and Chernobyl) and to continue producing radioactive waste will be criminal. At least if this land was used for wind energy they would not be building more housing which would cause more problems with already over-loaded drainage/sewer pipes, overflowing surgeries and schools. The land could still be farmed right up to the foot of them. We need visitor attractions. Wind farms have a certain fascination and people love to visit them as an attraction and we certainly welcome more visitors to Hemsby to enjoy all that we have to offer, in all it's forms of entertainment and attractions. The more turbines the better.

P SUTTON

Newport Road

Hemsby

IN my youth, I regularly attended services at St Andrew's Church, Gorleston with members of my family. Since retirement, I have been able to attend again on a more regular basis and I realise how fortunate we are to have such a church for our services and prayers. I was deeply moved on recognising the pew on which I sat and knelt to pray as a child at morning service with my grandmother. I feel I must voice my apprehension on learning of the proposed plans of changes to our church. Funds spent on necessary repairs and maintenance is money well spent but we must take care that we do nothing to destroy the traditional character of the church that we know and love. The radical alterations proposed concern me greatly. I realise that these days, refurbishment and modernisation are the vogue but I am sure that such measures would be most inappropriate for our church and I suggest before this becomes a fait accompli we think again about the whole matter to ensure that our church retains its dignity.

Dr Wm HAMILTON-DEANE

Middleton Road

Gorleston

Further to the front page article informing us of the delay to the new traffic light system at Gapton Hall roundabout it seems to me having sat through this jam daily the simplest and most effective solution to relieve the congestion from the Gapton estate and the business park would be to dual the section of road from McDonalds entrance to the roundabout, this would allow two lanes of traffic to flow through the lights as opposed to about 10 cars or two trucks at present. It doesn't appear to be an expensive or complex problem to move the footpath over another 10ft and could surely be achieved with minimal cost and disruption. Another option would be instead of the automated lights at a cost of £600k, add a couple more lights and employ someone to direct traffic from the centre of the roundabout manually, at least this would give someone a job for the next 20 or 30 years.

R LOADES

Via email

YOUR “Through the Porthole” article about sea angling brought back a flood of memories. I can remember attending prize-giving ceremonies at Gorleston Pavilion and these were a rare treat for me, a pre-teen, as I got to travel by both river steamer (Town Hall to King William pub) and by Corporation omnibus.

Of the people mentioned, Bill Platten worked at Pownall's on Regent Road and I met both him and Beryl Pownall. I believe that Vic Wildee was another organisational stalwart.

A major factor in the decline of the numbers of lugworms was rising bait prices coupled to the widespread ownership of cars using cheap petrol.

People in the Yarmouth and Lowestoft areas formed syndicates to dig their own worms and the North Norfolk diggers lost control. The upshot was that the lugworm beds were not rested in rotation and many became exhausted.

There were two types of ragworm. Silver rag occasionally came with the lugworm. My grandfather H F “Harry” Davis acquired his King rag from Southend. They were individually wrapped in newspaper and packed in shoeboxes, which I collected from Southtown station. The Southend ragworm beds succumbed to pollution.

Peeler crabs are those about to shed their upper shell. I cannot remember where they came from, but they arrived in Smiths crips or biscuit tins. We had so many one year that numbers escaped to scamper around the backyard and toilet, so my need to use the throne provided a once in a lifetime experience. Peeler crab was considered the top bait but availability was spasmodic and there were so many arguments about unfair competition that its use was eventually banned.

In 1956 there was a level playing field because all the anglers used similar fishing tackle. This changed with the introduction of fibreglass rods and sophisticated reels because those with the money could acquire superior models.

When the competitions changed to monetary prizes a new type of angler emerged, dedicated to winning. In short, the odds became stacked against the general anglers and they stayed away from the remaining angling festivals and competitions.

My congratulations to Great Yarmouth Mercury for bringing to light something that may otherwise be lost.

HARRY FLAXMAN

Tan Lane

Caister

WHY doesnt the council cut the grass at the bottom of Braddock Road and clear all around the garages on Manor Road? As I had to phone GYB services to get them to clear all the flytipping.

I have also asked the man in charge of the borough council to get this solved.

P Jones

Eastern Avenue

Caister

What a wonderful way to start the Christmas celebrations - in the beautiful Assembly Room of Great Yarmouth's Town Hall. This will be the venue on Wednesday for a grand charity Christmas Bazaar organised by Inner Wheel of Great Yarmouth. A chance to admire this magnificent Victorian setting as entrance is free. Councillor Tony Smith, the mayor of Great Yarmouth will visit the bazaar at noon but stalls will be open from 10am to 2pm.

The event is raising money for Caister Lifeboat, Nelson's Journey, Parkinsons's Disease Society and the RNLI, supported by charity stalls such as Palliative Care and East Coast Hospice.

There will be jewellery, scarves, handbags, Usborne books and second-hand books to help with buying Christmas presents but there will also be tombola, wine, £1 stall, cakes and a raffle. Why not leave your shops, offices, banks and join us for lunch, coffee and a mince pie or just a chat with friends? Take this golden opportunity to visit your town hall and at the same time support all these worthy causes. For charity events such as this, hire of the Town Hall is free.

Mary Coleman

Inner Wheel of Great Yarmouth

You recently ran a feature about Baldrick the hedgehog at Foxy Lodge Wildlife Rescue.

Your readers might be interested to know that we now have a charity shop in Gorleston

High Street which is raising funds to help Foxy Lodge in its work.

We have a good selection of clothes, hats, shoes, records, videos and books at very reasonable

prices and all of the profits from the shop goes directly to help John and Tonia in feeding and

caring for the rescued animals, including Baldrick.

The shop, at 73 High Street, Gorleston, is open from 9.30am until 4pm Monday to Saturday

and we'd be very happy to see any of your readers there.

If any of your readers would like to donate tins of cat or dog food (meat varieties) we would

be happy to collect them at the shop.

We would also be happy to receive donated items to sell in the shop and these can be taken to

the charity shop at 6 Lowestoft Road, as there is no storage room at 73 High Street.

ROSEMARY GOOD

AS a resident of St Edmund's residential home, I can confirm the serious traffic hazard to us, many of whom, including myself, use a walking aid. Only about one in 20 cars bother to slow down.

Naturally, the safety of schoolchildren must be considered, but the needs of the old and mostly frail should not be pushed into the background.

The problem in Marine Parade on Sunday mornings in the summer months also merits attention, when motorcyclists roar by at high speeds.

R L FARMER

St Edmund's Residential Home,

Marine Parade,

Gorleston

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