'The final straw' - Bakery fears closure over council plans
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Owners of a long-standing city bakery fear for their business after plans for a new bus lane outside their shop were revealed.
Loaves and cakes have been lovingly made at the Ketts Hill Bakery for more than 200 years but co-owners Linda and John Etheridge fear council plans could finish it off.
Council bosses have proposed a new bus and cycle lane from Ketts Hill on to the roundabout to reduce journey times and improve road safety.
But Mrs Etheridge has started a petition against the £64,000 scheme, which would be funded using some of the government's £32m Transforming Cities cash.
She fears her staff and customers will be left with nowhere to park as a result of the bus lane.
"My staff are worried sick because they could be out of a job because of this," said Mrs Etheridge, who has been at the bakery for 26 years.
"This bakery is part of the heritage of Ketts Hill but it could be gone before long."
Members of the Transforming Cities joint committee, made up of county, city and district councillors will be asked, at a meeting on Thursday (October 21), to put the scheme out for public consultation.
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And the concerned Mrs Etheridge, whose sons Oliver and Andrew are bakers, met councillors at the site earlier this month.
She felt she was being "smoothed over" and "fobbed off" by reassurances of a layby being built for parking.
Mrs Etheridge continued: "Before they put in this bus lane, they will be shutting the road so it just feels like hurdle after hurdle.
"We have managed to overcome so many problems here in the past that I could write a book about it. But this feels like the final straw."
Councillor Martin Wilby, chairman of the Transport for Norwich Joint Committee, said: “Speeding up public transport on key routes across the city is a core focus of our Transforming Cities programme.
"We are already seeing these benefits realised with the new bus lane on Thorpe Road."
Mr Wilby pointed out the public consultation, if approved to proceed, will ensure all voices are heard following early discussions.