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Fears council will reject traffic petition for city estate blighted by delays

PUBLISHED: 13:23 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:46 16 January 2020

A councillor has warned of “disappointment” if a petition to improve traffic infrastructure at an city estate is not accepted. Photo: Change.org

A councillor has warned of "disappointment" if a petition to improve traffic infrastructure at an city estate is not accepted. Photo: Change.org

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A councillor has warned that a community will be left disappointed if a petition to improve traffic issues at a busy estate is not accepted.

Ambulances at the Longwater Ambulance Station. Picture: Denise BradleyAmbulances at the Longwater Ambulance Station. Picture: Denise Bradley

Hundreds of outraged residents in Queen's Hills, in Costessey, have signed a Change.org petition warning that lives are at risk when ambulances get trapped in long tailbacks blighting the edge-of-city estate.

The petition calls for "proper traffic management" at the Longwater roundabout, as well as "additional entrances to the retail park" and an "alternative route on and off the estate".

But Norfolk County Council's rules on petitions require signatories to give their full name, address and email address, meaning the e-petition may not be accepted by the authority.

Tim East, county councillor for Costessey, said he had advised the petition's organiser to contact the county council as soon as possible.

Queens Hill town councillor Chris Mahn says residents are frustrated. Photo: Chris MahnQueens Hill town councillor Chris Mahn says residents are frustrated. Photo: Chris Mahn

READ MORE: 'Threat to lives' as ambulances trapped in traffic jams on estate

He said: "It seems to me that the validity of any petition should respect not only the sentiments in the submission but the legitimacy of the process.

"My advice is for the organiser to contact Norfolk County Council as soon as possible. They can then assess the relevant information to determine its validity."

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And Mr East added: "We have been waiting far too long for a satisfactory resolution to the Queen's Hills second exit issue and the promised improvements to the wider highway network, which are desperately needed, after 10 years of delay."

Meanwhile, town councillor Chris Mahn added: "Clearly it will be disappointing for those residents that have set up the petition and the several hundred that have signed it if it is not accepted as meeting the council's criteria."

Jourdan Madge, who lives in Queen's Hills, said: "The issue is the retail park. Another exit for that would solve so many issues."

And resident Gemma Watson added: "A couple of times I've not been able to get to my children when there have been accidents.

READ MORE: 'Threat to lives' as ambulances trapped in traffic jams on estate

"I know the school won't kick them out but it's still a worry and stress you don't need."

A county council spokesperson said they could not comment on whether they would accept a petition until they had received it from the organiser.

But guidance published on the council's website states that petitions should contain the names, addresses and email addresses of signatories.

And - in the case of e-petitions - the authority would decide what counts as an authentic signature.

- To view the petition, search for Longwater on www.change.org.uk or click on this link.

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