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Cyclists bemused as bike rack closed for royal period of mourning

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 12/09/2022 Gareth Davies
The sign on a bike rack in Norwich - Jeremy Hutchinson © Jeremy Hutchinson The sign on a bike rack in Norwich - Jeremy Hutchinson

Cyclists were left bemused as a council closed a bike rack in Norwich city centre because of the royal period of mourning. 

A sign on the rack, which was put in place by Norwich City Council, warned cyclists that their bicycles could be removed if they were left there between Friday, Sep 9 and Wednesday, Sep 21. 

It read: 

Advance warning. 

This cycle rack will be closed from Friday, Sep 9 until Wednesday, Sep 21. 

If you leave your cycle here between these times it may be removed. 

We apologise for any inconvenience. 

A picture on Twitter of the sign prompted cyclists to brand the move "nonsensical", and Norwich residents pointed out that people had already ignored the sign and locked their bikes at the rack anyway. 

But a Norwich City Council spokesman explained that the decision was made to stop cyclists using the rack outside City Hall as it was the dedicated spot for mourners to leave flowers. 

Officials did not want to people trampling over flowers to get their bikes. 

A second rack has also been temporarily decommissioned because it is in an area where people are likely to be queuing. 

A council spokesman told The Telegraph: "As part of our careful and respectful response to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II we have closed one cycle rack outside City Hall which is within the designated area where people can lay their floral tributes. 

"The sign is in place to help ensure the flowers that people have so carefully laid in place to pay tribute to the Queen aren’t damaged by people accessing their bicycles.

 "Similarly, a second bike rack outside City Hall is also closed as this is in the area where people queue to sign the book of condolence to the Queen. All other cycle racks in the city remain open, including those just a few feet away from City Hall.

 "To clear up any misunderstanding, we’ve replaced the signs with new ones to make things a little clearer."

There is a sea of flowers left by mourners at the nearby Royal Sandringham Estate in Norfolk as people pay their respects to the late Queen.

Flowers at the Norwich Gates on the Royal Sandringham Estate - Geoff Robinson © Provided by The Telegraph Flowers at the Norwich Gates on the Royal Sandringham Estate - Geoff Robinson

Drone pictures show thousands of bouquets in front of the Norwich gates after crowds flocked to the estate over the weekend.

There have been long queues over the last few days as mourners lined up to honour Her Majesty, who died on Thursday at the age of 96.

Queen Elizabeth frequently stayed on the Sandringham estate and made her last visit in July, when she made daily trips to see her horses in the nearby stables.

The Sandringham Estate is now in a period of official mourning and all facilities at the estate will remain closed until further notice.

The Sandringham estate was owned privately by the Queen and inherited from her father.

She usually stayed there every winter until Feb 6, the anniversary of her father's death and the House is also used by other members of the Royal family.

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