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Light at end of road for biker run

PUBLISHED: 10:37 31 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:13 06 July 2010

GLEAMING MACHINES: The bikes line up at Royal Green, Lowestoft.

GLEAMING MACHINES: The bikes line up at Royal Green, Lowestoft.

HOPES were raised this week that a special charity event in Lowestoft may be able to continue next year after all.

Within hours of about 1,500 bikers descending on the town for the final Eastern Lights get together at Royal Green, organisers revealed they are now planning talks with Suffolk Police to see if the fundraiser can continue.

HOPES were raised this week that a special charity event in Lowestoft may be able to continue next year after all.

Within hours of about 1,500 bikers descending on the town for the final Eastern Lights get together at Royal Green, organisers revealed they are now planning talks with Suffolk Police to see if the fundraiser can continue.

The bikes roared into town on Sunday to show overwhelming support for the charity motorcycle cavalcade - and the cry from many was: “This event is special, you just can't let it go and there must be another.”

Many hit out at the licensing issues connected with the cancellation of the event, which folded earlier this month, despite having raised £45,000 in the past eight years for the James Paget University Hospital A&E unit.

And Eastern Lights committee chairman Paul Howard praised the bikers' determination.

Many had travelled from across the country and abroad to show their support and Mr Howard said: “We were completely overwhelmed by it.”

He added: “There are lots of ideas that have been put forward for us. We would still continue to have a rally like we did on Sunday.

“Whether we can hold a cavalcade in Suffolk we don't yet know, but we will be talking to Suffolk Police to see what they say.”

He added that the committee would also be seeking clarification about what was now legally necessary to run a cavalcade, the cost of any licence and also the cost of policing such an event.

This year's parade from Norwich to Lowestoft, via Yarmouth, was called off after organisers said Norfolk Police had given them a licence deadline that was impossible to meet.

Event officials said they were informed three weeks before the cavalcade that police would withdraw their cover if a temporary road closure licence was not obtained.

They were told it would then take eight weeks for Norfolk County Council to process.

The last-minute ruling meant that organisers were forced to cancel this year's cavalcade and said they planned to shelve the event for good.

Mr Howard sent his “sincere and heartfelt thanks” to the bikers who had ridden to Lowestoft, as well as praising the team of volunteers and collectors who ensured that the organisation of the get together went off smoothly.

This total payment to the hospital will be announced in early September.

A Suffolk police spokesman confirmed that officers would be talking to event organisers.

See Postbox.

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