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Plans for controversial cycle path between Hethersett and Wymondham amended after feedback

PUBLISHED: 12:27 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:46 23 February 2017

Cycling in Norfolk. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Cycling in Norfolk. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2008

Controversial plans for a cycle path linking Wymondham to Hethersett have been amended after feedback from the public.

But some still fear the 1.1 mile stretch would be dangerous, and cyclists would shun it in favour of cycling on the road.

The path, part of Norfolk County Council’s Transport for Norwich programme, would run along the north side of the B1172, partly next to the carriageway and partly through nearby fields, behind Kett’s Oak, and create a continuous cycle link between Norwich and Wymondham.

But after criticism of the proposal, the plans now include: no raised tables at junctions; relaxed narrowing of junctions to improve access for buses and lorries; additional drainage and; repositioning of the path so the impact on trees and hedges will be reduced.

The path would be 3m wide and designed for pedestrians as well as cyclists.

But David James Cars owner David Bain said he was sceptical the path would be used, calling the plan “absolutely nuts”. He said cyclists would be at risk from vehicles backing out of driveways.

He said: “If they use it, they will have to go past about 20 houses with driveways and hedges, with cars turning out. Why would they use it when they can cycle freely down the road?”

Mr Bain said a cycle path on the other side of the road would work much better.

But Hethersett Parish Council chairman Jackie Sutton said the new path would improve safety along the road and encourage more people to get on their bikes.

She said: “It’s a very dangerous stretch of road so anything that we can do to improve accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians should be welcomed.”

Steve Broom from Hethersett said he regularly drives along the road, but he would ‘happily’ cycle if there was a cycle path.

He said: “Quite often when travelling that route there are delays as motorcars, buses and lorries get held up behind a cyclist on the road.

“And, quite often the cyclists are not wearing helmets, hi-vis clothing or even have lights on their bikes, which adds to the frustrations of most drivers. The cycle path is much more likely to save a life than cause a death.”

A spokesperson for Transport for Norwich said: “The most recent plans for the Wymondham-Hethersett cycle link have been informed by feedback collected during our initial consultation last September. Where possible, we have tried to address issues raised and incorporate suggested changes.

“Following approval from local councillors, work on the first phase of construction is due to start in late spring.”

More details can be found online at www.norfolk.gov.uk/wymondhamhethersett and feeback can be given by emailing norwich.transport@norfolk.gov.uk by February 28.

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