Norwich cycle route shake-up vision met with a mixed reaction
08:59 13 June 2014
A £200,000 project to make a Norwich neighbourhood more cycle friendly met with a mixed response when details were shown to residents.
Proposals for the Park Lane and Vauxhall Street area were set out at a consultation event at Trinity Church Hall, Cambridge Street, yesterday.
The shake-up is part of a wider £1.3m vision, which could see more 20mph limits and some roads shut to motorists.
A number of proposals and options are out for consultation as part of the £5.7m Push The Pedalways project.
That project, awarded £3.7m by the Department of Health, aims to improve the eight-mile pink pedalway cycle route between the Norwich Research Park and Heartsease.
Dozens of residents flocked to Trinity Church Hall to learn more about the proposals yesterday.
Stephen Little, councillor for Town Close ward, said the response had been largely positive.
He added that two concerns were voiced to him frequently.
The first regarded a proposal for two-way cycle traffic in Essex Street, with residents worried the street was not wide enough to accommodate it.
The second was a fear that the proposals would displace traffic onto Union Street and Walpole Street.
But cyclists who attended said work was long overdue.
Alfonso Avila, 45, a lecturer at the UEA, said: “I think it would be a radical change, especially for Park Lane and Unthank Road.
“It’s something the council should have done some time ago, but we seem to be going in the right direction.”
The father-of-three, of Cambridge Street, said he cycled every day.
“I don’t use a car and my children use their bikes,” he added. “But we have to walk on the pavement in places as I don’t feel they’re safe.”
He reasoned that it was a complex issue, and everybody needed to benefit from changes - not just cyclists.
Mark Dunlop, 64, of Rose Valley, is a regular cyclist and does not own a car.
He said: “I think it’s a good idea and I mostly came along to show support.
“We don’t want to impede car drivers too much, but as a cyclist it’s a little bit scary sometimes at the junction of Park Lane with Unthank Road.”
Following consultation, work would be due to start in this area this autumn.
In the months ahead, more consultations will be carried out in areas such as Earlham Road, Adelaide Street, Bethel Street, Tombland, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
• Do you have a view on the proposals? Why not submit a letter for publication by writing, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.