Norwich cycle route shake-up vision met with a mixed reaction

The Unthank Road shops and bars in the Golden Triangle. Picture: Denise Bradley The Unthank Road shops and bars in the Golden Triangle. Picture: Denise Bradley

Friday, June 13, 2014
8:59 AM

A £200,000 project to make a Norwich neighbourhood more cycle friendly met with a mixed response when details were shown to residents.

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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.

30 comments

  • More nonsensical arguments against cyclists. Like some others here i drive AND cycle. Its no use banging on about cyclists bending the law when there are plenty more drivers doing the same and worse which can kill people- especially selfish drivers who squeeze past at speed. Drivers and cyclists should share roads and respect each other, simple as that. The daft ideas that keep being put forward on taxing cyclists are impractical- keep in mind that every bike on the road is one less car which helps cut congestion and pollution.

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    Stephen Strange

    Saturday, June 14, 2014

  • I'm a high rate taxpayer, who also pays business rates, and own a house in council tax band 2nd from top. In addition, between me and my wife we own 2 cars, 1 moped and 1 campervan. So tell me, because I choose to use a cycle and not a car from time to time what am I not paying for? Genuinely, as soon as someone mentions "road tax" they have lost the argument. Not only do they not know what road tax is, but they are also ignorant to how the roads (and pavmentscycle paths) are funded.

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    monkeynuts

    Saturday, June 14, 2014

  • Oh gawd, not another one.... I too pay road tax on my car and my motorcycle but am sufficiently enlightened to realise that it is a tax on my private vehicle being used on a public road, linked with vehicle emissions.Using your logic, bicycles would pay nothing anyway. The public road is predominantly funded by local taxation, something that every adult with a job contributes toward, regardless of means of transport (yes, shock horror, cyclists have jobs too!). And of course, no cyclist ever buys stuff from a shop, oh no, no,no.

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    frank young

    Saturday, June 14, 2014

  • why is it that cyclists get preferential treatment in Norwich when its the cars and trucks and people that buy goods that are the lifeblood of the city?. Without them the city will die as its been doing for the last 20 years. cyclists pay nothing towards the road structures, its about time they contribute.

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    solaman

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • What a con these planners are, The Sprowston Road cycle island is an absolute danger to everyone and should be removed. They implied in the application that the school children from Sewell Academy would use it to get to the Heartsease , not so. No soon as the island was put in ,a friday night car driver managed to overturn his car at the spot. There is major road safety for residents leaving Tillett Road East as the vehicles driving up Sprowston Road disappear to the side of the road. Yes the bus stop got moved but the island took away several car parking spaces on Sprowston Road moving the cars to Tillett road East, not a good idea.

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    Brian

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • I would like to see a proper small roadpath similar to the Dutch ones. A white line sending cyclists into the gutter would be insufficient.

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    Lynda Edwards

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Nawwwwww, Mr Mayhem, there, there have those nasty wasty cyclists been mean to you?? Never mind dear, never mind...

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    frank young

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • I used to wonder why there are so many vandalised cycles in the city, now I understand, and I thank whoevers doing it.

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    mr mayhem

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Even if you gold plated the cycle paths and paid them to use them, they'd still ride on the pavement, they deserve nothing, not even hospital treatment.

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    mr mayhem

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Good ol Golden Triangle gets lots of money to meet the needs of the middle classes. What about encouraging Norwich North to cycle to work at the UEA, Hospitals and Research Park?

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    NchNthMan

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Good ol Golden Triangle gets lots of money to meet the needs of the middle classes. What about encouraging Norwich North to cycle to work at the UEA, Hospitals and Research Park?

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    NchNthMan

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Cycle lanes would really help. I have been to the Netherlands many times and it is a delight to travel by cycle rather than the car because it is so much safer and far healthier to do so and also family friendly on those short trips. There would be ample space to accommodate cycle lanes in the City with better planning and elsewhere. If we are to become a fit nation then we do need safe areas off the road to cycle. There is also a big trend happening in the country with many people taking up swimming, running and cycling as part of their triathlon training. I personally, would be more than happy to cycle to work if I felt safe doing so but unfortunately I don't due to the lack of space and also inconsiderate motorists using the road. I am a motorist myself for many years and have also encountered many incidents of inconsiderate driving by other drivers. We are all road users and should respect others presence on the road, whether we are cars or cyclists.

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    Sarah B

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • It is not often that I agree with Daisy, but she has pointed to two areas were space could be m,ade for cycling off road. I'd like to add two points, cycling ought to be off road, but next to it, because cycling past invisible house entrances, there are many of them in Norwich due to the unkempt overgrown hedges everywhere, is really dangerous, I have seen two incidents were cyclist fell over car bonnets and just managed to avoid major damage to themselves. Another point is directed at planners. If we want to make cycling safer, then we have to incorporate off road cycle path as normal, i.e next to every major road we build. Taking the logistics of trips to schools and shops into account when we design new developments, because then we will see cycling pick up, more provisions will make for more use. Lastly, increasing cycle provisions and opportunities to cycle will make for more sustainable cycle tourism, and once we have a reliant ferry service to the continent, I'm not giving up on it as it makes dire sense, we will see Dutch and german cycle tourists enjoying our beautifull Norfolk.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • The Problem in Norwich, and Norfolk, is that there just is no long term transport strategy. We lurch from one idea to the next without having an end goal in sight. We shouldn't need to invest in cycles routes, it should be part of all road building strategy. Any road improvements should include facilities for cycles rather than requiring separate investment which ends up costing far more in the long run. Take Grapes Hill, widening the road and bus lane, but no cycle lane. Please dont point out that bus lanes are for cycles too, whoever thought buses and cycles sharing space is a good idea needs shooting.

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    Crazy

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Plumstead Road east is a good example-should be ample room on one side of the road for an off road cycle path along side the footpath with a bit of re jigging. The off road element is essential if children are to be encouraged to cycle more to school

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    Daisy Roots

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Norwich ought to be able to get to the point where Cambridge is now and every new development should have off road cycle routes where possible. I observe that in Cambridge many people other than students routinely cycle. This could be because the place is a complete &*%$ to drive in, but it does have a reasonable park and ride system and a bus way from St Ives. It is not quite comparable but opportunities have definitely been missed in Norwich. Personally, as much as I like to see trees I think some of the grass verges and younger trees of ornamental variety planted beside some Norwich roads could be sacrificed for dedicated cycle paths where possible. This applies everywhere-near GY there are high, junior and infant schools within a few yards of one another and no cycle path from two of the main feeder housing areas-but there are wide grass verges-children cycling on them would make more sense than them being used as dog toilets.

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    Daisy Roots

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • the reason cyclists are 'pandered to' is that the ever increasing number of cars on the road is not sustainable either from a congestion or pollution point of view. Cities would be more pleaseant for everyone, including those who have no choice but to drive, if there were fewer cars on the road.

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    Mikado Kember

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Welcome to Norwich - A Cycle City.

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    Whiley Boy

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Since the '60's or so the motorist has been almost exclusively "pandered" to and look where we are. Going nowhere fast in these wonderful tin boxes that promise so much and deliver so little. Perhaps the real parasite is the private car driver assuming the public road is for them alone.

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    frank young

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • @mr mayhem I dare say people with your attitude are the primary reason for cycle paths. For the most part they are not pandering to current cyclists. They are pandering to potential cyclists and motorists. People like yourself, or kids and OAPs. Basically people who might cycle but don't feel the roads are safe to do so.

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    monkeynuts

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • dan whilst I agree with an element of what you state the one major difference between motorists and cyclist when it comes to squeezing the Highway code is that motorist are readily identified and hence can be taken to court etc. over their misdemeanors which is not the case with cyclists. No one road users is perfect but it seems to be that motorists are always on the wrong end of the argument when it comes to cyclists, whether it be pedal or motor variety, and if dare to raise our opinions we are castigated put of hand. Road safety I accept is paramount but it seems to be one sided when it comes to discussions.

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    PeterMac

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Why does everyone pander to cyclists?, these people have no respect and no road sense, pay no no attention to traffic laws and weave around on the pavement, this already bespoiled city is being ruined by these parasites, all the should be given is on the spot fines, compulsory training and insurance, and a prison sentence if they fail to comply.

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    mr mayhem

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • @dan. I agree almost fully with you. As a road cyclist myself (6kmiles last year) I to probably wouldn't use the cycle lanes. But, we are not the only demographic. My kids, and my wife do not have the capacity to cycle at 25-30mph and keep up with traffic. Nether does the motorist that might be willing to cycle if the roads where safer. Regarding your comment on pavement cycling - I agree. Pavement cycling is a by product (for the most part) of aggressive driving. that

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    monkeynuts

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Eh? Of course I should cycle on the road - I never said otherwise. However, on that point. sometimes I will cycle on the pavement (0.01% of my cycling time) in a sensible way, giving priority to all other pavement users. Why? Because my safety in frankly more important to me than the gnashing teeth of *hypocritical car drivers. The section of Dereham Road that runs from Aldi to the petrol station is a prime example of a stretch of road where drivers feel free to pass cyclist within a gnats hair, and I have no space for safe and sensible rear observation. So I ride - rather, I ROLL - on the pavement there, because I take responsibility for my safety, rather than put it in the hands of impatient drivers. *I say hypocritical because no one follows the Highway code to a t. Every road user squeezes what they can out of it - 33 in a 30, jumping amber lights, imaginary hazards that are surprisingly just outside the shop you want to pop into, etc. AND MOST OF THIS IS HARMLESS. Keep in mind that 75% of current drivers would FAIL the current test due to an inability to observe the Highway code - the vast majority of users are not driving to a textbook. Rather than bashing other road users, good road users LOOK AT THEIR OWN DRIVINGRIDING FAULTS. If everyone did that, rather than get locked into an 'us v them' mentality the roads would be a lot safer. However, driving (and riding) is much like sex: no one will admit that they might need improvements, so everyone ends up thinking EVERYONE else is at fault.

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    dan

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • @Dan. You missed the point by miles. Keep of the Pavementfootpathside walk.

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    Andy T

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Dan, you should just cycle in the road then. By law, you're not allowed to cycle on a footpath (read pavement) that is beside a carriageway, unless that footpath is designated as dual use. Just as you would complain about a car being on the footpath (and rightly so), pedestrians have the right to complain about cyclists who ignore the Highway Code.

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Yellowfox - why should I, as a cyclist, be compelled to use cycle lanes I have no interest in? You're making the assumption that every day cyclists want this. I've cycled 2,500 in the last year, and like a lot a everyday cyclists, get fed up of cycling being politicized - I'm not interested in the "us versus them" mentality , I just want to mind my own business and ride my bike. Cycle lanes in this country are pointless. They end up full of glass, the encourage cars to pass closer, and you can't cycle for long on one before you come upon a car stopped there, pretending to be facing a "hazard". Have cyclists voted for these changes? No.

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    dan

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • I agree with Yellow Fox, I'm all for better cycling lanes even at the expense of car drivers but it's a bit annoying and scary when you almost get ploughed down by cyclists on the pavement, especially when there is already a cycle lane and they choose not to use it.

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    Mooseyt4

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Government funding was from Dept for Transport rather than Dept of Health.

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    itsme73

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • If more money is spent on special cycle lane for bikes, will the authorities try to ensure that they don't use the pavement or at least put up signs warn them they might be fined - take Duke street for example where it counterflows traffic into the city and but some people would still seem to prefer to use the footpath.

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    Yellow Fox

    Friday, June 13, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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