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Walking, cycling and heritage: what people want from River Wensum revamp

PUBLISHED: 16:36 18 March 2018

The River Wensum. Picture: Andrew Stone

The River Wensum. Picture: Andrew Stone

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Around 260 residents and groups submitted responses on the River Wensum draft strategy consultation.

Pulls Ferry and the Hathor Wherry on the river Wensum in Norwich.Pulls Ferry and the Hathor Wherry on the river Wensum in Norwich.

The process ran from July 26 to September 15 last year and more than 600 individual comments were made.

The comments dealt with a variety of topics including improved access for walking and cycling, encouraging greater use of the river by small craft, enhancing heritage, ecology, and biodiversity, and the importance of voluntary and community involvement.

Some of the comments received included:

• The Friends of Train Wood/Marriotts Way: “Need reference to risks such as climate change and opportunities such as meaningful community working.”

River Wensum reflections on a bright but cold winter's day. Picture: Lydia TaylorRiver Wensum reflections on a bright but cold winter's day. Picture: Lydia Taylor

• Unnamed individual: “Must ensure that navigation rights are maintained - do not allow bridges to be built with less than enough clearance for double decked tour vessels.”

• Several individuals and Yare Valley Society: “The strategy appears to ignore the River Yare and the potential for connecting the Wensum with it for walking, cycling and canoeing, and for linking the green infrastructures of the two river corridors at Whitlingham Park.”

• Norwich Green Party: “Objectives are not all reflected in vision - no mention of social or environmental aims. Vision also needs to protect and enhance quality of Wensum as an important environmental asset.”

• Norwich Cycling Campaign: “Connectivity should be optimised for cycling and walking and should state this.”

The TS Loard Nelson docked on the River Wensum in Norwich. Picture: David DixonThe TS Loard Nelson docked on the River Wensum in Norwich. Picture: David Dixon

• Unnamed individual: “Concern at antisocial behaviour issues eg drinking, drug-taking and rubbish.”

• Unnamed individual: “Need more, and better placed, litter bins, and more public toilets.”

• Unnamed individual: “Overall control must stay with the council to stop exploitation by vested interests. The strategy should not be a money making exercise for external contractors.”

• Several unnamed individuals: “Need focus on river ecology and nature, and recognise that river is part of a wider ecosystem.”

Norwich views. Foundary Bridge on Prince of Wales Road crossing the River Wensum.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYNorwich views. Foundary Bridge on Prince of Wales Road crossing the River Wensum. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The plans to breathe new life into the river are now nearing completion following the positive response to the draft strategy.

The views and ideas expressed will go before the sustainable development committee on March 21 before being considered for approval by cabinet on 13 June.

To see the revised strategy and consultation responses visit: The River Wensum Strategy


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