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Trees to be cut down on popular Marriott’s Way cycle and walking route in £318,000 project

PUBLISHED: 16:46 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:46 14 October 2020

Cyclists enjoying the Marriott's Way. Picture: Supplied by Norfolk County Council

Cyclists enjoying the Marriott's Way. Picture: Supplied by Norfolk County Council

Archant

Dozens of trees will be chopped down to improve and widen a former railway for cyclists and walkers.

County councillor Danny Douglas. Picture: Labour Party.County councillor Danny Douglas. Picture: Labour Party.

The £318,000 scheme for the section of Marriott’s Way between Gunton Lane car park and Hellesdon Road in Norwich was approved by Norfolk County Council’s Transforming Cities Fund joint committee on October 14.

The committee is made up of Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council, Broadland District Council and South Norfolk Council elected representatives.

Lana Hempsall, who represents Acle on Broadland District Council. Picture: Conservative Party.Lana Hempsall, who represents Acle on Broadland District Council. Picture: Conservative Party.

MORE: Fast track for cycling and pedestrian schemes if Norwich gets government millions

In a report, council officers said the route is currently uneven, overgrown with trees and foliage and is of “sub-standard width” to adequately cater for the people using the path.

But to improve it, 54 trees have to be cut down, which will be replaced with at least 48 including crab apples, black poplars and hazels.

The project will also see a new crossing, where pedestrians and cyclists are segregated, on a raised table in Hellesdon Road, and a three-metre wide shared use path for walkers and cyclists between Hellesdon Road and Gunton Lane car park.

It will be paid out of the £32m recently awarded for transport changes through the government’s Transforming Cities fund.

Broadland District Council member Lana Hempsall said: “The improvements are pretty good.”

Kay Mason Billig, from South Norfolk Council, said: “Any upgrade is a good thing especially for people who want to get out in this difficult time.”

MORE: £318,000 scheme to improve Marriott’s Way would see 54 trees chopped down

County councillor Danny Douglas, who did not back the plans, said: “The Marriott’s Way is an excellent resource for the local community.”

He proposed that better quality trees were saved and the cycling route and walking paths were separated to allow for this.

City councillor Ian Stutely also rejected the plans on the basis of not having seen the trees that will be lost.

Another city councillor, Mike Stonnard, reluctantly supported the plans if there was no viable option to split the cycling and walking route.

He added: “We want to make sure we lock in the benefits of people walking and cycling during Covid-19.”

Jeremy Wiggin, Transport for Norwich manager, added funding was not available to for separating the cycle and pedestrian routes.


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