Town could see new pathway along scenic river route
- Credit: Terry Jermy
A new path along a scenic river route could be created to improve safety and encourage more people to walk and cycle.
Thetford Town Council held a special meeting on Tuesday, December 15 to discuss funding for the build of a pathway alongside the river running from the Priory to the Blaydon Bridge.
The popular route, which is currently a muddy track, is regularly used by walkers and local groups, including parkrun, and there have long been calls for a formalised path to make it safer and improve connectivity around the town.
The council is set to apply for funding from Norfolk County Council’s Parish Partnership Programme, to be considered in the new year.
Town councillor Stuart Wright said: “This is a pathway is on the northside of the Little Ouse alongside the river from the Blaydon Bridge to join up with the existing path towards Thetford Priory.
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“The path at present is a muddy, uneven surface which is not very suitable for wheelchair or pushchairs.
“The route is popular for residents of the Abbey and Red Castle estates wishing to get to the town centre.
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“In addition, there is a trip hazard where the path joins the existing tarmac approach to the Blaydon Bridge which we hope will be addressed by the new path.
“The route will also help add to the amenity of Thetford's river corridor by making it more accessible.
"The scheme fits with the town's long-term vision of making more of this wonderful asset and encouraging walking and cycling in the town. If successful the scheme would be delivered in the 2021/22 financial year.”
Norfolk county councillor for Thetford, Terry Jermy added: “The Norfolk Parish Partnership scheme is specifically for projects of this nature so it seems eminently sensible that the town council puts forward this route for consideration as its fits the criteria well and would mean that the cost is split between the two councils.
“Covid this year has shown us the importance of our open spaces and how much they are valued by local residents and we’re increasingly seeing the river corridor in Thetford take a greater prominence which I very much welcome and support.”