£5.5m Norwich cycle improvements edge nearer, while council agrees to fight for pubs

City councillor Mike Stonard.

City councillor Mike Stonard. - Credit: Sid Frisby

A multi-million pound funding boost to transform Norwich into a cycling city has edged a step nearer.

The Department for Transport announced earlier this summer that a Cycle City Ambition grant would be awarded to Norwich City Council.

The cash, made up of £3.7m from government and £1.8m of local money, will be used to upgrade cycling routes across Norwich, including an eight-mile route through the city centre.

At a meeting of the full city council last night, it was agreed to add the £5.5m to the council's capital plan - which needed to be done before 'significant expenditure' can get underway.

Mike Stonard, cabinet member for environment, development and transport, said: 'This is a tremendous initiative. This successful bid means we have £5m to invest in a cycle way from Heartsease to the Norwich Research Park.'

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He said the goal was that the route would be so safe, 12-year-olds would be able to use it unaccompanied.

• The council also agreed to call for extra powers from the government to protect community pubs. A motion put forward by the Greens and amended by Labour was taken as unopposed business, meaning it was agreed without debate.

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Green city councillor for Mancroft ward, Amy Stammers, had put forward a motion that the authority should ask the government to allocate the council powers through the Sustainable Communities Act to make it harder for pubs to be converted or demolished without planning permission.

Labour amended the motion, adding that the council should also ask for controls to close a potential loophole which could allow pubs to be quickly converted into homes by first turning them into shops or banks.

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