‘Foolhardy’ to open up more Norwich city centre streets for cycling, charity warns
- Credit: Archant
A charity which encourages people to walk has warned opening up busy pedestrianised Norwich city centre streets to cyclists would be 'foolhardy and irresponsible'.
The Norfolk branch of Living Streets has joined the debate over whether cyclists should be allowed to ride down more city centre streets.At the moment, cyclists are not permitted to ride down a string of streets, such as Gentleman's Walk, Davey Place and White Lion Street between 10am and 5pm and not allowed down the likes of London Street or Lower Goat Lane at all.
But amid confusion - with different restrictions in different streets - the city council has been consulting over changes.
One option would allow cyclists to ride down time-restricted streets like Gentleman's Walk in the daytime.
The other option would retain such restrictions, but would allow cyclists to go down currently off-limits streets such as Lower Goat Lane and London Street between 5pm and 10am.
The council says accidents between pedestrians and cyclists are very rare in pedestrianised areas and the proposals are in line with Department for Transport recommendations.
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The Norwich Cycling Campaign has backed allowing cycling at all times. They say it is currently very difficult to cross the city by bicycle.
The group says considerate cyclists would make a reasonable decision on whether to cycle, based on how crowded streets are.
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Places such as the city's St George's Street and Cambridge city centre show it can work, the cycling campaign says.
But John Peacock, from Norfolk Living Streets, said: 'We have always campaigned to preserve the pedestrianised areas of the city and over the years have fought to uphold local byelaws designed to stop cycling along streets where there are heavy pedestrian flows.
'Any attempt to open up all of Norwich's pedestrianised streets to a cycling free-for-all would be both foolhardy and irresponsible.'
Following consultation, which has now closed, the Norwich Highways Agency Committee, made up of city and county councillors, will make a decision over any changes next month.
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