Man’s anger at Norwich cycle path that is ‘lit up like Blackpool Tower’ at night

Steve Barber, a resident of Heathgate, is angry about the bright street lights and untidy grass area

Steve Barber, a resident of Heathgate, is angry about the bright street lights and untidy grass areas outside his flat.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A man claims a new cycle path has made his life a 'nightmare'.

Steve Barber, a resident of Heathgate, is angry about the bright street lights and untidy grass area

Steve Barber, a resident of Heathgate, is angry about the bright street lights and untidy grass areas outside his flat.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Steve Barber, of Heathgate, Norwich, said the route, lined with unsightly metal railings, ruined his view and that bright lights stayed on all night and disturbed his sleep.

The path was built by contractors for Norwich City Council as part of its Pink Pedalway, from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) to Heartsease.

'Two years ago I used to look out of my kitchen window and there was nothing but grass and trees,' said the 52-year-old, who is a security company director. 'But in the last two weeks they've basically destroyed everything you could see.

'Now I have what I can only describe as Brands Hatch right outside my front window.

Steve Barber, a resident of Heathgate, is angry about the bright street lights and untidy grass area

Steve Barber, a resident of Heathgate, is angry about the bright street lights and untidy grass areas outside his flat.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

'It's lit up like Blackpool Tower and there's huge amounts of mud at the bottom.

'They've left everything uncultivated.'

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Preparatory work began in September 2015, and Heathgate resident Richard Harvey chained himself to a tree that was due to be cut down.

However the protest failed, and the tree was cut down.

'It's a nightmare,' said Mr Barber.

He claimed he was not consulted about the work, that his complaints had been ignored and that he had been promised that lights were motion sensitive - but actually stayed on all night.

He added that there was no demand for the cycle path.

City council officers insist that there was full consultation, including letters to residents and public notices.

The lighting contractors installed the lights but they were awaiting programming by the manufacturer.

This has been booked and was due to take place within the next month, officers said.

Programming of the motion-sensitive lights involves setting the upper and lower levels – they will become brighter to illuminate the path when it is in use and then fade to a dim light.

Bert Bremner, the city council's cabinet member for environment and sustainable transport, said: 'Heathgate is an important part of the Pink Pedalway and was open to public consultation as part of the planning process.

'By building this path, we have provided cyclists with a route to the city centre that is not only more direct but also away from traffic.

'Work across the whole eight-mile route has significantly improved the connection from Norwich Research Park and the UEA to Heartsease.

'Levels of cycling are on the increase anyway but we hope this improvement to the city's infrastructure will encourage even more people to use the Norwich cycle network.

'We apologise for any disruption caused while we await programming of the motion-sensitive lighting.'

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