Bid to improve 'incredibly dangerous' roads on the edge of Norwich
- Credit: Submitted
Two villages on the outskirts of Norwich are set to receive feasibility studies in response to fears over safety for those who walk and cycle.
Thorpe End and Little Plumstead residents have been calling for infrastructure to allow them to exercise safely after ongoing concerns had been expressed over dangerous roads in the villages.
County councillor Ian Mackie will be funding the studies through his member highway allowance following local consultation.
The plan is to undertake a feasibility study over the next couple of months to explore all the options to install a pathway that would link Broad Lane to Hospital Road and the cycle lane through to Little Plumstead.
This road is well used by walkers and cyclists but is becoming increasingly hazardous due to the volume of traffic and lack of a dedicated footway.
Broad Lane resident Rita Bishop, 83, said: "The prime reason for this is safety, it is not just a moan about traffic in our village. We clearly need a footpath as several schoolchildren use the road.
"One mother who is in walking distance of Little Plumstead Primary School said she has had to take her daughter in the car instead because it is so unsafe."
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Mrs Bishop was also told a resident was unable to receive an oil delivery because the lane proved to be too narrow for parking.
In August, the stretch of Broad Lane was reduced to 30mph but the road has been used as a cut through ever since the Northern Distributor Road (NDR) was built.
The second feasibility study is for a new footpath and cycleway from Thorpe End along Plumstead Road to join the new cycleways installed as part of the Broadland Northway (NDR), thereby linking Thorpe End to the Plumsteads and new green cycleways.
Parish councillor Richard Claxton said: "To get to the railway bridge to access all the other cycle paths, you have to risk your life because it is a very busy road.
"Thorpe End is stuck and you can't get out without walking on the path. It is just a bank either side of the road so you have to either jump out of the way or get shouted at when a car comes past.
"It is incredibly dangerous and more and more people are getting really annoyed about it."
Mr Claxton said there would be enough room for a cycle path if the hedge running alongside the road was trimmed back.
He added: "Parishioners are getting really annoyed thinking nothing is being done but we have been trying to do something for years. If Ian Mackie can put this bit of research in to see how much it will cost there will at least be a way forward."
Mr Mackie said: "I am delighted to see these two studies come forward, they are significant projects which both the community and I have been campaigning for.
"The global pandemic has shown the importance of local connectivity for cycling and walking. It would be fantastic to link all the villages together for much safer walking and cycling. The feasibility studies are an important step in the process."
If the studies are a success the next step would be to look at the range of funding options as part of the local neighbourhood plan and county council investment.
Thorpe End is due to have its main road resurfaced in the summer and Mr Mackie said there are plans to improve the safety of the pedestrian crossing and to raise the mini roundabout there.