‘It’s as much use as a carpet fitter’s ladder!’ - Reaction to the Push The Pedalways project in Norwich

The finished cycle lanes in the road on The Avenues. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The finished cycle lanes in the road on The Avenues. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Norwich City Council are looking to the public for answers to what went wrong with the £5.8m Push The Pedalways as they to look make improvements to two more routes. Both drivers and cyclists have slammed the project calling it 'laughable' and a 'shambles'.

Tombland has been reshaped after months of roadworks as part of the Push the Pedalways scheme. PHOTO

Tombland has been reshaped after months of roadworks as part of the Push the Pedalways scheme. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Almost £4m for the project came from the Department for Transport and Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, conceded the imposed timescale to use the cash had 'presented challenges'.

The council has a further £8.4m of Cycle City Ambition cash to spend on the 'yellow pedalway' between Norwich International Airport and Lakenham and the 'blue pedalway' from Sprowston to Wymondham and the authority has asked for public feedback as they are keen to learn from previous mistakes.

A number of people have described the biggest problem of the cycle routes around Tombland and The Avenues as safety for cyclist, drivers and pedestrians.

One person said: 'The most astonishing part of the whole shambles is putting a cycle way into oncoming traffic on Essex Street, with cars parked on the left so car and cycle meet head on in a one way street. That is just frightening.'

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Another reader added: 'The Avenues scheme was a non-starter and that Tombland would be a waste because it puts cyclists and pedestrians in more danger than they were before.'

One reader even called the project 'laughable'. They said: 'The changes to Tombland, in the name of improving cycling, are laughable. We now have a big wide path where there is no obvious distinction between what is for pedestrians or cyclists.'

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There has so far been very little positive feedback on the scheme but Joyce appreciated work to some cycle routes in Norwich city centre: 'As a cyclist and pedestrian I appreciate the changes made in the Chapelfield Gardens area,'she said. 'I mean the addition of a designated crossing for cyclists across the Chapelfield Road just before the roundabout at the top of Grapes Hill.'

But is appears that the biggest gripe for people has been the amount of money the project cost with many seeing little positive return from it.

Stan Boweles said: 'Why on earth would any cyclist take a pointless side route that makes riding more dangerous? That cycle lane cost a million smackers that is ten thousand pounds a metre and it's as much use as a carpet fitter's ladder.'

One driver added: 'I'm a regular driver in Tombland and I can't remember ever seeing more than one cyclist using the designated route. What a waste of money.'

Deadline for feedback is 5pm on Thursday, March 10. People can email pedalways@norwich.gov.uk or write to: Push the Pedalways, City Hall, St Peter's Street, Norwich, NR2 1NH.

The responses will be analysed and collated into a report which will be presented to councillors.

•Let us know your thoughts on the project by commenting below.

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