Norwich cyclists set for �300k Mousehold Heath route boost

A new �300,000 cycling route is to be created in Norwich, taking in Mousehold Heath and connecting the Open Academy to the city centre.

The money for the scheme, which includes improvements to cycleways and footpaths, has been salvaged by Norwich City Council officers from Big Lottery funding the city was in danger of losing.

In 2007, �900,000 of lottery cash was earmarked for Norwich as part of the Sustrans Connect2 project which aimed to produce more dedicated foot and cycle routes in the UK's cities. The cash was for a route linking the city to Whitlingham Country Park via Riverside, and included a new bridge across the Wensum connecting the Utilities site and Deal Ground near Trowse.

But one of the conditions of funding was that the whole scheme had to be completed by the end of March 2013. With the regeneration of the Utilities and Deal Ground – the developers of which will be paying for a major part of the route – still some way off, the council was in danger of losing all the Sustrans cash.

Officers have negotiated to bank �260,000 of the money to spend on that scheme in the future, but have also salvaged �311,000 which must be spent by March next year.

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Because the city council is already working on a new network of cycle routes, officers want to use the money to expand the cycle network to include Mousehold Heath.

The scheme will include improving Valley Drive and connecting it to Gilman Road via Gurney Road. That will link the Open Academy with Sewell Park College before continuing down Angel Road and Magdalen Street.

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Work on the route is due to start in the summer.

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