Work begins on £1m cycle path network to connect Norfolk Broads

The riverside village of Horning on the River Bure in Norfolk.Picture: James Bass

The riverside village of Horning on the River Bure in Norfolk.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Work has started on a £1m project to install a network of cycle ways and footpaths connecting Broads communities and opening up the area to tourists.

The first stage of the Three Rivers Way project will create a walking and cycling route along the 3.7km-stretch between Hoveton and Horning.

Ultimately, it is hoped the ambitious scheme will link Wroxham, Hoveton, Horning, Ludham and Potter Heigham, joining large parts of the Broads and offering better access for those without boats.

The initial stage will be built primarily along the northern side of the A1062 and will improve travel to schools, work and shops, as well as offering an attractive route for tourists.

Peter Howe, chairman of the Three Rivers Way Association, said the project had been a long time coming and it was 'fantastic' to see it become a reality.

'We have been working on this project for around eight years, so it is wonderful to see building work taking place at last,' he said. 'It's a much-needed improvement that will allow people to get out into the countryside.'

Toby Coke, chairman of Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee, said: 'This is an excellent example of a project that ensures the vitality of tourism in rural Norfolk, providing a welcome new amenity for local people, linking local communities and businesses, and offering healthy travel choices for all.

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'I'm particularly pleased for the local people and businesses who have campaigned long and hard for the Three Rivers Way. There have been setbacks, but this project shows what can be achieved through partnership – and persistence.'

The scheme has been funded by the Department for Transport's Cycling Ambition in National Parks initiative, which has committed £715,000, Norfolk County Council, which has contributed £243,000, and the Broads Authority, which has given £65,000.

Allison Bradnock, County Councillor for South Smallburgh, which includes Horning, said. 'I'm absolutely delighted – it's the reward for hard work by local people.'

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