Work on new £2m cycle path alongside part of A47 will begin in 2016

A cycle path is planned alongside part of the A47 between Hockering and great Tuddenham. Picture: Ma

A cycle path is planned alongside part of the A47 between Hockering and great Tuddenham. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Roads, junctions and roundabouts across the region are being improved to make them safer for cyclists.

Highways England has awarded a £2m contract to make a stretch of the A47, between Dereham and Norwich, and roads around Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth more bike-friendly.

It says work will begin in the New Year on schemes including a cycle path alongside a half-mile stretch of the A47 between Hockering and North Tuddenham.

One leading campaigner said he did not think the new path would be greatly used.

Tony Clarke, Norfolk right to ride representative for the Cyclists' Touring Club, said: 'It's welcome, all such paths are welcome, but you have to be careful with cycle paths because one of the most dangerous sections is where cyclists rejoin the main road from a cycle path. It will be used, but I don't suppose it will be greatly used because it's not a commuter route.

'The problem you've got are the crossings from the by-roads across the A47, particularly sections where the A47 is dualled.'

Nigel Brigham, regional director of the sustainable transport campaign group Sustrans said: 'It's not bang in the middle of populated area but it's a horrendous stretch of the A47 so I can see why they're doing it.'

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A Highways England spokesman said: 'We will be building a new shared-use foot/cycleway, separated from the main carriageway.

'This will improve links for non-motorists between surrounding villages and provide a link for cycling to the west of Norwich. The route will link back to the local road network or existing cycle routes at either end.'

In Lowestoft, the agency said it would be making 'significant improvements' along the A12 through the town from Bentley Drive/Foxburrow Hill roundabout to the north, to the Old Nelson Street/Battery Green Road roundabout.

'These improvements will include sections of new and upgraded shared-use foot/cycle way, new toucan crossing facilities and improved connections with local and national cycle routes,' the spokesman said.

Further up the A12, at Great Yarmouth, the agency said it would be improving a cycle route between the Southtown Road area and the Harfreys Industrial Estate.

It said the route would be on the main carriageway on local roads, and separated from the main carriageway on the A12 Suffolk Road, and would improve cycle links to Great Yarmouth College.

Cycling minister Robert Goodwill said: 'These new routes will transform cycling journeys along busy routes in the east of England. The safe and accessible cycle paths and crossing points are an important step in encouraging more people to use their bicycles to get around the region for work, visiting family and friends or for exercise.'

Highways England project manager Kelly Millburn added:

'By building these cycle improvement schemes, we will provide safer journeys for cyclists on our busy roads, focusing on keeping them well separated from motorised traffic and providing safe crossing points.'