Saddling up in the city will be safer and easier for cyclists thanks to a colourful new network of cycle routes.

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Ben Webster, design, conservation and landscape manager for Norwich City Council, has proposed plans to revolutionise the city’s approach to the provision of safe and enjoyable cycle routes, at the sustainable development panel held in City Hall.

Mr Webster, who is a keen cyclist, has consulted with the Norwich Cycling Campaign, which members of his team are part of, and has applied all this knowledge of popular and safe improvised routes around the city in devising the plans for an official network.

The idea behind Mr Webster and his team’s proposal is that there should be a joined-up, colour co-ordinated network of local routes, core radial routes and inner and outer orbital routes which link all areas, institutions and places of importance.

The local routes, in black, would join onto the five core radial routes coded yellow, green, blue, pink and red, which slice through the city and meet at its centre, and the two orbital routes, one orange one purple, would encircle the city centre and wider city area, being crossed and linked by the core radial routes. Cyclists would follow coloured stickers indicating which route they were on.

"There is a real appetite among people to get cycling"

Ben Webster

Mr Webster said: “There is a real appetite among people to get cycling, but many don’t know how to get out of their local area and what safe routes to follow.

“We already have a lot of routes, many fun and safe and signposted, and on a cycle map. But it struck us that there was a degree of confusion. Some of the routes were confused.

“We want people to be able to rely on them without needing to refer to signage or an A-Z.

“When the network plan is finished it will help people find their way around the city more easily, enjoyably and safely on bikes and help us spend our limited funds in the right places.”

Bert Bremner, councillor for the University ward, said that there was “total agreement” that the plans were a good thing among the council.

The Norwich Cycling Campaign is a group of cyclists who lobby for better cycle facilities in Norwich and work for an increase in the use of bikes.

The chair of the Norwich Cycling Campaign, Jeff Jordan, said: “I think the priority is to get the less competent and experienced cyclists to see that you can cycle through the city without complications.

“If we can get people to feel that the city is not too challenging and is safe, then that will be beneficial.

“The plans are pretty comprehensive and we do support them. There was a lot of scope for improvement. I know Norwich is a difficult place to do it, what with all the medieval streets and so on, but some of the existing routes weren’t very helpful.”

Mr Webster is currently consulting with the general public and cycle groups over the plans, as well as working to ensure they compliment various institution’s travel plans.

A map of the the new network in pamphlet form should be available from places such as libraries, cafes, offices and council buildings from the spring, as well as on the council website. Mr Webster expressed a desire to look into the possibility in the long-term of a smartphone application for the map and including it on independent web-based journey planners.

What do you think of the plans? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1 RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

3 comments

  • Anything to stop cycling on pavements and pedestrian areas

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    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

  • Norwich is severly lacking in cycle routes, Its certainly needed but will reserve judgement until we actually see it.

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    Crazy

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

  • Norwich has a very, very low rate of cycling. The reason why people won't cycle is because they don't want to cycle among cars, buses and lorries. The proposal outlined here seems to offer nothing more than signing for routes which most people already have no interest in using. Norwich is a deeply car-sick city and people are given every incentive to drive into the city centre. The real solution is to do what the Dutch have done, i.e. clear out cars from the city centre and restrict access to service vehicles only. Then provide a safe, direct network of routes to the centre on cycle tracks which are separate from motor traffic, which give cyclists priority at all side turnings, and which put the convenience of cyclists first, while drivers are inconvenienced and sent on roundabout routes. Do that and cycling will boom in Norwich. I'm afraid just putting up signs and providing cycle maps will do nothing at all for cycling, and that is all that this scheme seems to offer. It's a pity that both the Green Party and cycle campaign groups are still locked into the failed strategy of "vehicular cycling", in defiance of all the evidence that this puts people off cycling, and in defiance of the model established in Europe's most successful cycling nation, the Netherlands, where cyclists are kept separate from traffic.

    Report this comment

    Rocketman

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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