Plans revealed for better Norwich cycling and walking routes
- Credit: PA
Miles of new or improved walking and cycling routes could be created in Norwich - if new plans can convince the government to stump up millions of pounds.
A new blueprint detailing extensions and improvements to routes in and around the city has been unveiled.
It is part of a push to get people to swap their cars for healthier ways of getting out and about.
It could see miles of improved cycle lanes and footpaths, new crossings and bridges, better cycle parking and redesigned junctions.
The intention is to encourage people to take short journeys - such as to work - by walking or cycling, rather than using cars.
Norwich already has eight cycle routes, which cover about 60 miles.
But the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure plan, put together by Norfolk County Council along with Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk councils, proposes improvements to them.
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Those changes include:
* Connecting Horsford and Harford to the city centre by extending the yellow pedalway. That would improve access to the Airport Industrial Estate and the Airport Aviation Academy. A feasibility study would also explore ways to create cycling and walking connections to the Harford Park and Ride site.
* Making the blue pedalway, linking Wymondham and Sprowston to the city centre, safer, with new measures, including crossings.
* Connecting Hethersett and Wroxham to the city centre by extending the pink pedalway.
* Extending the green pedalway to connect with Easton, including a cycling and walking bridge over the A47.
* Upgrades between Rackheath and the city centre, including new cycle lanes.
* Improvements to the red pedalway between the city centre and Thorpe Marriott.
* A new link to Whitlingham via a bridge over the River Yare which would improve access to the planned regeneration of the area around the former Colman's factory.
* New links for the brown pedalway to connect Drayton and Poringland to the city centre.
* Improvements to the orbital orange and purple pedalways, including traffic calming and possible segregated cycle ways in Hellesdon.
There would also be improvements to two walking zones in the city. One is in the city centre, covering the historic area within the boundaries of the old city walls and the other connects the University of East Anglia campus with the Norwich Research Park and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Some of the work in those areas, such as work in Tombland and Grapes Hill has been done already, but longer-term goals include new crossings at St Stephens Roundabout.
Some funding is coming from the £32m Transforming Cities and £25 Towns Fund cash which the government has already given Norwich.
But much is unfunded and council bosses hope, by having a plan in place, it will put the county at the front of the queue to get more government millions.
They say, as well as cutting carbon emissions, research shows switching more journeys to cycling and walking improves health and quality of life.
County Hall officers say walking or cycling regularly can help to prevent and manage illnesses such as some cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.
Similar cycling and walking plans have been developed for Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn.
And council bosses are also putting together a Norfolk-wide plan - and need the public's help.
They are asking people to suggest locations where they would like to see new routes and to say what would encourage them to swap cars for walking or cycling.
People can draw lines on a digital map to show where they would like new walking or cycling routes to be.
Matt Hayward, lead projects manager at Norfolk County Council, said: “The wider plan for Norfolk is still at an early stage so any feedback is crucial in helping to shape this important project.
"We want to know what you think will work, and what could help people to cycle and walk more.
"As well as suggesting locations where cycling and walking routes could be developed.
“By improving the cycling and walking network within Norfolk we can help cut congestion, improve air quality and help combat climate change.
"Which are all in addition to the health and wellbeing benefits gained through regular exercise.”
People can take part in the survey at www.norfolk.gov.uk/activetravel until Monday, May 30.