Cyclists demand additional bridge over A47

Potential plans for the Easton roundabout on the edge of Norwich

Plans for the Easton roundabout on the edge of Norwich - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Cyclists have blasted plans for a shared-use cycling and pedestrian footpath across the A47 insisting it is "unacceptable and dangerous".

Derek Williams, 68, from Norwich's Golden Triangle, has said many members of the Norwich Cycling Campaign group have raised safety fears over plans for the Easton and Longwater roundabouts on the edge of Norwich.

Work for the Norfolk County Council project is due to start this summer.

Part of the project includes creating a shared-use path for cyclists and walkers on the side of the bridge linking both roundabouts together.

People using two wheels would have to dismount to use the two-metre footpath.

Derek Williams, Norwich Cycling Campaign group spokesman

Derek Williams, Norwich Cycling Campaign group spokesman - Credit: Thomas Woods

Mr Williams, campaign group spokesman, said: "The shared footpath idea is unacceptable. They are dangerous.

"I'm amazed the council would suggest such a terrible idea.

"The council needs to put the shared path idea in the bin. It should build a bridge over the A47 parallel to the current bridge for cyclists and walkers."

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He accepted a new bridge would be expensive but insisted "there is demand" for bike routes on that junction.

"The path is only two metres wide and you have got three lanes of traffic thundering past - including huge Artic lorries.

"Cycle lanes should be a minimum of three metres wide," added Mr Williams.

Easton Parish Council chairman Peter Milliken.

Easton Parish Council vice-chairman Peter Milliken - Credit: Denise Bradley

Peter Milliken, Easton Parish Council vice-chairman, said: "We have spoken to cyclists and they are saying they are not going to dismount. It is a busy thoroughfare.

"If a new bridge was viable we would support the idea but because of the lay of the land and cost, it is not.

"All we can do is work with the council to achieve the best possible solution. The parish council is keen on safety guards."

Gary Blundell, a member of Costessey Town Council, said: "We would love a separate bridge but unfortunately that is not going to happen. There is not room.

"The plans were never going to be perfect but it is better than what is there now."

Mr Blundell, who lives in Queen's Hills estate near the Longwater roundabout, said he rarely saw cyclists use the bridge and it was mainly used by walkers.

A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman, said: “The developer funded Longwater improvement scheme is a planning requirement as part of the permitted development at Easton being brought forward by Persimmon Homes.

"The scheme will provide significant improvements to the junction, particularly for pedestrians wishing to access local facilities, most importantly two new traffic light controlled crossings are to be built, links will be built to join together existing cycle paths, and a new continuous pedestrian path connecting Longwater and Easton will be created.

"As part of the design process we carried out a walking, cycling and horse riding assessment for the proposed scheme which included consultation with the local community.

"The scheme is subject to road safety audits throughout the design process as well as an equality impact assessment.”