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Council slams cycle lane safety fears after claims of 'hazardous' layout

PUBLISHED: 17:02 06 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:09 06 October 2019

Work continues on the cycle lane in Prince of Wales Road, Norwich. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

Work continues on the cycle lane in Prince of Wales Road, Norwich. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

Archant

A city councillor has hit back at criticism of a new cycle lane after a campaign group blasted the scheme as "worrying", "hazardous" and "disjointed".

Prince of Wales Road in Norwich is set for a week of overnight closures Pic: Dan Grimmer.Prince of Wales Road in Norwich is set for a week of overnight closures Pic: Dan Grimmer.

The new cycle route down Prince of Wales Road - part of a £2.75m shake up of Norwich city centre - was slammed by cyclists as "embarrassing" due to the trees partially blocking the path.

But Norwich City Council's transport chief insists their safety fears are unfounded.

A member of the Norwich Cycling Campaign has raised fears about the scheme's design, claiming the layout of the new cycle track will leave road users vulnerable to passing cars.

Jeff Jordan, committee member, said while the group were worried about the trees encroaching onto the cycle lane, there also were other features of the route which have sparked concern.

"It's a quite disjointed and very short cycle route starting and ending randomly," he said.

"No other traffic can go up Prince of Wales Road and to get up there you've got to cross over the traffic flow straight across without any assistance.

"It's quite hazardous."

READ MORE: Cyclists blast 'embarrassing' new cycle track - which has trees in the middle

And Mr Jordan added: "It's not really very comprehensive.

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"They've designed this bit in the middle of Prince of Wales Road coming from the station with no assistance for cyclists to come off the bridge and get started on Prince of Wales Road.

"As you get further up the cycle track it just kind of ends and leaves you to get on with it.

"It's very piecemeal.

"We can anticipate problems but without the traffic in full flow it's hard to demonstrate how it's going to work."

But Mike Stonard, city council cabinet member for transport, hit back at the campaign and insisted their safety fears were unfounded.

"When we're designing schemes such as this we have to balance the needs and safety of all road users," he said.

"That includes cyclists and pedestrians as well as drivers."

He added that Transport for Norwich, the city and county council partnership delivering the Prince of Wales' roadworks, had ensured all elements of the scheme were in line with the London Cycle Design Standards - which he said stipulate avoiding the removal of existing trees from new cycle paths.

"The scheme has passed its safety standards," he added.

"The suggestion it's worrying or dangerous? I don't accept that."

- What do you think of the new cycle lane? Email reporter Jessica.Frank-Keyes@archant.co.uk

READ MORE: Cyclists blast 'embarrassing' new cycle track - which has trees in the middle

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