City centre access for cycling and loading

Should cycling be allowed in Norwich city centre during the daytime? Norwich City Council is consulting on changes to the confusing regulations in the city centre. The different restrictions on different streets with unclear signage means that no-one is clear where cycling is and isn’t allowed.

The Council is consulting on two options. Norwich Cycling Campaign supports option 2 for the following reasons:

  • Considerate cyclists will not cycle through pedestrian areas at busy times and there is no plan to change the pedalways map to advertise these as cycle routes.
  • We do understand the fears of people with disabilities and we strongly argue against shared space when it is designed and advertised as cycling provision but there is not space in central streets for segregation, pedestrians would still dominate the space and the experience of St Georges Street suggests that it will work.
  • Inconsiderate people cycle through these areas now and there is no enforcement, it will still be possible to enforce other laws against reckless cycling, if needs be.
  • We are very keen to see the city centre more accessible to cross city cycling, as at the moment it is very difficult and must reduce the number of journeys people plan to make.
  • The rules for cycling, one way routes and loading are unclear and inconsistent now and often rules are broken because of this. It would be better for pedestrians and cyclists if the rules were as clear as possible and so we think it is more straightforward not have time restrictions for cycling. Most people will make a reasonable decision on whether to cycle, based on how crowded it is at the time. It has worked well in Cambridge city centre and it works well in St Georges St.
  • Bedford Street could be advertised as a cycling route but the stone setts are slippery in the wet and the wide gaps in the grouting especially given the incline near London Street make it too dangerous in our opinion to advertise it as a cycling route. If a ‘smooth path’ was created as there is along most of Pottergate, it would be better. If the surface was improved, it would be used much more frequently for cycling now.
  • In the city centre the main problem is too many vehicles flouting the ‘access’ rules in Bedford Street and the city part of Pottergate, hopefully these proposals will make it more straightforward to enforce this.