Newsletter

March 2022

First, the good news. The clocks go forward on Sunday 27th of this month, meaning light nights again and the best sign that summer is on its way.

 

As spring is coming it's time to go for a bike ride around the Orange Pedalway, the inner circle. Speaking of Pedalways, we have the latest ride-through video from Wymondham to Norwich on the southern section of the Blue Pedalway.

 

Saturday 5th was cold, windy and wet, but that didn't detract too much from the bicycle jumble sale and with luck it'll be the last gasp of winter. Fingers crossed on that.

 

The big transport news in Norwich has been the water main leak on Sweet Briar Road, the outer ring road which has not only created traffic chaos but worse, had closed the Marriotts Way.

 

School streets are getting off the ground in Norfolk with the help of Sustrans who are keen to recruit people to help make the scheme work.

 

We're proud to unveil our new banners and would have used them at the jumble sale, had the wind not been blowing! 

 

We often mention the superb cycle infrastructure in the Netherlands. In 2019 Peter took a holiday in this cycling heaven and shows just how good it is.

 

But this month has been overshadowed for many of us by events in Ukraine. On a practical level for us in the UK we know it will add to the cost of living, causing serious problems for many people including transport choices which could change the whole discussion around cycling.

Come for a ride around the Orange Pedalway

Essex Street on the Orange Pedalway - photo Derek

 

We're planning two informal rides clockwise around the Orange Pedalway

10.00am

Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd April

Bring everything you need

it will be an opportunity for us to catch up “in real life” after all those Zoom meetings! We look forward to meeting you.

Most of us will have used parts of the Orange Pedalway, the inner circle, perhaps without even realising, that's the idea of the route as it connects all the other radial routes out of the city.

 

It's a varied route, including some traffic-free sections through Mousehold Heath and running along streets lined with terrace houses. There are some sections along busy roads however, so it's not suitable for unaccompanied children.

 

You can see a ride-through of the entire Orange Pedalway here.

 

The total circuit is 10.7Km (6.6 miles), it's not a race and should take a little over an hour.

 

If you want to come, please let us know by e-mailing membership@norwichcyclingcampaign.org 

The Blue Pedalway southern section ride-through

The Blue Pedalway's southern section has a lot of potential. It connects Wymondham via Hethersett to the city and is mostly off-road. It passes close to four major secondary schools, Wymondham High, Hethersett Academy, City of Norwich School (CNS) and the Hewitt Academy, as well as the City College. So it has an obvious role as a safe route to school and college for a large number of young people from a catchment area where huge new housing estates are being created.

But beyond that, it has the potential to become a major commuting route for thousands of people within easy cycling distance of the city.

So just how good is this route? Derek and Edgar rode it, following Edgar's two boys Alex (12) and Erik (8). The route has some very good sections, but also some which are far below standard and some which are just downright dangerous.

This video was recorded on the first weekend after the lifting of the second Covid lockdown in April 2021 when traffic levels were far lower than normal. It's important to remember that traffic levels along this route are normally very high.

The Blue Pedalway southern section

Bicycle Jumble Sale

The bicycle jumble sale took place on 5th March and was a great success, albeit with no thanks to the weather. The whole day was cold, wet and windy and it no doubt deterred visitors. But it all went off well and the campaign made £42.10 profit. Thanks if you contributed stuff to sell as several of you did, it enabled us to have a decent stall selling maps, books, tools and bike accessories.

Peter on our stall - Photo Derek

We were under cover in a marquee - Photo Derek

Derek enjoying himself - Photo Peter

Marriotts Way closure

 

Traffic mayhem in the city has been caused by the closure of the outer ring road at Sweet Briar Road, caused by a burst water main. This resulted is the road embankment - which is built of sand - being washed away and dumped on the Marriotts Way cycle track.

The first two photos were taken on 19th February, a couple of days after the leak. The first shows the broken pipe and the second the sand covering Marriotts Way

 

The final photo shows what it looked like on March 15th, some trees have been cleared and the Marriotts way is open again, but be careful of the sand and there is still a lot to do to rebuild the embankment.

The burst water main at Sweet Briar Road - Photo Derek

Marriotts Way was covered in sand washed from the embankment - Photo Derek

The Marriotts Way is now open to cycling, but there is a lot of sand still on the path - Photo Derek

A very quiet Sweet Briar Road - Photo Derek

Norwich Over the Wensum community forum

 

A new community forum is being set up covering Norwich north of the river. This forum would enable those who live and/or work in this area of Norwich to write a neighbourhood plan setting out what they would like to see built in the area, a role that before the introduction of the Localism Act was something that could only normally be done by the local council.

Information about the forum can be found on their website

Any questions to info@norwichoverthewensum.org.uk

School Streets come to Norfolk

 

One great cause of traffic problems is the school run - parents taking their kids to school in the car. In an effort to reduce this the School Streets initiative aims to close the road to motor traffic outside schools in the morning and evening. Sustainable transport charity Sustrans are working with Norfolk County Council on three sites in the city as a first step: Dussindale Primary School, Nelson Infant School on Northumberland Street, and Wensum Junior School on Turner Road.

 

If you're affected by this - as a parent or a local resident, Sustrans would like to hear your views. Please complete the consultation form here.

 

You can find out about the School Streets initiative here

Campaign Banners

With the coming of summer and - hopefully - the return of gatherings, we're intending to run a stall to promote the campaign at events around the city.

To that end we've produced some colourful banners, We had planned to use them at the recent jumble sale, but there was just too much wind.

Peter proudly displaying the new banners - Photo Derek

 

A big thanks to Peter Silburn for his work designing promotional materials for the campaign, there's more to follow.

Cycling In the Netherlands

Riding a cargo bike in the Netherlands - Photo Peter

 

When talking about how Norwich can become a true cycling city we often refer to the superlative cycle infrastructure found in Dutch cities. But what does it actually mean to “go Dutch”? Membership Secretary Peter Silburn recalls a pre-pandemic holiday to the Netherlands.

 

Read his photo essay here - and remember, we could have this in the UK, if only there were the political will to do it.

The Ukraine Crisis and what it means for us

We have all been shocked by events in Ukraine over the past three or four weeks and it seems inevitable that at best we can expect to see large price rises because of it. For some people this will be serious indeed, having to choose between eating or heating.

 

Of course, one of the cost increases we can expect will be around transport. The rising cost of fuel isn't confined to car drivers, but it will work its way through to bus fares as well. A lot of people will need a cheaper way to get around, and bicycles are the obvious solution.

 

If this really begins to bite, we can expect to see many more people riding bikes through sheer necessity over the coming months. In Norwich we do have the Pedalways, which, although not perfect are better than nothing. We will need to see them promoted a lot more than they are being. 

 

The campaign can help in this and we're promoting one solution - the CycleStreets online mapping service which we're in the process of making sure is up to date. Also important is access to cheap cycles and maintenance. For more info the article on our website.

 

As regards Ukraine, do be careful making donations to organisations you've never heard of. There are many good aid agencies, one of which is the Red Cross and you can donate to them here.

And Finally

The secure cycle parking at Chantry Place has been closed for some time now, since the pandemic hit. The sign says go to this website for further information. If you do you'll see there isn't any. Indeed the website search facilities don't work and no-one replies to enquiries via the contact form.

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Contacting us

The Norwich Cycling Campaign can be contacted here

Or by snailmail to
Norwich Cycling Campaign
21 Pembroke Road
Norwich
NR2 3HD

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