Newsletter

May 2022

Cycling is for everyone - Photo Derek

 

May, nice weather and things have really started to happen with the campaign, it's been a really good month when we finally emerged from the Covid isolation cocoon and actually did some events. It's great to be back!

We have a situation developing at Longwater on the west of Norwich which could develop into an interesting issue, bringing together long running issues and future plans.

 

Continuing the look at the Pedalway Network, we have the latest ridethrough video from Derek, both halves of the Pink Pedalway.

 

In the city Peter takes a look at what it's like to cycle around the inner ring road and we're about to see more road chaos and unnecessary cycling restrictions on Ipswich Road.

 

Times are getting very tough for some people so news of a plan by Bicycle Links to donate bikes to people from disadvantaged backgrounds is especially welcome. Finally the consultation on Anglia Square will close in a few days time.

We're back! A month of actually doing things

 

After being kept in virus-enforced isolation for two years we are at last able to do some events. Since the last newsletter we've been out four times with stalls and events.

 

Rights of the River celebration
Wensum Park Saturday 30th April

Our stall at the Rights of the River celebration - Photo Derek

We had a stall at the event run by the "Stop the Wensum Link" campaign to celebrate the River Wensum. To probably everyone's surprise the cool, overcast windy weather gave way to warm sunshine for what turned out to be an amazingly good event.

We had a stall staffed by several committee members showing the Pedalways network. We had a constant stream of people coming along to talk about cycling issues in the city, including several readers of this newsletter. 

The event was organised by the Stop the Wensum link campaign (see their website here) and a there's report of the day here (Evening News)

Eaton Eco Fair, St Andrews church, Eaton
Saturday 7th May

Our new stall, all set up and ready for action - Photo Peter

 

"Be there at 8.00 for setting up" we were told. We got there just after 8.00 and set the stall up in about five minutes in an otherwise empty hall, then went and had a coffee and croissant while we waited for the 10.00 am start.

Peter (left) and Derek (right) along with several others from the campaign were kept busy explaining the Pedalway network - Photo Richard

 

The people attending came largely from the church community but also the local community, which gave us the chance to talk to people outside of our "bubble" of usual environmental activists.

 

The event featured a range of environmental campaigns from the city and was very well attended.

 

Kidical Mass

City centre, Saturday 14th May

Kidical Mass in St Benedicts Street - (Photo Peter)

 

Kidical Mass Norwich was an idea bon at the Wensum Park event just two weeks before. Kidical Mass is an international event held in several cities and in Norwich was organised by Car Free Norwich (Facebook page) and others.

 

The idea is based on the Critcal Mass demos that have been running for several years, but with a more family friendly aim, less of a demo and more of a celebration of cycling for everyone.

Kidical Mass on St Giles - Photo Peter

 

Although it was all organised at such short notice, with the aid of social media we got the word out and around 50 people of all ages turned up, including several families with young children, some in trailers and on adapted cycles with a child seat and some truly young riders including one dad who ran the entire route guiding his young son.

Norwich Cycling Campaign's role in all this was to help with the marshalling, especially important as we made our way through Castle Meadow.

There is talk of a second event later in the year, hopefully with a little more time to organise it! Watch this space.

Orange Pedalway ride

Sunday 15th May

The group photo at the end of the ride. One of us had left early to go shopping and John took the picture

 

The weather forecast was a little dodgy but in the event it was just right, not too hot and the threatened thunderstorm didn't happen. Altogether 10 of us met up and rode the Orange Pedalway.

 

The size of the group was just about right, many more and some parts of the Pedalway wouldn't have been able to cope. We almost overloaded the Ipswich Road crossing for example.

The Ipswich Road/ Newmarket Road crossing is barely big enough - Photo Derek

 

But it was an enjoyable ride, which was the whole point. We'll do another run soon.

Upcoming events

The cycling campaign will have a stall at the following events. Make a note in your diary and pop along and say hello!

Norwich 100
Norwich Lower School, Sun 29th May, 11am-5pm

Popular sportive around the Norfolk countryside that attracts large numbers of entrants. We’ll have a stall at the finish line in the Norwich Lower school grounds. The riders enter the grounds via the entrance on Bishopgate. More details here

Bike Week
The Forum Library, Sat 11th June, 10:00am-4pm

To celebrate Bike Week we’ll have a stand in the foyer of the library with a Dutch bike on display. The library will put on a bike/transport themed book display and we’re told we’ll be sharing the space with a giant dinosaur! More details here

Pink Pedalway ride-through

The Pink Pedalway - click to watch videos

 

The latest in the "Riding the Pedalways" series of ride-through videos by Derek. There are two sections; the west, from the hospital through the UEA via The Avenues to Chapelfield Gardens, ending at St Andrews Plain and the north from Harrison's Wood on the Salhouse Road, through Heartsease and Mousehold Heath ending at the same place.

 

The western section is by far the most heavily used part of the Pedalway Network and the number of cycles, although less than expected, is still impressive. The motor traffic was also much less than normal for some reason.

The northern section was recorded last year when traffic levels were low due to the Covid pandemic.

 

The page also features some archive footage from the past few years, including our video about the cycle lanes on The Avenues and how they came to be.

 

Riding the inner ringroad

Cycling around the inner ring road - Photo Peter

 

The Pedalways cycle network has its own inner ring, the Orange Pedalway but it’s further out from the city centre and follows a route dictated by avoiding as much as possible busy roads rather than following the route where you actually want to go. If the ring road is useful for drivers then if follows that it’s probably a useful route for cyclists as well.

 

Peter takes a look at the entire route, just how practical is it to cycle on the inner ring road?

Cycling the (inner) ring road

Longwater, a story of car centred planning (continued).

Longwater shops, built for cars, not people - Photo Derek

 

Last month we reported on the total lack of provision for cycling and walking across the Longwater junction, where Dereham road crosses the A47. The story is bigger than just that.

 

The first - and totally reasonable - question most people who don't drive would ask is "Why would you want to cycle to a place like that?". The answer is because it's there and does contain some useful shops, including a major Sainsbury's supermarket. The shops are convenient for people living in Queen's Hills, Bowthorpe, New Costessey, Easton village and the huge new suburb of Hampden View, just the other side of Dereham Road. Or it would be, if you could get there.

 

As the ride-through video we shared in the last newsletter shows, there is almost a good cycle track (shared use of course) along Dereham Road which goes right past the shops, but it's incomplete and badly executed and you have to take your life in your hands crossing some busy roads.

Coming from Easton of course, there's no pedestrian or cycle route at all, not that people don't make the journey as the muddy track demonstrates. Hampden View is within easy walking distance, but of course there is no way to get there either and the only practical access is by car.

 

This whole area is a shocking example of terrible design. For an in depth look at this mess, see our article Cycling through Longwater, a sorry tale of unplanned development 

 

Grove Road changes. Ipswich Road chaos looms

Things you never see - Photoshopped by Derek

 

As reported last month, the planned changes to Grove Road - including the Ipswich Road/Newmarket Road crossing - will involve "Traffic management" , known as TM, or as most people know it, roadworks chaos.

 

Yet again, Norfolk County Council has decided the TM will shut a major cycling route with no alternative provision during the roadworks. So that's the Orange Pedalway effectively shut and the route from City College to the city also shut. These are both major cycling routes.

It will also mean the huge number of pedestrians heading to the college having to cross the traffic flow twice as the eastern footpath will also be closed.

It's happening like this because Norfolk County Council insist on keeping one lane of traffic (southbound) open during the works.

We have made extremely strong objections to the planners about this, but they refused to listen and have told us they intend to go ahead as planned.

 

Got a bike in your shed collecting dust?
Why not donate it?

In these difficult times there are plenty of people who could really use a free set of wheels to get about. Imogen from Bicycle Links explains how you can give your old bike a new lease of life.

“We are Bicycle Links, a social enterprise bike shop. Alongside bike sales and repairs we have a number of social projects that we do with the help of our volunteers.

Our projects are all about getting people from disadvantaged backgrounds on bicycles. How do we do this? We refurbish old bicycles and give them to the projects’ beneficiaries in order to provide them with more independence and economical transport.

For us to rebuild these bikes we rely on second-hand ones being donated. This is where you come in! Don't worry about the condition, we sort that all out later.

So if you want your bike to have a second lease of life please drop it off to our volunteer workshop in Anglia Square.”

You can find details on their website

Anglia Square

The proposed Anglia Square - (image Weston Homes)

 

The planning application for the development of Anglia Square is due to close on 21st May.

 

Our main concern is the north-south cycle track, which will form a part of the Yellow Pedalway must be built to a high standard, be compliant with the LTN 1/20 guidelines and - most importantly - be a continuous route with no gaps. At present they are proposing a non-continuous cycle track with four shared-use areas. 

We have been told by the developers, Weston Homes, that the east-west route following the line of the old Boltoph Street will be accessible for cycling, but not built as a full cycleway, instead being a shared-use pavement because they don't consider it to be a major through route.

 

The old Boltoph street was a much used connection between Magellan Street and St Augustins and the new route will probably prove to be a major desire line for cyclists.

 

It's good that they are planning to make this a permeable route, so we will be allowed to cycle through there, but if it proves to be popular there will be conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians.

 

And Finally

We are often told it would be impossible to make Norwich a car free city and if it happened the city would die. This video explains how Ghent in Belgium did it and far from killing the city, it improved everything. There is no reason we can't do this.

The Innovative Way Ghent, Belgium Removed Cars From The City Street films (YouTube)

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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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