Newsletter

July 2022

Confusing signs

Helpful direction signs in St Stephens Street - photo Derek

July, a heatwave and the collapse of the government, there are times when only an ice cream will suffice.

We have a big day out coming up - the Eaton Park Bike Day which really isn't to be missed. We have another social ride, this time to take a look at some truly strange cycle tracks in Dussindale, the cycle track around NDR/A47 tangle and the site of the next big improvement promised by Norfolk County Council, the Heartsease roundabout.

We have two ride-through videos from Derek this month, the first being the Red Pedalway, Sustrans National Cycle Route 1.

Peter has written a two part review of the NDR cycle track, part one is now online and Peter has also been to take a look at the new cycle lanes on St Williams Way, which are really very good - as far as they go.

Around the city you may have noticed some roadworks going on. Derek reviews the chaos and in the second ride-through video explores the near mile long cycle diversion that only works in one direction.

Peter reports on a missing wand, a raised kerb and Norfolk County Council's apparent reluctance to do anything about either.

Lastly, we have news of a new project set up in the city to give bicycles to Ukrainian refugees so they have a means of transport.

Upcoming events

Eaton Park Bike Day Sunday 24th July

We'll have a stall at Eaton Park on Sunday 24th July for their Bike Day. There’ll be a chance to ride a cargo bike, Dr Bike will be providing free bike check-ups, the police will be there to security mark your bike and there’ll be Cycle Speedway taster sessions. Oh, and a brass band will be providing the entertainment… Make a note in your diary, do pop along and say hello!

Eaton Park Bike Day poster

Kidical Mass family bike ride Saturday 24th September

Following the amazing success of their first ride in May, Kidical Mass Norwich will be back in September for their second family bike ride. Norwich Cycling Campaign will be there providing support and joining in the fun! All are invited.

Kidical Mass poster

Norwich Peace Camp & Peace Cycle Saturday 8th October

We’ll have a stall in the Forum. Further details to follow.

Social rides

Next ride - to Dussindale and the NDR

Sunday 31st July

Meet 11.00am outside John Lewis on All Saints Green

The third ride - click on the map for a larger version

 

For our third social ride we have a trip to the eastern end of the NDR. 

The route will be from All Saints Green (outside John Lewis) on the Orange Pedalway to the station, then the Green Pedalway to the Broadland Business Park.

 

This section includes the steep hill climb from Rosary Road up to Wolfe Road, so we'll take it in two groups - those who want the challenge of cycling up the hill and a walking group for those who don't. Once up the hill the route is easy.

 

We head along the Green Pedalway, riding along St Williams Way and onto Laundry Lane to Dussindale with its well guarded miniature cycleways and into the Business Park.

From the Business Park we'll head down to the entertaining Postwick junction. It's all on off-road (shared-use) paths so the traffic isn't intimidating. We then head north along the NDR for a short way to the bridge carrying Middle Road and then head back onto some more of Dussindale's strange cycleways.

 

From there we retrace our steps to St Williams Way but then carry on along the new cycle track, which ends just before the dreadful Heartsease roundabout.

 

We won't try to ride around the roundabout, it's not a place for cycles, so we'll walk over to Heartsease Lane. This is a busy road, but we don't stay on it for long, joining the Purple Pedalway for a short distance to the Pink Pedalway for the mostly downhill run back to the city through Mousehold Heath.

 

Once on Tombland we'll ride along London Street and the Walk and back to All Saints Green.

 

Total distance 21.8Km (13.5 miles) Given the hill climb, we'll give it two hours to ride.

 

Sunday 31st July

Meet 11.00am outside John Lewis on All Saints Green

Last month's ride

The group photo from the second ride - photo Derek

 

Twenty people turned up for this one including, for the last section, Richard Bearman our chairman, who had been out of circulation for over a month following a cycling accident on Castle Meadow.

 

The route took in the Marriott's Way and the Purple Pedalway through Bowthorpe and Colney to Cringleford.


From Eaton we headed along Marston Lane, through Tuckswood to the Yellow Pedalway on Hall Road, returning to All Saints Green via the Lakenham Way.

Latest ride-through video - The Red Pedalway (National Cycle Route 1)

Video of the Red Pedalway ride-through

The Red Pedalway - click for route desrciption and video

 

National Cycle Route 1 runs from Dover up the east coast all the way to the far north of Scotland (see the Sustrans page), running for around 2,034 kilometres (1,264 miles). On its way, it passes through Norwich where it's also known it as the Red Pedalway.

The ride-through video starts where the A47 southern bypass crosses Whitlingham Lane in the south east of the city and follows the route through the city and out on the Marriott's Way as far as Hellesdon.

Cycling the NDR

Norwich has its fair share of hidden cycle routes and there’s none more hidden in plain sight than the cycle track around the Northern Distributor Road.

Family ride on the NDR cycle path

Family ride on the NDR cycle path - photo Peter

From near Taverham in the west to the Postwick Park & Ride in the east there’s a decent off-road cycle track for much of the route, but there are "issues" along the way which prevent it being a truly useful route. In the first of two articles Peter describes what it’s like to ride this latest addition to Norwich’s cycle network and discusses how some of these issues might be resolved.

You can read Peter’s article here: Cycling the NDR Part 1: Taverham to Horsham St Faith

Also, for our July social ride we’ll be taking in a small section of the NDR cycle track near Postwick so do come along and see what you’re missing!

St Williams Way cycle lanes

The new cycle lanes along St Williams Way are now finished. There are now 2m wide mandatory cycle lanes (i.e. marked with a solid white line) on both sides of the road from near the Heartsease roundabout to where they join up with the existing lanes near Thor Loke. The lanes are additionally protected with wands at regular intervals.

Riding on the new cycle lanes

Riding on the new cycle lanes - photo Peter

The light-controlled crossing near the junction with Williams Loke has been upgraded (although still a Puffin crossing) and now goes straight across the road with no central island.

This is an improvement on the narrow advisory lanes that were there before but their full potential will not be realised until the notoriously dangerous Heartsease roundabout is made safe for cycling. A full Dutch-style roundabout (along the lines of the one in Cambridge) has been proposed but we await further news.

The new cycle lanes currently stop just before the roundabout, precisely where protection from general traffic is most needed. However it is good to see people are already using them.

The new cycle lanes stop well short of the Heartsease roundabout

The new cycle lanes stop well short of the Heartsease roundabout - photo Peter.

Roadworks - get off and push chaos

 

Last month we reported on the chaos around the roadworks at the junction of Grove Road and Ipswich Road where the Orange Pedalway has been cut with no alternative route being in place. Things changed shortly after, well sort of.

A cycle diversion route is now signed, but before you get your hopes up the diversion is 1.5Km (0.9 mile) long, just to avoid the 250 metres of Grove Road and it only works in one direction. Yes, seriously.

To celebrate, Derek did a ride-though video. Note the diversion is via Grove Walk, not Grove Avenue as stated in the video.

Grove Road diversion ride-through video

Grove Road diversion ride-through - video Derek

It's also worth mentioning that this has cut the signed diversion for cyclists to avoid the roadworks on St Stephens Street. No consideration was given to that.

As if this wasn't bad enough, the Yellow Pedalway was cut on Surrey Street due to the St Stephens Street works. This is what anyone following the Yellow Pedalway in the city is faced with.

The Yellow Pedalway in Surrey Street in June - photo Derek

The cherry on the top came with the closure of Westlegate. So apart from the inner ring road, there was no cyclable route from east to west of the city from Cecil Road to Farmers Avenue. Going west to east there was at least the one-way Victoria Street, if you could get across Ipswich Road.

Westlegate closed off.

Westlegate was also closed off - photo Derek

 

We tried to raise this with Norfolk County Council but they seem to have gone into lockdown and don't return e-mails.

Now we have heard that the admittedly below standard cycle lanes on the A1042 Ring Road in Thorpe St Andrew between Laundry Lane and Dussindale Drive were closed due to roadworks. Derek was interviewed by the Evening News (Roadworks slammed a 'complete mess' as another cycle lane is closed - July 5th). The council spokesman said "people on a bicycle will have the option of dismounting to use the temporary pedestrian path, or joining the road for this section of their journey". So there you go, you have a choice.

Norfolk County Council claim to have a policy of encouraging cycling, they've got a lot to learn if they're serious about that.

Earlham Road wand and King Street kerb

We need proper cycle lanes and traffic-calmed streets if we’re to get more people on their bikes but the small things need to be fixed too.

When one of the wands protecting the mandatory cycle lane on Earlham Road was knocked over we reported it to Norfolk County Council who responded that they were going to resolve the problem.

The wand and its base were subsequently removed and the bolt holes filled in. Having originally been told it could take up to six weeks to replace the wand we assumed this was merely a temporary fix while a replacement wand was located. We were therefore somewhat surprised for the ticket to be suddenly closed with the message "We have resolved the problem."

A new ticket has been raised pointing out that this has certainly not been resolved. We’ll be closely monitoring this and will keep you posted.

Wand on Earlham Road knocked over

Wand on Earlham Road knocked over (left) and now removed (right) - photos Peter

Also, as originally reported in the April newsletter, when King Street was resurfaced the dropped kerb where the Red Pedalway joins the road was not properly reinstated, leaving a dangerous angled kerb on a busy city cycle route (which also forms part of NCN 1 and the international EuroVelo 12 route).

The dangerous kerb on the Red Pedalway

The dangerous kerb on the Red Pedalway - photo Peter

We’ve reported this (several times) and have been told that “action has been identified to resolve the issue” and that it has been “prioritised for repair”. However, over two months on there is no change on the ground.

BREAKING NEWS: Just as we were going to press we've been told an asphalt fillet will be installed on the back of the raised kerb as an alleviating measure. This will resolve part of the problem but we will be following up to ensure that something similar is also done on the Kings Road side of the kerb. 

We are extremely disappointed in Norfolk County Council’s approach to resolving what should be easy to fix critical safety issues.

It is however worth reporting issues. When an overhanging branch obscuring the movement sensor at the Chapelfield Road crossing was reported we received a swift personal response from an engineer and the problem was resolved within a few days.

So please do report any problems you encounter with cycle paths and roads - but do let us know if you’re not getting a response.

You can report issues here: Norfolk County Council - Report a highways problem

A47 dualling - North Burlingham

Back in September 2021 we reported on the campaign to have a cycle connection across the proposed new road to connect North Burlingham to Lingwood. This was important for both the local population and for tourists.

We're sad to report that the Highways Authority has rejected the idea of building any cycling infrastructure with this new road. The residents of North Burlingham are now entirely dependent on cars to reach the doctors, shops and schools.

New cycling project founded supporting Ukrainian refugees in Norwich

NSU Cycle Project logo

Richard Andrews, Cycling UK Development Officer for Norwich, describes a new project for helping Ukrainian refugees to get about on two wheels.

“The NSU (Norwich Supporting Ukraine) Cycle Project has been in operation for five weeks, operating out of the West Earlham Community Centre, and has given out over 15 bikes to Ukrainians who are new to Norwich and Norfolk. The project gives each individual the vital transport they need to feel independent, to travel to work and school, meet friends, practice English, go to the shops and explore their local area. It also saves them huge amounts of money which otherwise would be spent on expensive public transport costs.

The NSU Cycle Project is 100% volunteer run, is supported by Cycling UK and hosted by the parent organisation Norfolk Polonia CIC.

The project needs donations of cycles, tools and any other equipment that can help somebody get mobile. Any volunteering help would also be appreciated as the project grows.”

Fixing bikes for Ukrainian refugees

Fixing bikes for Ukrainian refugees at West Earlham Community Centre

Instructions on how to make a donation can be found here: https://norfolksupportingukraine.org/donations/

To keep updated and for more information on how you can get involved follow the project on Facebook and Instagram.

And finally

Relaxed cycling on a Saturday afternoon (click to watch video)

We all know that junctions are where most collisions occur, and as cyclists we are the most vulnerable. But it doesn’t have to be this way as this short video from the Netherlands shows.

With the recent changes to the Highway Code to give priority to cyclists when turning left and the updated design guidance in LTN 1/20 there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be seeing junctions like this in Norwich.

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Contacting us

The Norwich Cycling Campaign can be contacted here

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