Connecting the Lanes proposals – what we say

The narrow section of Duke Street with no contraflow cycle track – one of the missing links for Norwich cyclists

The Transport for Norwich Partnership asked for comments on their plans for how the Norwich Lanes area should function and feel. They’re looking for ways to make it safer and easier to get around on foot or bike; improve air quality; support outdoor hospitality and boost the local economy. Proposals include:

* a new riverside footbridge between Duke Street and St Georges Street
* removing traffic on St Benedicts Street and Exchange Street permanently
* a new cycle track and crossing facilities on St Andrews Street

We’ve taken a close look at the details and submitted our response below. We broadly support these plans which we feel will greatly enhance the historic centre of Norwich.

Norwich Cycling Campaign response to consultation

1: What we support

We broadly welcome these proposals which we feel will enhance the historic centre of Norwich greatly. In particular, we welcome the proposal to close Exchange Street and St Benedicts Street to general traffic permanently and to provide proper segregated cycle routes along St Andrews Street and Duke Street, while reducing motor vehicle traffic on St Andrews Street.

We also welcome the long overdue proposal to link the section of Riverside Walk between St Georges Street and Duke Street and to enhance the public realm on St Giles and of making St Peters Street one way, with contraflow cycling permitted.

We have no objection to moving the Red (NCR 1) Pedalway route to the new riverside path.

2: What we do not support

Changing the published route of the Green Pedalway from Pottergate to St Benedicts via Ten Bell Lane

Ten Bell Lane carries traffic and makes contraflow cycling difficult. It is also a hill and the surface is uneven. The majority of cycle traffic heads straight towards the city centre and there are smooth running tracks on the stones for cycles to follow. For those reasons, it makes sense to keep the present route on Pottergate for the Green Pedalway. However, St Benedicts is a destination in its own right and we would welcome improved signage from Pottergate towards St Benedicts.

Re-routeing the Red Pedalway (NCR1) and the Green Pedalway away from Princes Street onto St Andrews and Queen Street.

That section of St Andrews involves a steep hill towards Queen Street and will still be carrying traffic including delivery lorries. The return direction will still be fully trafficked. Princes Street suffers from a terrible road surface of badly maintained stone sets which could do with replacing or at least relaying, but the route avoids the hill and carries very low traffic. Improvements are needed in Tombland whichever route is taken.

Routeing the Green Pedalways via Prince of Wales Road, away from St Faiths Lane.

Prince of Wales road is heavily trafficked downhill and has a sub-standard shared use uphill cycle track. We see no merit in routeing a cycling route via a busy main road. St Faiths Lane is in need of improvement, but does offer a virtually traffic-free route to and from the station. It is one of the historic streets in the ancient city and yet remains virtually unknown. Developing the cycle route could help revitalise the area.

3: We have these reservations

The eastern end of the St Andrews Street cycle track

We have concerns about the design of the eastern end of the St Andrews Street cycle track and would welcome more detailed discussion with Transport for Norwich. The end of the cycle track needs to better integrate with the other routes that all meet at St Andrews Plain. This is in effect a major junction on the Pedalway network and could better reflect this role.

Duke Street cycle track

The proposed Duke Street cycle track is good as far as it goes. However, just at the point when it is needed the most,  it comes to a dead halt at Colegate. Cycle traffic heading down Duke Street is heading toward the roundabout and Pitt Street, therefore the cycle track needs to be extended through the narrow section towards the roundabout. A contraflow cycle track along this section of Duke Street has long been wanted for cycle traffic coming in the opposite direction and it represents one of the “missing links” in the cycling routes of Norwich.

We would suggest reducing the number of traffic lanes to one between Colegate and Muspole Street, with dedicated cycle lanes on each side. This would reduce the pollution levels in the “canyon” of the narrowest part of Duke Street and move the traffic away from pedestrians. Duke Street can widen to three lanes before the roundabout as at present, so the traffic flow will not be badly impacted.

In addition, the junction of Colegate and Duke Street needs further thought. If the two-way cycling can be created on Duke Street, this would become an important cycle route cross roads. The cycle section of the crossing needs to be on the north side to better align with the desired east to west line on the route along Colegate. This will also reduce potential conflict with pedestrians also using this joint crossing point. We welcome further discussion with the highway engineers about these details.

Consultation closes Monday 9 August 2021.

Let’s get the cycling facilities we want. Please give your feedback here