Everyday cycling in Norwich

Campaign member Sue Bergin, who returned to Norwich a few years ago after having built an eco-friendly house in Beccles, offers her thoughts on the choices we face for how to get around the city

Travel options is a subject which you wouldn’t imagine would be a hot topic of discussion down the pub but it’s fast becoming just so.

From differing points of view on electric cars versus petrol/diesel driven, the way we travel is an extremely important factor in our lives. Especially as the planet hots up year on year.

It seems incongruous to be driving a non-green car at all. But I do appreciate the problems around the initial cost and the insufficient infrastructure so I have an understanding as to why so many people have reservations on electric cars.

Fortunately, my husband and I are in a handy location which means that the car sits on the drive most of the time and we can cycle in and out of the city. The bus service is also good along the Thorpe Road and of course, it’s just 20 minutes on foot.

Sue on the Coast and Castles cycle route – Photo Sue Bergin

The Council appears to be making some right noises with extra cycling lanes and advanced stop boxes etc., but of course there is always more which could be done and I was pleased to recently return a questionnaire on how they should spend their money in the future – three guesses what I suggested!

I had the privilege of working for Sustrans in the 90s – the people who are responsible for the National Cycle Network, which was an idea CEO John Grimshaw copied from Denmark.

Masses of good stuff happened but so often we were working with County and City Cycling Officers who didn’t cycle themselves – it seems barmy and quite honestly it was – so the apparent lack of understanding and real experience often resulted in some of the worst cycling provision I have ever experienced!

Cycling in Norwich – Photo Derek

So it feels good to be a member of the Norwich Cycling Campaign who highlight the important details and issues to the Council. They are cyclists so they understand why utility cycling should be as safe and easy as possible.

So if you see or experience something which should not be accepted as the norm and is just not good enough, let the cycling campaign know and they’ll lobby on your behalf – and at the same time let the council know!

On the weekends, take a ride along the Marriott’s Way and experience miles of green and beautiful traffic-free heaven. Remember to ride on the left, gently ring your bell as you approach people from behind and enjoy the ride in the knowledge that this is a route which wasn’t sold up in land parcels and lost forever.


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One thought on “Everyday cycling in Norwich

  1. It was good to see communication from Sue Bergin. Husband Bob and I first met Sue when she was working in the Sustrans Head Office in Bristol when we were on our ruby wedding ‘long ride’ from London to Cornwall in millennium year. Thereafter we stayed with her and Graham in their most interesting eco-house near Beccles while on other tours. Most recently I knew she’d moved to Thorpe Hamlet as we met again at our farmers’ market, but I haven’t seen her lately and our farmers’ market was on again today, last Friday of the month. Interesting to see her cycling the Coast & Castles route, one that Christine (Wilson) and I enjoyed very much a few years ago.
    I’m not sure that former County Cycling officer Rob Marshall would be too pleased to see what Sue has written about such people. Rob, now one of my most treasured friends, worked extremely hard and got lots of schemes put in place, in fact he’s still at it but sadly not in Norfolk.

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