Blue Pedalway

Wymondham to Thickthorn
Thickthorn to the city
Eaton footnote

Northern section Sprowston to the city

Southern Section Wymondham to Norwich

Part 1 of the route – Wymondham to Thickthorn
Part 2 of the route – Thickthorn to Norwich

The Blue Pedalway’s southern section is a long-distance route connecting Wymondham to the city. It runs mostly on off-road shared-use pavements and connects four major secondary schools, Wymondham High, Hethersett Academy, City of Norwich School and The Hewitt Academy, together with City College Norwich. It also has the potential to become a commuting route.

Derek and Edgar rode with Alex (12) and Erik (8) (Edgar’s boys) to see how good the route is for children to use to cycle unsupervised, and frankly it falls below the required standard in several places, which is a pity because there are many good sections.

The video was recorded on 17th April 2021. This was the first weekend after the second of the COVID-19 lockdowns and traffic was very much lighter than normal. When watching this bear in mind that the old A11, which the route follows, is normally very busy.

Total distance Wymondham to Norwich 14.4Km (8.9 miles)

Part 1 Wymondham to Thickthorn

Blue Pedalway southern section Pt 1

The route starts about half a mile away from Wymondham town centre at the gates to Wymondham High. The first section is on shared-use pavements which are often crowded at busy times and is close to impossible to cycle on. There are numerous side road junctions, all of which require riders to give way to motor traffic and many of them are well below standard, a few actually dangerous. Few commuters would try using the first section.

The route improves as you leave Wymondham with fewer pedestrians and a wider pavement, but there are still side road junctions with priority to motor traffic and at least one seriously substandard junction.

The route could be a lot better with little effort and as it is it barely provided a safe route to school for children to ride unsupervised.

Part 1 finishes at the Thickthorn interchange with the A11 and A47.

Distance 7.9 Km (4.9 miles)

Part 2 Thickthorn to the city centre

Blue Pedalway southern section Pt 2

Much of this half of the route is off-road riding, built to a somewhat higher quality than the previous section from Wymondham, in that side junctions are cycle priority, but it’s still mostly on shared-use pavements. However, the section from Cringleford to Eaton is on the road with very little in the way of cycle infrastructure and this is normally a very busy section of road.

Of special note it the Eaton crossroads, which require riders to ride in the centre of the road, climb a hill past parked cars in the path of oncoming traffic, then having to cross what is normally a heavy traffic flow to get to the start of the cycle track on the right-hand side. This section is especially dangerous.

From Eaton to the ring road is a very popular cycle route and is mostly of reasonable quality, albeit shared-use.

After the ring road we have a section of really high quality segregated cycle track before leaving Newmarket Road to take a low-traffic route via side streets toward the inner ring road, then through Chapelfield Gardens to City Hall.

Distance 6.5km (4 miles)

Eaton Footnote

At the time of writing in March 2022 these videos were recorded almost a year ago. We raised the issue of the problems at Eaton with Norfolk County Council who assured us they were aware of the issues, in particular the on-street parking. This dashcam photo was taken on 10th March 2022, it shows nothing has changed.

Northern section – Sprowston to Norwich

The northern section ride-through
The Blue Pedalway northern section route map

Route description

The northern section of the Blue Pedalway starts where it meets the Purple Pedalway at Barkers Lane in Sprowston.

It then follows North Walsham Road, usually a very busy road with no cycle infrastructure, this section is little more than a line on a map. It then turns right on George Hill and left onto Spixworth Road. The traffic here is better, but the speed limit is still 30 and there is no cycle infrastructure.

It crosses the outer ring road by way of a dedicated cycle crossing and heads down St Clements Hill which is traffic calmed with a 20 mph limit but lots of on-street parking.

At the confusing and frankly dangerous junction with Constitution Hill it turns right and heads to Sprowston Road which it crosses with another dedicated cycle crossing, then heads toward Magdalen Gate. From Magdalen Gate it heads toward the city along Magdalen Street, right into Colegate and then along St Georges Street to St Andrews Plain.

Unlike the southern section this route is almost entirely on road, much of it having no traffic calming and a 30 limit.

4 thoughts on “Blue Pedalway

  1. I see that this blue cycleway extends to Swaffham, and runs right by my in-laws home. What’s the quality of the remainder of the route like? Is it possible to use it with kids or is it unsuitable?

    1. Hi. No, the Blue Pedalway doesn’t run to Swaffham, it goes from Wymondham through Norwich to the norther edge at Sprowston.

      I wonder what you’ve found there? Where did you see this?

  2. My son lives in Sprowston and my wife and I are looking at returning to Norfolk and buying in Wymondam, Hethersett or Eaton and this ‘Blue Line’ cycle route on the surface looked appealing.
    In reality, it appears nothing more than a Victorian map makers arbitrary line carving up nation states. It has very little actual cycling infrastructure and appears downright dangerous in places.
    This would not encourage my wife and I to move to the area and use our cycles to enter the city or visit our son.
    Very poor National / Regional funding and planning and certainly not enough to get people out of their cars.

    1. The northern section is the worst, least developed, part of the Pedalway network for sure and yes, i’s little more than a line on a map in places.

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