This route is far too long to post in one video at 18.4 miles, so it’s split into five sections.
Part 1 – Hospital to Fountains Road
Part 2 – Fountains Road to Clarence Road
Part 3 – Clarence Road to Falcon Road East
Part 4 – Falcon Road East to Middletons Road
Part 5 – Middletons Road to the hospital
This video was recorded on a Sunday in July 2021. Sunday is a low traffic day anyway, but this was shortly after the end of the second covid-19 lockdown, so traffic levels are extremely low. This is important to remember, there are some sections which under normal traffic conditions would be unwise to ride.
We start and finish at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Colney Lane, travelling clockwise.
The Purple Pedalway is by far the longest of the Norwich cycle routes. If forms a circle around the edge of the city, mostly passing through suburbs on quiet streets.
It has some really good sections and some fairly extensive sections of off road cycle tracks – albeit shared use pavements. However, it also has some sections which are terribly below standard, certainly unfit for children to ride unsupervised and in a couple of instances highly dangerous, if it is even possible to ride at all.
Lack of signage makes this route hard to follow in many places.
Part 1 Hospital to Fountains Road
Most of this section is really good, either off road (shared use) pavements, a long traffic free road (Marstons Lane) or low traffic suburban streets. The one bad section is the former A11 from Cringleford to Eaton, which is a heavily traffic route supposedly with a 20 mph limit also shared with the Blue Pedalway. This also includes the terrible junction in Eaton where we meet Church Lane.
Part 2 Fountains Road to Clarence Road
Largely on quiet residential streets and off road shared use pavement shared with the Yellow Pedalway along Hall Road. Two crossings of the outer ring road, a difficult one at Barett Road and a near suicidal one at Bracondale are serious low points. The section from there to Carrow bridge is along the very ring road with a 30 mph limit which is shared by the Red Pedalways (NCR 1) and the final section to Clarence Road is just as bad.
Part 3 Clarence Road to Falcon Road East
A difficult section along Thorpe Road due to heavy traffic and high speeds, followed by a path through Lion Wood which is full of deep ruts and is barely passable. Crosses the Green Pedalway and joins the pink Pedalway for ashort section at Heartsease. Most of the rest of the route is through fairly low traffic residential streets. Includes a difficult section along Salhouse Road
Part 4 Falcon Road East to Middletons Lane
Mostly on fairly quiet residential streets and some off road shared use pavements. A difficult section along Sprowston Road which can be avoided if you find the hidden shared use cycle track where it meets the end of the Blue Pedalways. Fifers Lane is another traffic black spot. This section ends at the start of the Middletons Road cycle track, possibly the worst cycle track in the city if not the region.
Part 5 Middletons Road to Hospital
The Middletons Lane cycle track is dire, narrow and with a terrible surface. This is followed by Hospital Lane, a narrow 40 mph limit road dominated by heavy traffic. This section is not recommended. Joins the Red Pedalway for a short section along Marriotts way. Some heavy traffic through Costessy and then some decent off road shared use tracks most of the way back to the hospital. It meets the Green Pedalways at Bowthorpe and the Pink Pedalway on Coleny Lane. The Pink Pedalways leave at the point the ride began.