Norwich Cycling Campaign
The Norwich Cycling Campaign exists to encourage and support the improvement of cycling facilities in Norwich. The group was formed in 1990 and is affiliated to the National Cycling Campaign Network.
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Goverment Review of HWC
A bill is being put forward to sentence any cyclist convicted of dangerous cycling to a 14 year prison term.
The Avenues Shambles
Few people who live in the area will be happy with the situation on The Avenues. A couple of years ago the city won a grant to improve cycle routes around the city, called a “Cycle City Ambition Grant”. The first route to be improved was the one that came along the Avenues, known as the “Pink” route. After two years of planning, public meetings and proposals we are left with the dangerous inadequate mess we see today.
Why is The Avenues Special?
Far more bikes use The Avenues than any other road in the city, "nearly 700,000 in 2016 according to the Air Quality Status Report for 2018. Most are students at UEA or workers at the Hospital and Research Parks. It’s also the route hundreds of children should be using to cycle to the City Academy School, so the potential number of cyclists could be even higher if the road were not so dangerous. Logically it should have been the highest priority for providing proper cycle tracks, but it didn’t turn out like that.
Why is it bad?
The road markings only allow enough space for one direction of flow on a two way street, so if it needs to pass traffic has to drive in the cycle lanes and when it gets busy the cycle lane simply disappear. There is basically far too much traffic for this type of design.
Why did we end up with this mess?
That’s a good question but there are clues, take a look on Tombland and the expensive paving around the cathedral gate. All this meant there just wasn’t enough money left to build the proposed cycle tracks and the present botch is the result. The council decided that the cost of doing The Avenues didn’t represent good value for money, yet doing Tombland did. This is a very suspect situation which has left us with an unacceptable, dangerous mess that simply can’t be left as it is.
What can be done?
A cyclist was killed after being hit by a speeding driver that was in the contraflow cycle lane because parked cars were obstructing the with-flow lane. The collision happened on 9 November 2015, died 22 January 2016 (according to Coroner). Press report of inquest: https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/driver-speeding-before-head-on-collision-which-killed-cyclist-in-norwich-cannot-be-prosecuted-1-5136540/
The coroner said that "the road currently posed a “significant risk” to cyclists", they were due to contact Norfolk CC to get details of the changes. The proposed changes were, in part, to change from a mandatory cycle lane to an advisory one! Consultation on changes: https://norfolk.citizenspace.com/environment-transport-and-development/newmarket-road-cringleford-norwich/
Current DfT consultations.
Lots of interesting stuff about inclusive transport regarding trains, buses, cars, public realm, streets and yes a bit about cycling too. Quotes:
8.11 While we consider CIHT and DPTAC’s recommendations and how to take them
forward, we are requesting that local authorities pause any shared space schemes
incorporating a level surface they are considering, and which are at the design stage.
We are also temporarily suspending Local Transport Note 1/11. This pause will allow
us to carry out research and produce updated guidance.
Objectives regarding Cycling:
• Update Local Transport Note 2/08, which sets out the Department’s guidance to
local authorities on designing safe and inclusive infrastructure for cyclists, to take
account of developments in cycling infrastructure since its publication in 2008 and
the responses to the draft AAP consultation and publish a revised version by early
• By 2020, explore the feasibility of amending legislation to recognise the use of
cycles as a mobility aid71 in order to increase the number of disabled people
Norfolk County Council with Norwich City Council are proposing changes to Westlegate, St Stephens Street, Golden Ball Street, Farmers Avenue, Ber Street and Cattle Market Street that include closing some streets to motor traffic and making Golden Ball Street two way.
Generally access for people cycling will be improved in this area and motor traffic reduced. We are considering how well the proposed designs meet the needs of those cycling through the area.
Consultation closed on 27 July 2015.
The Norwich Northern Distributor Road has been given the go-ahead by Secretary of State for Transport.
The decision letter (see below) contains an extra-ordinary statement about “cycle proofing”.
I understood we are waiting for the UK Cycle Proofing Working Group to publish details of what the term will mean and how it will be applied.
However, we have the Government’s “Reponse …” of March 2015
1.17 page 10
The Group has already devised a clear definition of cycle proofing for stakeholders and interested bodies to note, as follows;
Cycle proofing is a process which over time ensures that the built environment generally, and roads specifically, are seen to be safe, convenient and pleasant for cycle use by people of all ages and abilities.
Cycling proofing involves:
consideration of the extent and quality of existing cycling conditions on urban and rural networks of roads, streets, junctions, crossings, off-highway cycle-routes and public transport networks; and
identification and prioritisation of measures to improve cycling conditions in the context of all transport and other infrastructure schemes and programmes, including planned road maintenance works, new developments and the creation or management of rights of way and other off highway
routes; its aim is to progressively create comprehensive and coherent transport networks for cycle
I have set out the document trail below:
Planning portal site
Secretary of State’s Decision Letter
36. The Secretary of State has considered the Examining Authority’s assessment of the effects of the NDR project on non-motorised users at ER 4.473-485. With regard to the
suitability of the provision that would be made for cyclists, the Secretary of State agrees with the Examining Authority that the applicant has taken a reasonable approach to cycleproofing the project (ER 4.480).
Examining Authorities report
Effects on non-motorised users (NMUs) 4.473
Norfolk County Council response:
“However, the extensive provision of new facilities for NMUs as part of the scheme, together with mitigation for any adverse effects, is sufficient evidence that the applicant has taken a reasonable approach to cycle-proofing the scheme.”
In evidence to the Inquiry NNC submitted the following:
The Norfolk County Council (Norwich Northern Distributor Road (A1067 to A47(T))) Order
6.1 Environmental Statement: Volume I
Page 788 Non-Motorised Users
And then page 790 Table 1.17 Permanent impact of the NDR for the NMU network
Note only one of the works is “Beneficial”, while some are even “adverse” – is this what “Cycle-Proofing” will mean?. These assessments are subjective judgements by the developer - no objective evidence is provided.
The NCC further state:
12.6.12 Traffic increases for some rural and radial routes within the Norwich area would result in some localised adverse impacts for NMUs due to potential increases in community severance. This is because some NMUs may be deterred from making their existing journeys where roads with traffic increases would need to be crossed or where existing footways, cycleways and bridleways run adjacent to roads with traffic increases. Locations include:
# Traffic increases on Holt Road as it passes through Horsford;
# Traffic increases on North Walsham Road as it passes through Crostwick;
# Traffic increases on the Buxton Road where it passes through Old Catton (affecting the Spixworth cycleway); and,
# Traffic increases on Wroxham Road.
and at 12.6.13
In addition, some slight increases in journey times for NMUs would be experienced as a result of the proposed junctions included within the NDR,
such as at Cromer Road. This would be particularly relevant for cyclists, where navigating junctions may deter some users from making their journeys.
Does this meet the requirements of Government policy to increase cycling? It seems to me that those cynics who saw the Governments announcements on cycle proofing and cycling policy as hot air and headline grabing were right.
Is there is anything that can be done ?
From casual observations there are a number of cycles using the pair of roundabouts at the Unthank Road-Grapes Hill-Chapelfield Road junctions rather than using the suggested route via Essex Street and Rupert Street.
These roundabouts are potentially hazardous to cyclists yet they have traffic signals and a large amount of space. Should these junctions be remodelled to give cyclists a route on their desire line?
It's rather odd that the NCN1 has a route sign that tells you to turn right, plus a cycle sign towards the station, yet there is a no right turn sign on the same post.