Sustrans overview sees Norfolk routes minimize from Nationwide Cycle Community

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PUBLISHED: 06:30 29 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:39 29 July 2020

A cycling path in Norfolk. The government is keen to encorage more people onto bicycles, as Sustrans declassifies a large part of the National Cycle Network. Picture: James Bass

A biking path in Norfolk. The federal government is eager to encorage extra individuals onto bicycles, as Sustrans declassifies a big a part of the Nationwide Cycle Community. Image: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic© 2008

Considerations have been raised following a transfer by Sustrans to slash Norfolk routes from the Nationwide Cycle Community.

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A map displaying the modifications to Norfolk’s Nationwide Cycle Route Community. Darkish blue: on highway routes which have been saved; Mild blue: Routes downgraded; Crimson: Faraway from the community; Yellow: Cycle and pedetrian pathways. Picture: Equipped by Sustrans

The declassification follows a overview by the biking and strolling charity – the custodian of the community – as a part of an ongoing venture to enhance security requirements.

However biking advocates say the transfer, which took impact on Monday, July 27, dangers stifling the expansion of biking at a time when it’s extra wanted than ever.

Alexandra Kemp, Norfolk county councillor for Clenchwarton and King’s Lynn South, mentioned: “Publish-Covid, we’ve bought to extend the well being resilience of the inhabitants, and inspiring biking is an easy method of serving to to try this.

“We all know that individuals with respiratory circumstances usually tend to have worse outcomes from Covid, so declassifying components of the Nationwide Cycle Community shouldn’t be taking place. What kind of message does it ship out to individuals? It’s the reverse of what needs to be occurring, significantly at a time when bus journey goes to be restricted and folks gained’t really feel as secure in the event that they wish to journey on buses.

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An Ordnance Survey map with with the current National Cycle Network routes overlayed. Traffic free routes are in orange, and on-road routes are the solid blue lines. Image: OSAn Ordnance Survey map with with the present Nationwide Cycle Community routes overlayed. Site visitors free routes are in orange, and on-road routes are the stable blue strains. Picture: OS

“I’m very disenchanted Sustrans are doing this.”

Earlier than the declassification Norfolk had about 379 miles (simply over 600kms) of Nationwide Cycle Community routes.

Of that, 73 miles have been utterly eliminated, together with Denver-Ely, Wells-Cromer-Happisburgh and Cromer-Aylsham.

A number of different routes – Dereham to Fakenham by way of Bawdeswell (17 miles) and Caister-on-Sea to Happisburgh (18 miles) – have been taken off the community, however stay on Sustrans’ mapping as ‘regionally vital routes’ and there are plans to improve them sooner or later.

Councillor Alexandra Kemp has spoken out against the changes to the National Cycle Network. Picture: Ian BurtCouncillor Alexandra Kemp has spoken out in opposition to the modifications to the Nationwide Cycle Community. Image: Ian Burt

Nationally, virtually of quarter of the community has been declassified. It follows a 2018 overview which discovered 42computer of its routes have been ‘poor’ and 4pc ‘very poor’, with points comparable to unhealthy signage, crossings and heavy site visitors, making them unsuitable for the community.

A Sustrans spokesperson mentioned: “For us to attain our long-term imaginative and prescient we’ve eliminated some sections of on-road Nationwide Cycle Community, as a result of the typical pace and quantity of motor automobiles is simply too excessive.

“It’s vital to notice that Norfolk County Council have been an lively and optimistic member of our regional Nationwide Cycle Community steering group for the previous couple of years.

“We’re presently within the strategy of working collectively to create a community growth plan, which is able to set out our long run plan for the Nationwide Cycle Community in Norfolk – this may embrace creating new routes, finishing lacking hyperlinks and importantly guaranteeing all routes on the community are secure and accessible to all customers.”

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Andrew Jamieson, Norfolk County Council's member chapion for cycling. Pic: Norfolk County Council.Andrew Jamieson, Norfolk County Council’s member chapion for biking. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

MJ Ray, planning guide from the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Bike Customers Group, mentioned the declassifications made sense in some instances, however not others.

Mr Ray mentioned he thought it appeared as if Sustrans had grown impatient with a scarcity of county council motion to enhance cycle rotes, significantly in north and mid Norfolk.

He mentioned: “I don’t actually perceive why they they’ve taken off the Norfolk coast route east of Wells. Additionally the Fakenham to Dereham hyperlink, I’m unsure what the issue there was because it was because it’s all again roads.

“I used to be additionally fairly involved that this may maintain again growth of cycle tourism within the space, and for reaching our a part of the Norfolk coast, as a result of there’s not likely a route there from anyplace else marked on the map anymore.”

Andrew Jamieson, the county council’s member champion for biking and strolling, mentioned the council strongly supported bettering Norfolk’s biking provision.

Mr Jamieson mentioned: “We’re eager to assist a cycle community that fits each skilled cyclists and folks more and more selecting to cycle to high school and work, and for leisure and purchasing.

“We’ll work intently with Sustrans in the direction of their purpose for a gold normal Nationwide Cycle Community, as this may construct on our work on improved lively journey provision throughout the county, together with our Greenways venture to develop site visitors free paths alongside former railways.”

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