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Local families praise new cycle route

05 August 2020

Families in Hethersett have praised a new cycle route following its completion last month.

A Transport for Norwich project to provide a continuous off carriageway cycle route between Wymondham and Norwich has officially opened, following completion of the final 1.3km stretch along the B1172, just outside Hethersett.

Funded through the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund, the scheme has been designed to encourage more walking and cycling by making people feel safe and support housing growth in the area through improved access to sustainable transport.

The route is already proving popular for both recreation and commuting and has been hailed a success following feedback from local families and a 4-fold increase in usage since 2018.

Juliette (known locally as Jet) and her husband Kevin both work as paramedics and have been using the new route for family cycle rides with their two daughters Amelie (7) and Kate (5)

Jet said: “The new route has been brilliant for building my daughters’ confidence on their bikes. I was initially getting them to ride along with me while I went for my daily run, during the height of lockdown and we are now cycling up to 10 miles as a family. We use it for going to the shops, running errands in Wymondham and love whizzing along the new off-road route, which is so much safer.”

Mum to two teenagers, Liz Cox added: “Our children are at an age where they are starting to get more freedom to go out with their friends. I would have really worried about them cycling into Wymondham, but the new off-road route gives me added peace of mind to know they are safe and we’ve had some really enjoyable family rides too.”

Councillor Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure and chair of the Transforming Cities Joint Committee said: “It’s fantastic to see the benefits local families are already getting from our new infrastructure. We have already seen a 40% increase in cycling across Greater Norwich in recent years and post lockdown numbers are continuing to rise.

“Given current trends and the government’s increased focus on walking and cycling, which aligns closely with our own aims, we hope to deliver more schemes like this across the county and will seek additional funding through all available means to achieve this.”

Councillor Andrew Jamieson, who is Norfolk County Council’s cycling champion added: “Schemes such as this and the recent launch of the Beryl E-bikes in Norwich are really opening up cycling to a much broader audience and this is something we will look to build on through promotion of cycling across the county via both our AtoBetter and PushingAhead programmes.”

The route is part of the Blue Pedalway which links Wymondham with Sprowston via the city centre.

Work in Hethersett was completed in July 2020 with £1.1m from the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund.

The Wymondham to Hethersett section was one of six improvement schemes awarded a total of £6.1m from the Transforming Cities Fund in March 2019. Other schemes included the launch of the Beryl bikeshare scheme and St Williams Way cycle improvements.

Norfolk County Council and Transport for Norwich partners are currently working with DfT on an application for a further £27m of Transforming Cities funding for a variety of walking, cycling and public transport improvements across Greater Norwich, which will include a number of new bus and cycle lanes.

More information on Transforming Cities  

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