Wymondham to Hethersett cycle link

Expected start: spring/summer 2017

Project outline:

To provide a walking and cycling path from The Drive, Wymondham, to the existing shared-use cycle facility near Haconsfield, Hethersett. This will create a continuous link between Norwich and Wymondham.

The proposed changes include:

  • Widening the existing footway to create a pedestrian and cyclist shared-use facility.
  • Realigning and narrowing of the major junctions to reduce entry and exit speeds of traffic.
  • Removal of entry/exit slip roads.
  • Construction of a raised table and formalisation of the crossing points at the major junctions.
  • Installation of low-level street lighting for the proposed shared-use facility.
  • Relocation of the pedestrian refuse at New Road to improve access to and from the bus stop opposite.  

Current consultation:

Should you wish to make any comments relating to the final proposals, you can do so in writing by post to Norfolk County Council or by emailing norwich.transport@norfolk.gov.uk. Click on the links in the box to the right, where you can view the proposals in different sections - an overview plan of the area shows which plan corresponds to which section of the path.

See below for an update and 'frequently asked questions’ on the project following our initial consultation in September 2016:

We have been progressing plans for the Wymondham to Hethersett shared-use cycling and pedestrian scheme, working with colleagues in the road safety team, the environmental team and the street lighting department to incorporate the comments received and to make amends where required. In addition, further consultation has been carried out with your local county councillor.

This has resulted in a number of amendments to the proposals.

The changes are:

  • The raised tables within the major junctions have been removed from the schemes proposals
  • The narrowing of the junctions has been relaxed to improve access for buses and large vehicles and to minimise queuing traffic entering or exiting the side roads
  • Additional drainage will be provided to reduce existing drainage issues
  • Positioning of the path has been amended to reduce the impact on trees and hedges along route and to reduce number of trees and hedges being removed

Please click on the links at the top of this page to view the plans.

We are looking to deliver the scheme in two phases. The first phase is between David James Cars to the existing shared-use cycle/footway just beyond Norwich Road, Hethersett. The second phase will be between David James Cars and the existing facilities in Wymondham and will be constructed at a later date.

During the design of the shared use facility Norfolk County Council’s environmental team were consultation so as to minimise disturbance to both highway and privately owned trees.

A number of solutions have been agreed, for example; the standard concrete footway edging has been omitted which removes the need for deep trenches either side of the footway; the construction depth has been minimised to avoid disturbance to the root system; and an alternative footway base can be used with reduces the need to compact the ground around existing roots.

During the construction phase our environmental team will be available for further advice should any large root systems be uncovered.

Following the public consultation, the tightening of the junction radii has been reduced and the proposed raised tables within the side roads have been removed.

The entry and exit slips were designed to meet the trunk road specification when the B1172 was classified as the A11. Following the reclassification of the road, the entry and exit slips were retained and therefore are over and above current design standards.

Removing the entry and exit slips will reduce vehicular turning speeds, therefore improving side road crossing for pedestrians and cyclists.

As part of the proposed cycling and walking facility along the B1172 there are no proposals to make significant changes to the operation of the junction of New Road, for example installation of a roundabout or installing a traffic signal controlled junction.

If a significant housing development be proposed for the surrounding area, traffic modelling would be undertaken to ensure that this does not significantly impact existing traffic flows. As part of this traffic assessment, alterations may be proposed at this junction and/or elsewhere.

All existing bus stops shall be retained in their current position once the works are complete. Throughout, it may be necessary to temporarily relocate the bus stops to enable construction activities to take place; where this is required notices will be posted on the relevant stops.

The next stage in the process is to advertise proposals for phase 1 of the scheme – the conversion of the footway to a shared-use cycleway and footway. The advert will appear in the local press and notices will be posted on site inviting comments. This consultation period will run from Friday 3 until Tuesday 28 February 2017.

If you wish to make any comments relating to the proposals, you can do so in writing by post to Norfolk County Council or by emailing norwich.transport@norfolk.gov.uk. Please click on the links at the top of this page where you can view the proposals in different sections - an overview plan of the area shows which plan corresponds to which section.

Wherever possible the shared-use cycleway and footway has been positioned to give a separation strip between the carriageway and the new facility. This will provide some level of protection for users of the new facility when being passed by large vehicles. In addition this will help to highlight the edge of the carriageway to motorists.

Constructing the facility away from the carriageway will obviously position it closer to adjacent properties and in some sections, vehicles exiting driveways may need to overhang the new facility while waiting to join the B1172.

The design and positioning of the facility has been reviewed by an independent road safety audit team who did not raise concerns with the possibility that vehicles may block the facility for short durations when exiting private properties. The proposed design of the facility is also similar to a number of other shared-use facilities both within Norfolk and elsewhere in the UK, where vehicles are required to pass over a shared-use facility to join the carriageway.

To enable the new facility to be constructed, we acknowledge that some highway trees and hedgerows will require removal or cutting back. Furthermore some private hedgerows that encroach within the highway boundary will also require cutting back to the highway boundary. The location of these trees and hedgerows and the proposed work are included on the revised plans.

The proposals have been designed in conjunction with our environmental team to make sure that, wherever possible, existing trees are retained, and that disturbance to remaining trees and hedging is minimised.

It is noted that the removal of some trees and hedging may reduce privacy and increase traffic noise for residents. Where this occurs, Norfolk County Council will work with residents to minimise and/or lessen any disturbance caused.

Generally, all highway improvement schemes will be subjected to a road safety audit, where the audit team considers various safety factors including the appropriateness of the speed limit.

The road safety audit team considers that the existing speed limit along the B1172 to be appropriate for the proposed scheme, therefore at this time no speed limit changes are proposed.

After the new facility has been constructed, a further road safety audit will be completed, which reviews usage of the new facility and would recommend changes, including to the speed limit, if appropriate.

Existing maintenance issues have been identified both within the extent of the new facility and elsewhere along the B1172. Maintenance of the existing highway is the responsibility of the local area highways team, which has faced a reduction in their budget over many years.

To ensure that the proposed facility is maintained, and therefore useable all year around, an additional sum of money could be transferred to the local area highways team for the facility’s maintenance.

The existing street lighting was installed when the B1172 was still classified as the A11 and was designed to meet the, at the time, current trunk road street lighting specification. Following the reclassification of the road, the existing street lighting was retained and as a result is over and above the requirements.

Norfolk County Council street lighting department has identified the B1172 as being suitable for a reduction in lighting, meaning the existing street lighting columns are to be removed. This, however, would negatively affect the proposed cycle/footway facility so there is also a proposal to install low-level (approximately 5m high) street lighting columns.

The new columns will allow for more directional control of the illumination, therefore reducing ‘light spill’. At this time, the positioning of the new street lighting columns is still to be determined, however your comments have been noted and will be passed to our street lighting designers for consideration.

During the feasibility design stage, various options were considered for the positioning of the shared-use facility, including providing the facility on the southern side of the B1172.

As the vast majority of properties are located on or off the northern side of the B1172, it would require users to cross the road to access the new facility. Furthermore the existing cycle facility from Hethersett to the Thickthorn roundabout is also on the northern side, which will link to the new facility.

It is acknowledged that some cyclists, particularly those riding in fast groups, may continue to ride on the carriageway despite the construction of an adjacent shared-use facility. 

However, the new facility will provide an alternative route separated from general traffic should those users wish to use it, and shall be particularly beneficial for less confident cyclists and those new to cycling.