Cycling is the most efficient form of human propulsion – clean, healthy and quiet. Norwich is a great place to explore by bike because the city is compact, making it manageable to ride from the edge to the centre in under twenty minutes.
We launched the Norwich cycle network in 2012. It features seven pedalways, each represented by a colour. Five cross the city from one side to the other and meet in the middle at St Andrew’s Plain. To others encircle the city – orange near the centre and purple on the edge. The network is illustrated in an attractive waterproof cycle map that is now in its third edition.
Since 2013 when Norwich gained cycle ambition city status, millions of pounds of funding from the Department for Transport, New Anglia LEP and the community infrastructure levy has been spend on improving the quality of infrastructure. The highlights in the city centre have been the removal of most traffic from the St Stephens and Chapelfield area; the installation of better crossings of the inner ring road at St Georges Street, Vauxhall Street and All Saints Green; converting Little Bethel Street into a cycle street; and introducing contraflow cycling in Magdalen Street. The whole city centre was made a 20mph zone and restrictions to cycling in pedestrian priority areas were relaxed, allowing freight delivery to be made by cargo bikes to business doorsteps.
Secure cycle storage facilities were created at Rose Lane car park and near the Coburg Street entrance to Chapelfield. These complement the longer established facility in St Andrew’s car park and the extra on-street cycle stands that were provided.
Most recently, the first tranche of Transforming Cities funding paid for changes that enable people to cycle from the train station up Prince of Wales Road to Castle Meadow. This will allow a more direct and intuitive routing of the green pedalway to be shown on the next edition of the cycle map.
Another benefit from the Transforming Cities fund has been the introduction of Beryl bike share scheme in March 2020. Covid-19 interrupted the implementation this has restarted and the full set of locations are shown on the facing page. E-bikes will follow.
Further improvements are planned under Transforming Cities programme. Most notably, people will be allowed to cycle directly into the city centre along Thorpe Road rather than following the Carrow Road gyratory, access to the train station will be eased and circulation in Tombland will be simplified.