Cycling in the city has been given a major boost after the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded Norwich £1.7m for safety improvements.
The successful bids for DfT funding by Norwich City Council will cover two schemes – the Green Pedalway along Earlham Road and the Earlham Fiveways roundabout.
The money will be spent on part-funding safety improvements that include roundabout enhancements, providing cycle lanes, adding a new crossing and supporting the reduction in traffic speeds.
This will not just be welcome news for cyclists but also drivers and pedestrians in two areas where accident rates are higher than other areas of the city.
The funding is part of a pot of £6.5m offered to the eight cycle ambition cities to bid for and complements the £12m already awarded to the city council under the Cycle City Ambition scheme that started in 2013 to make significant investment in Norwich’s cycling infrastructure.
It has been used to help deliver one of the key objectives of the city and county’s joint Transport for Norwich programme: doubling the number of cyclists in the city by 2023. At the heart of the programme is the aim to make the city more liveable and prosperous by promoting more sustainable transport options.
Councillor Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth, said: “We’re delighted that the government has recognised and rewarded our efforts to make our streets more cycle friendly. We’re especially pleased that Norwich was the only cycle city to get funding for two schemes and to be awarded the most money.
“Making sure Norwich has the full range of transport options to meet the needs of all road users is absolutely key to keeping our city vibrant and thriving.
“Investing in cycling benefits us all – not just the cyclists among us as but also the drivers and pedestrians who share the road.”
Councillor John Fisher, Norfolk County Council’s chair of Norwich Highways Agency Committee, said: “It’s great news that the city council has once again secured significant funding to improve our pedalways network. Cycling in Norwich has gone from strength to strength in recent years and we will continue to work in partnership through Transport for Norwich to build on the excellent progress we’ve made since DfT funding began in 2013.”
The Norwich Highways Agency Committee, made up of city and county council, will consider recommendations for the improvements at its meeting on Thursday 7 June. If approved, public consultation could start in the summer of 2018 with work beginning in early 2019.
While the DfT grants will fund the majority of costs of the two schemes, the remaining will be covered by CIL and the county’s local safety schemes budget.
Details of the improvements the funding will be spent on (subject to approval)
Green Pedalway (along Earlham Road from the outer ring road to Mill Hill Junction) – £1.04 million of DfT funding
- Roundabout improvements for cyclists crossing the outer ring road.
- Providing light segregated mandatory cycle lanes on the wider western section of Earlham Road.
- Improving the environment for walking and cycling by reducing speeds on the narrower eastern section of Earlham Road.
- Simplifying the Heigham Road junction and providing a new crossing.
Earlham Fiveways roundabout – £685,000 of DfT funding
- Resizing the central island and reducing the width of circulatory lanes to reduce speeds and conflict between on-carriageway cyclists and other vehicles.
- Upgrading three existing pedestrian signalled crossings to Toucan crossings to provide safe cycle crossing on the four busiest arms of the roundabout.
- Connecting all four Toucan crossings with a shared cycle path facility.
- Building splitter islands on the four busiest arms for safe cycle and pedestrian crossing.
- Building a new raised table on Gypsy Lane and implementing a 20mph speed limit on this connecting arm.
- Installing street lighting on the central island.