I went out to check this section of National Route 13 and Regional Route 30 today. All the signage was fine. Green Lane in Thetford was a little muddy / puddly in places but was ok. The worst part was the Restricted Byway of Bridgham Lane. There were several flooded potholes, some covering the whole width of the track. Nearer the southern end, the sandy nature of the track meant the surface was not very firm, and could be slippy in places. I shall report this to Norfolk County Council to see if there is anything that can be done.
I have previously blogged about the new cycle track parallel to the dualled A11 just south of Thetford. The track links the Sainsbury’s roundabout in Thetford to the now de-trunked old alignment of the A11, which continues to Elveden.
While the track itself is excellent, it is not well connected at its two ends. I have recently heard some good news from Suffolk County Council regarding their plans for the southern end. It is planned to widen the existing footway on the southern side of the road to create a new shared-use cycle path alongside the old A11 to link the existing cycle path at Elveden Gap to the C633 junction. Following the old A11 south from this junction to the Elveden crossroads there will be advisory cycle lanes added to each side of the carriageway.
The scheme looks pretty good, and is much better than I was hoping for. I have two slight reservations, concerning the sharp corner where cycle path turns 90º from the existing route onto the new path at Elveden Gap, and the access to and from the new path at the C633. Hopefully my feedback will allow Suffolk County Council to improve both of these locations.
Once the work is complete, which is expected to be by the end of 2015, the remaining issue will be the connection of the new route to Thetford Town centre at the north end. Norfolk County Council it’ll be over to you…
I went out on a regular route inspection this afternoon, to check on Regional Route 30 between Thetford and Harling woods. Everything was ok, though the surface of Bridgham Lane was very sandy and hard to cycle on. It will need watching in the future.
Today I had a meeting with someone from Suffolk County Council Highways about getting some better permanent signage installed at the Knettishall cross-roads where National Route 13 and Regional Route 30 split.
It seems Suffolk County Council have found some money, and will hopefully be able to provide a new three-armed sign with destinations and distances for the three directions that the NCN routes take from the junction, as in the mock-up shown in my previous post.
On the way out of Thetford towards Croxton on Route 13, there are a couple of roads to be crossed with the help of a crossing (London Road opposite the Thomas Paine Hotel, and Mundford Road by the Leisure Centre). However, the presence of the crossing isn’t always obvious on the approach, and the current signage wasn’t always useful either.
Therefore I’ve obtained some special “Use Crossing” signs to help people chose the best route. Unfortunately the available street furniture for locating these near the junctions wasn’t ideal, but they should be better than nothing.
Today I had a meeting with two people from Norfolk County Council to discuss possible improvements to cycling provision in and around Thetford. Those present were myself; the Council’s “Walking and Cycling Champion”, Cllr Hillary Cox; and the Environment Team’s “Countryside Manager (Trails and Projects)”, Dr Andrew Hutcheson.
We had a useful discussion about various issues in and around Thetford, and I learn about some of the plans the Council already has in progress. In particular, the Council has recently established a Walking and Cycling Working Group, which is in the middle of producing a strategy document coving the whole of the county. This will soon be available for feedback from stakeholders, before being put out to wider public consultation. Council officers are also currently involved in discussions with the Crown Estate regarding a possible upgrade of the Public Footpath along the Little Ouse between Thetford and Santon Downham to either a Bridleway, Restricted Byway, or Cycle Track.
This evening I was given the opportunity to make a short presentation to the planning committee of Thetford Town Council about my ideas for improving cycling provision in and around Thetford.
I spoke for around 15 minutes, and concentrated on two schemes: the first for a signed link from the town centre to the High Lodge forest centre, and the second for a cycle path along London Road to link the new A11 cycleway to the Thetford Connect Network.
The members were receptive to many of the ideas, and there was a useful discussion afterwards.
I went out to check my section of Regional Route 30 between Thetford and Harling Woods this evening. One sign needed a bit of re-attachement to a telegraph pole, which I did. Another sign just before the left turn off Kilverstone road onto Green Lane in Thetford was obscured by undergrowth, which could do with cutting back at some point. The only other issue I found was that Bridgham Lane was again rather sandy. We may have to look to divert the route is the surface can’t be improved.
Today myself and my partner attended a Sustrans Level 2 Ride Leader Training Course, which took place at the Moreton Hall Community Centre, in Bury St Edmunds. We had a fun day learning about how to compile the ride plan and risk assessment, how to lead a small group and then putting it to practice. I’m pleased to say we’re now both qualified Level 2 leaders — which will allow us to take groups of up to 16 people on quiet roads and traffic free routes.
This evening, I organised a meeting for the Breckland and Waveney Valley Ranger Group. We met at The Angel at Larling, and spent a couple of hours discussion various issues, including volunteer recruitment, issues with existing routes, and possible new routes. It was good to meet two new rangers, and catch up with some older hands.