Thetford to Elveden Cycleway Update

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…

Knettishall Cross-Roads Signing

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.

Use Crossing

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.

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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.

Meeting with Norfolk County Council

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.


Presentation to Thetford Town Council

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.

Route Inspection: RR30 Thetford to Harling Woods

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.

Ride Leader Training

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.

Watton–Griston Cycle Path Weeds

While out putting up volunteer recruitment signs, I also noticed a few places on Stan’s Walk (the Watton–Griston cycle path) where weeds have been pushing up the surface and in some cases breaking through.

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Things aren’t too bad at the moment, but they’ll only get worse if left untreated.

Update (2015-06-12): I’ve now reported these to Sustrans and Norfolk County Council to see what can be done. The Council reference number is 514511.


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