Route Inspection: NR13 from Thetford to Harling Woods

I did a quick route inspection of National Route 13 between Thetford and the south end of Brigham Road today. There were a couple of issues with encroaching vegetation and a step/curb on Green lane in Thetford.

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I cut back a few dangerous brambles and reported the other issues to Norfolk County Council (vegetation report; curb report). Everything else was ok, although a couple of signs could do with a clean next time I’m passing.


Norfolk Cycling and Walking Action Plan Consultation Response

I have now read through the draft Norfolk Cycling and Walking Action Plan, that Norfolk County Council are currently consulting on. There are some good points and bad points.

The targets to increase the levels of cycling and increase local expenditure are to be commended, as are the commitments to improve cycling networks and ensure cycling and walking infrastructure are designed in to new developments. However, the document is sadly lacking in specific plans for improvements. It would have been good to see either more plans for specific routes, or at least a commitment to set up working groups to develop such plans. The document also contains no clarity/commitment on where the resources will come from.

You can read my response in full.

Norfolk Cycling and Walking Action Plan Consultation

Norfolk County Council are currently consulting on a “Cycling and Walking Action Plan”. As they say

Norfolk can boast a wide array of walking and cycling initiatives and have great success in the past at developing our walking and cycling networks. We want to encourage people in Norfolk to travel more actively so we are developing a Cycling and Walking Action Plan. As well as joining up existing initiatives, we want our plan to inspire everyone in Norfolk to walk and cycle more.

To view the draft document and submit your comments, go to the consultation website at

Route Inspection: NR13 from Thetford to Harling Woods

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.


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.

Update (2017-03-18)

The sign is now up. See New NCN Sign at Knettishall.

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.