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Croxton Road Cycle Link

The Croxton Road Cycle Link is a proposed cycle path running alongside Croxton Road in Thetford, which should provide a safer route for cyclists from the town travelling to and from Thetford Academy, and for those wanting to travel to Croxton an beyond on the National Cycle Network routes 13 and 30.

The section of the route between the Church of the Nazarine and the A11 is part of the Thetford Loops proposals from 2010. The whole route was one of the four priority projects proposed by the GTDP Community Sub-Group's 2018 Cycling and Walking Report. The route was also considered in the 2019 Norfolk Transport Network Improvement Strategy, but not taken forward as part of that work.

The Croxton Road Cycle Link. The green line is the proposed section between the Army Cadet Centre and Thetford Academy. Solid lines show section where there should be enough space for a segregated path, the dashed lines are where there is only enough space for a shared-use path.

A feasibility study for the route between Mundford Road and Hill House Lane was produced by Norfolk County Council in 2009. The route has to run along western side of Croxton Road, as there is insufficient width available on the eastern side. Some initial consultation took place with local residents and councillors. Following several negative responses, the plans were put on hold and the potential funding was used elsewhere.

Cycle Track Work 2021

Following an under-spend on the Enterprise Park Roundabout in 2018, around £300k was made available for work on this route. In November 2018, Norfolk County Council took a proposal to the GTDP Board that they proceed with drawing up plans to spend the money on providing a 600m length of cycle path between the Army Cadet Centre and Thetford Academy. The Board supported the proposal. The suggestion was to create a 2.7m wide shared-use path by widening the existing pavement on the western side of the road. The GTDP Community Sub-Group provided feedback that where possible the route should be wider and segregated to avoid conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists, the section should be part of a coherent plan to provide the whole route along Croxton Road, and crossings need to be provided at each end for cyclists joining and leaving the new section.

In April 2020, it was reported by a Councillor that work to implement a portion of the cycle route was scheduled for September 2020. Plans were made available in May 2020, and an updated version followed in June.

Regrettably, it appears that none of the comments made earlier by the GTDP Community Sub-Group have been taken into account. The plans released in May 2020 show a low quality and incomplete facility, that will lead to cycle–pedestrian conflict and danger to cyclists when joining and leaving the new path. At 2.7m (and narrower in places) the proposed route is not wide enough given the peak-time usage to and from Thetford Academy, particularly as there is no segregation of pedestrians and cyclists on the path.

The proposal also fails to follow the new Government guidance: Local Transport Note 1/20. In particular this guidance states that cycling facilities need to segregate cyclists from pedestrians, and that schemes need to be joined up to create a coherent network of cycle routes.

Despite knowing about these issues, Norfolk County Council have proceeded with their plans. Construction work started in January 2021.