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Green Lane

Green Lane is a cycle path following a green corridor through the Cloverfields estate in Thetford, linking Hurth Way with Kilverstone Road. The path forms an important pedestrian route to and from Tesco. It is also part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network routes 30 and 13, and also the Peddars Way cycle route.

Most of its length is officially designated as a cycle path (3Y6), with the northern-most 140m being an unclassified highway (U33200). The southern half is also recorded as a Public Bridleway (Kilverstone BR 2). The surrounding green corridor is mostly owned by Breckland District Council. Much of this corridor is designated as a Road-Side Nature Reserve by Norfolk County Council.

Green Lane, Thetford, May 2020.

Road-Side Nature Reserve

A few years ago, there was an outcry from residents when over-zealous council contractors began cutting down some of the trees and bushes along side Green Lane, rather than just clearing the route of the path. The council agreed they should shop, but only after some damage had already been done. To help prevent such actions in the future, much of the green corridor surrounding Green Lane was designated as a Road-Side Nature Reserve. The extra restrictions this imposes, should mean more care is taken over works orders on the vegetation.

Path Condition and Lack of Maintenance

The condition of the cycle path has deteriorated in recent years, with the surface condition worsening, the surfaced area being narrowed by soil and vegetation from the sides, and overgrowing vegetation blocking more of the width. These issues were flagged in the GTDP Community Sub-Group's Cycling and Walking report, where a more robust maintenance regime was called for.

While Norfolk County Council does respond to requests to cut back the encroaching vegetation, it can take several weeks for the work to be scheduled and completed, leaving the path width restricted for much of each summer. No work has so far been agreed to restore the surfaced width and condition.

Who is responsible for maintaining the route is complicated. Norfolk County Council, as the Highway Authority, has responsibility for the highway itself, including the surface and any vegetation growing through the surface. The landowner (mostly Breckland District Council) has responsibility for the vegetation on the surrounding land, if this encroaches on the highway. In the case of Green Lane, the "highway" includes not just the surfaced part, but also extends beyond this. For example, the northern section between the Church green and Charlock Road is officially described as having a width of approximately 4 metres.