The Avenues cycle route
The Avenues Shambles
Few people who live in the area will be happy with the situation on The Avenues. A couple of years ago the city won a grant to improve cycle routes around the city, called a “Cycle City Ambition Grant”. The first route to be improved was the one that came along the Avenues, known as the “Pink” route. After two years of planning, public meetings and proposals we are left with the dangerous inadequate mess we see today.
Why is The Avenues Special?
Far more bikes use The Avenues than any other road in the city, "nearly 700,000 in 2016 according to the Air Quality Status Report for 2018. Most are students at UEA or workers at the Hospital and Research Parks. It’s also the route hundreds of children should be using to cycle to the City Academy School, so the potential number of cyclists could be even higher if the road were not so dangerous. Logically it should have been the highest priority for providing proper cycle tracks, but it didn’t turn out like that.
Why is it bad?
The road markings only allow enough space for one direction of flow on a two way street, so if it needs to pass traffic has to drive in the cycle lanes and when it gets busy the cycle lane simply disappear. There is basically far too much traffic for this type of design.
Why did we end up with this mess?
That’s a good question but there are clues, take a look on Tombland and the expensive paving around the cathedral gate. All this meant there just wasn’t enough money left to build the proposed cycle tracks and the present botch is the result. The council decided that the cost of doing The Avenues didn’t represent good value for money, yet doing Tombland did. This is a very suspect situation which has left us with an unacceptable, dangerous mess that simply can’t be left as it is.
What can be done?