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Hundreds of new cycling signs could plot routes around Broads in Dutch-inspired scheme

PUBLISHED: 16:28 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:28 27 July 2018

Map showing routes along which 'Dutch-inspired' cycling signs could be added Picture: Courtesy of Broads Authority

Map showing routes along which 'Dutch-inspired' cycling signs could be added Picture: Courtesy of Broads Authority

Courtesy of Broads Authority

The Broads has followed in the football-steps of Norwich City 
by going Dutch.

What 'Dutch-style' cycling signs around the Broads could look like. Picture: Broads AuthorityWhat 'Dutch-style' cycling signs around the Broads could look like. Picture: Broads Authority

A few days after the Canaries signed goalkeeper Tim Krul, who is from Holland, the Broads Authority (BA) is looking to introduce a Dutch-inspired cycling scheme.

Members of the authority 
have agreed to explore a 
sign-posting scheme for cyclists, which takes inspiration from a system launched across the English Channel.

The project will see approximately 1,620 numbered signs put in place on existing paths and pedalways across the Broads area, guiding visitors on bicycles around the many sights, via around 470 junctions.

Cyclists will be able to access locations of the points through a website or mobile app and plot their own routes through the area.

Tour de Broads cycling event starting at Strumpshaw Hall in Norfolk and heading towards Acle, Wroxham, Hickling and Coltishall.
Cyclists passing Reedham riverside.

Picture: James Bass

Tour de Broads cycling event starting at Strumpshaw Hall in Norfolk and heading towards Acle, Wroxham, Hickling and Coltishall. Cyclists passing Reedham riverside. Picture: James Bass

The move is a partnership between the BA, Norfolk County Council and transport charity Sustrans, with the partners seeking funding from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

Adrian Clarke, BA senior waterways and recreation officer, told members part of the scheme’s motivation was to help attract cycling tourists from the Netherlands and Belgium to the area.

He said: “Sustrans have discussed the idea with 
colleagues from the Netherlands, who felt the presence of 
familiar signage and infrastructure would really promote Norfolk as a visitor destination to cyclists.

“The system is incredibly popular in both Holland and Belgium, with the website 
with the maps on attracting millions of visitors.”

After submitting an expression of interest in the scheme to the LEP, the BA will apply for LEP funding for the scheme, which is likely to cost around £270,000. The BA itself will contribute £20,000 of this sum.

However, while members 
voted in favour of pursuing the scheme, there were some concerns raised over whether the new signs would prove confusing for domestic cyclists.

Sarah Mukherjee said: 
“While the signs will be helpful for people visiting from the Netherlands, I can see them being confusing for UK cyclists, who won’t be used to the system.”

Gail Harris also raised concerns that poor mobile data in parts of the county could prove problematic for the online elements of the project.

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