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Dockless bikes and continuous cycle network ruled out of Great Yarmouth transport plan

PUBLISHED: 12:45 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:17 20 February 2019

A number of plans to improve cycling in Great Yarmouth has been included in the transport strategy, but some schemes have been ruled out. Picture: James Bass

A number of plans to improve cycling in Great Yarmouth has been included in the transport strategy, but some schemes have been ruled out. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Suggestions for a bike hire scheme and continuous cycle route in Great Yarmouth have been dropped from the town’s future plans for transport, with the short-lived Ofo bikes in Norwich cited as a reason for their dismissal.

Transport chiefs say there is not a market for dockless bikes in Great Yarmouth, such as the ill-fated Ofo bikes that were briefly in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYTransport chiefs say there is not a market for dockless bikes in Great Yarmouth, such as the ill-fated Ofo bikes that were briefly in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Great Yarmouth council and Norfolk County Council are developing a transport strategy which analyses the problems faced by motorists and commuters to develop a list of schemes to address the issues.

Of the 96 options identified, around 70 have made it the next phase of the strategy, which will form the basis of a four-week public consultation in March.

But a number of possible schemes have already been ruled out - including the prospect of dockless bikes.

A report on the strategy states there was “unlikely to be a market” in Great Yarmouth for a dockless cycle hire scheme.

It also cites the unpopularity of the ill-fated Ofo bikes in Norwich, which were pulled out of the city after only nine months in 2018.

Other cycling plans that have been sifted out of the process include joining up the entire cycle network and filling in the gaps, due to the timescale of achieving this going beyond 2030.

Anthony Field, secretary of Great Yarmouth Cycling Club, said he would like to see more segregated cycle lanes in the town.

He added: “The paths are just painted on and you get cars parking on them.
“It’s fine for children but for those who cycle as a recreational sport or training they need segregated cycle lanes away from the road.”

There will be improvement works at Great Yarmouth Market Gates. Photo: George RyanThere will be improvement works at Great Yarmouth Market Gates. Photo: George Ryan

Bus users could soon see improved interchanges at Market Gates and James Paget Hospital and a shuttle bus service between the town centre and the railway station.

One committed scheme that has been carried forward, which is expected to be completed within three years, will see all vehicles allowed on the bus-only right-turn from Fuller’s Hill to Market Place.

But the East Norfolk Transport Users Association (ENTUA) has raised concerns that this could slow down bus services.

Steven Hewitt, member of the ENTUA, said: “We wouldn’t want to see that - it could block the entrance to St Nicholas Road into Sainsbury’s even more.”

There will be improvement works at Great Yarmouth Market Gates. Photo: George RyanThere will be improvement works at Great Yarmouth Market Gates. Photo: George Ryan

Mr Hewitt said that, while more can be done to encourage bus use in the town, the current services run mostly by First Bus were good.

“They are good value,” he added. “What we really want to see is some newer buses and a service that goes to the train station.”

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