From Industrial to Green Infrastructure – Marriotts Way
Andrew Hutcheson, Countryside Manager for Norfolk County Council, tells the story of Marriotts Way, which crosses the districts of Norwich City, South Norfolk and Broadland:
‘Marriotts Way a century ago was hard infrastructure, consisting of two working railway lines – the Midlands and Great Northern Railway, and the Great Eastern. With the closure of the goods yards and the noisy steam trains, the former railway lines between Norwich and Aylsham fell silent in the 1960’s and were resurrected as the Marriotts Way – a haven for plants and wildlife, and one of the 13 long-distance Norfolk Trails.
These days the route is one of the county’s primary examples of green infrastructure. The whole of the trail is a county wildlife site. Recent investment has improved the surface for cycling. The NDR now runs below with the construction of a green bridge making it easy for both people and wildlife to cross the new road. Around 500,000 people a year walk or cycle the route.’
Significant Community Infrastructure Levy investment of £310,000 via the Greater Norwich Partnership has recently allowed for improvements to the surface and for lighting in the city centre, which has made it easier to cycle between Thorpe Marriott and Norwich.
The hidden railway heritage is also set to come to light, thanks to a successful bid for £455,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding. This two-and-a-half year project will consist of a host of activities, events and work; and will document and preserve the industrial heritage of the former railway line and encourage more people to use the much loved, traffic free, 26 mile route.
More details on the route and the work undertaken so far can be found below: