Angles Way footpath tourism project makes rail links

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Abellio Greater Anglia is working with Norfolk County Council to encourage more people to explore the Norfolk and Suffolk countryside and help boost local rural economies.

The train operator is supporting the County Council’s bid to increase sustainable tourism around the Norfolk Trails – a 1200-mile network of countryside footpaths looked after by the Council - by helping to promote one of the trails - the Angles Way - with posters at five stations along the route.

The new signage, which is now in place at Great Yarmouth, Diss, Beccles, Somerleyton and Oulton Broad North tells rail passengers about the beautiful countryside walks that can be discovered in the vicinity of the rail stations, and right along the Angles Way trail which runs through the Waveney Valley for 93 miles between Thetford and Great Yarmouth.

Great Yarmouth station’s new signage will be officially unveiled at on Thursday 26th June at midday by Mick Castle, Norfolk County Councillor for Yarmouth North and Central, and Alan Boagey, Abellio Greater Anglia’s Area Customer Service Manager.

Aimed at daytrippers, tourists and local people, the Angles Way promotion is designed to encourage more people to explore the Norfolk / Suffolk countryside on foot using the Angles Way and its associated short circular walks, and to drive more customers to the many small local businesses which provide services to walkers along the route and vital local jobs.

The signage at rail stations that are located along the Angles Way trail will help to promote the walks to travellers, but also highlight the opportunities to use rail travel to access the walks in a sustainable way.

The signs were provided by Norfolk County Council with Rural Development Programme for England funding and the advertising space was provided free of charge by Abellio Greater Anglia.

Each end of the footpath can be accessed by rail at Thetford, Great Yarmouth, Diss, Beccles, Somerleyton and Oulton Broad North and a regular bus service runs along the A143, enabling walkers to make use of public transport links.

The Angles Way connects with the Peddars Way and Icknield Way Path at Knettishall Heath, and the St Edmund's Way near Thetford, allowing longer walks to be undertaken. Great Yarmouth is also a hub for walking and cycling as it already has 3 long-distance trails - Weavers Way, Wherryman's Way and Angles Way and will also host the new English Coast Path in the future.

Abellio Greater Anglia’s Area Customer Service Manager, Alan Boagey, said, “Several of our rail stations offer convenient and direct access to the Angles Way so we were delighted to become involved with the project to promote sustainable tourism opportunities and encourage more people to explore the beautiful countryside of Norfolk and Suffolk.”

Chairman of Norfolk County Council's Environment Committee, Cllr Toby Coke said: "The Angles Way passes through miles of wonderful countryside and is part of a Norfolk-wide network of countryside footpaths, called the Norfolk Trails, which are worth millions of pounds to our county's economy. We are really pleased that Abellio has joined with us to support the Norfolk Trails. This campaign will help attract more walkers to our county, particularly out of season. These are people who will use the services provided by thousands of local businesses, which in turn generate vital local jobs in our communities across the county."

County Councillor for Yarmouth North and Central, Mick Castle, added: "This campaign is a great way of showing residents and visitors how easy it can be to get out for a day in the Norfolk countryside by taking the train to Great Yarmouth to walk along the Angles Way.

"Great Yarmouth is also really well placed to benefit from our project to get more people to use the Norfolk Trails, because our town is not only a hub for three of these flagship walking routes, with The Weavers Way, Wherryman's Way and Angles Way all meeting so close to our railway station, but we also have so many businesses that can offer really fantastic services to these walkers."

More information about the Angles Way can be found at www.norfolk.gov.uk/trails.