Thetford Transportation

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    Thetford by pedal power...

    by arturowan Written May 20, 2013

    As with most town centres in UK - Thetford has a recommended entry/exit route that is signposted as part of the National Cycle Network...
    As with other such towns where I've experienced following the blue signs with white bicycles on them, I remain unconvinced that whoever it is who decides these official, 'cyclist-friendly routes', has any experience of riding a bicycle!
    The official cycle route into Thetford town centre, is via the village of Croxton, & this journey encounters 2 of the main faults, I know to be typical of the supposedly cyclist-suited, signed highways;
    1 - torturously steep hills, of which there are 2 along Croxton Road, &
    2 - unpleasant tarmac, of the type of nasty, on-the-cheap, sharp, grey chippings, which make the bike vibrate & sap the energy out of your legs with every turn of the pedals...
    The last thing any touring cyclist needs when they reach a town centre, is to be heavy-breathing from hillclimbing, with tiring legs from battling an inferior road surface...
    Yet, here is the worst thing about the Thetford town centre cycle route - it brings the cyclist out on a horribly busy T-junction, leading onto the main road around & into the place, so consequently, even on a Sunday, is ALWAYS a situation of 2 lanes of nose-to-tail traffic...
    Whoever came up with this route, just ain't a regular cyclist - I ride 100km to reach Thetford, & I don't want to be a sitting duck, stranded on a traffic island, when I reach the place...
    What is so ridiculous about this officially signposted route, is that it actually encourages the cyclist to detour from what is the best way into Thetford!
    I.E; instead of turning off the East Wretham road, at the 2 junctions to Croxton, continue until this road reaches the junction with the A134
    Here you have 2 choices if you want to reach Thetford;
    1 - crossover the main road onto the unmade Forestry Commission track, then turn left to take the route along the Little 0use, which brings you out into the Minstergate area of the town centre...
    2 - turn left onto the A134
    Don't let 'A' daunt you, because though it might be the main road out of Mundford, the traffic volume is not that high, & it isn't hilly & badly surfaced like the other main highways in the area...
    The A134 is a cyclists pleasure ride, with a smooth surface, a wide enough gap to ride inside the white line, & so be easy to allow overtaking, & gentle gradients that never need extreme gear changes...
    The Mundford main road passes through what I regard to be 'the heart of Thetford' - 2 Mile Bottom, & can be ridden into the town centre, or turned off at a number of right turns, such as at the Scout Camp, to take the riverside trail, instead...
    The A134 is my recommended arterial way into Thetford, via East Wretham - & in my view, should be signposted as the cyclist-friendly option...
    The main road every cyclist into Thetford needs to avoid is the A11 - this is the most dangerous A-road in the area...

    Related to:
    • Cycling
    • Budget Travel
    • Road Trip

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    London to Thetford...

    by arturowan Written Apr 10, 2013

    There are several daily NATIONAL EXPRESS services between London to Thetford, & if booked in advance, are at least half the price of an equivalent rail fare from Charing Cross...
    Coaches leave Thetford @ 06:55 0r 08:15 0r 13:30 0r 15:15 - all taking at least 2hours30minutes to reach the capitol...
    Services out of London Victoria are @ 14:30 0r 17:30 0r 19:00 0r 21:00 - the later journey which misses peak traffic, may take as little as 2 hours...
    0ther services are available, but require changing coaches, so take longer & are more expensive, though NATIONAL EXPRESS prices vary greatly, depending on whether you pre-book, use a promotion, student or pensioner coachcard, etc...
    I've travelled from Thetford to London for only £7.50 - online promotional advance booking, but returning, paying on the day at London Victoria Coach Station, cost £19.90 - so obviously it pays to plan ahead...
    Even so, a single, on the day ticket, still provides change from a £20 note, whereas by train, the equivalent journey is £40+ (i.e: more than double the cost of travelling from Liverpool Street to Clacton-on-Sea, despite being a similar distance...)

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    • Trains
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    Thetford bus station - what bus station?

    by arturowan Updated Dec 14, 2012

    Thetford bus station? It doesn't exist, but for a length of corrugated metal over a bench in the corner of a CAR PARK - & if you want to catch the NATIONAL EXPRESS it's even WORSE - just a kerb with 3 lamp poles to rest luggage againt, & if it's raining, you get soaked waiting for the coach. Luckily, it was 1 of those rare English days when it wasn't raining when I endured the expedition of finding the NATIONAL EXPRESS stop for the first time. Knowing Thetford to be a small town, I did not recce my route, just set off with 2 heavy bags & towards the towncentre, following a misleading sign pointing UPHILL - 'BUS STATION'...But the sign is wrong, it sent me off course into the town centre, when the so-called 'bus station', which is no more than a drab parking bay, is actually beside the river & best accessed by the pedestrian bridges. Despite the time-wasted taking public notice directions, I still managed to get there within 10 minutes of the coach arriving, but by then I was drenched in sweat & at my wits end, walking around in circles. Why is it, in English towns, I receive the sense that users of public transport are regarded as the lowest forms of life, & only the motorist is welcome?

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    • Singles
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