mjr wrote:Also, the policy-violating disconnection of Elveden-Mildenhall without a cycleway is a disgrace but adds 2 miles of fairly straight B road as the detour, not a long wandering one. That distance is obnoxious for short journeys but a bigger problem for touring is that the parallel route reached by the detour is sand and gravel, which is tedious.
I'd bow to local knowledge, but I'm not sure which road you mean. I thought the A1065 via Brandon, which I used, was pretty unpleasant. Then I hit the gravel, as you say, around Santon, which was pretty difficult on narrower tyres.
Local knowledge, but I ride there rarely, maybe a few times a year at most, passing through.
I'd exit Mildenhall on Thetford Road, continue straight over the A1065 (which I agree is pretty unpleasant - pretty deadly for motorists too, in fact) and then a 600m bridleway at the end to the B1112, turn south on that for 2 miles (the detour) to reach Icklingham, turn left onto and then off of the A road onto a gravel bridleway (Seven Tree Road, part of the Icknield Way Cycle Trail) which meets the (mostly gravel) Thetford Cycle Loop route south of Elveden which can be reached by turning left onto the B1106. There's at least 5 miles of gravel on that route, though.
I think it may be possible to cut out about 2 miles of gravel but I'm less certain of it: continue straight ahead across the Thetford Cycle Loop and I think it comes out on a service road parallel to the A11 south side which looks unobstructed on satellite photos and maps but is not marked as a right of way. Street view predates the dual carriageway. This would be an improvement if it works, as it's only 2 miles longer than if they'd built the 1½ mile of missing route between the B1112 and the farm bridge west of the war memorial in that wide near-empty verge.
That service road actually forks and one leg connects to Icklingham. If someone could get it opened for cycles, it looks a fairly simple connection at both ends. The northern fork connects to the B1112 just outside Eriswell, which would be nice to have but wouldn't actually make the route from Mildenhall shorter. If only there was some sort of department managing highways with the will to get these routes opened up...
drossall wrote:Even though coming from further away meant that avoiding the Mildenhall area would be possible, I couldn't see any alternative (and fairly direct) roads for miles either side.
Yes, Thetford Forest and Stanta means that the obvious alternative is a long way south: National 51 (more or less) to Bury St Eds, National 13 to Harling Road, then Attleborough and Wymondham to pick up the Blue route.