National Cycle Network review launched in South of England

A review of the National Cycle Network across the South of England has been launched.

It has revealed that the main issues of traffic safety, surface, signage and flow are causing the routes and paths to ‘underperform’.

Sustrans is calling for more investment to make it "safer, accessible and more inclusive", underlining its commitment to “working with communities and local authorities to help find solutions to revitalise the network”.

James Cleeton, Sustrans director for the South of England, said: “The National Cycle Network is a hugely important asset for the region which is enjoyed by millions of users every year.

“In the South of England, we are extremely proud of our National Cycle Network.

“We are fortunate to have second longest network of all the UK regions and nations, with almost 3,800 miles of routes and paths, covering an area that stretches from Land’s End in the West, to the Isle of Wight in the South, the Isle of Thanet in the East and Banbury to the North.

“We also have some of the most iconic routes of the whole network, including the Bristol and Bath Railway Path that sees over 2.5 million users every year, the Camel Trail in Cornwall, the Viking Coast Trail in North Kent and the 170 mile Eurovelo 2, a long distance route that links European capitals from Dublin to Moscow.

“Walking and cycling is good for us – it improves our health and well-being and contributes towards a cleaner and greener environment.

“Active travel and commuting tackles congestion, obesity and the air quality crisis.

“And while the health, economic and environmental benefits of the network are well established, it is the vital role it plays in our local communities which is its real value.

“This review is our opportunity to secure the investment and commitment needed to make our National Cycle Network safer and more accessible for all users, creating paths that truly are for everyone and safeguarding its heritage for future generations.”

The review was launched on 30th November at Reading University and the key speaker was Matt Rodda, shadow minister for local transport.

He said: “I particularly welcome the commitment to the removal or redesign of some 16,000 barriers that presently prevent some users from accessing the traffic-free sections.

“Making the network suitable for adapted bikes and buggies will make the whole network significantly more accessible. I also welcome the aspiration to raise safety standards.

“The estimated spend required to rejuvenate the network sounds like a lot but it’s small compared to the overall value of the National Cycle Network’s economic contribution and its wider benefits.”

Last month Sustrans launched its first national review of the National Cycle Network. 

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