This month sees completion of the first 10 000 miles of the National Cycle Network, a task that has taken ten years for Sustrans to achieve. To highlight those instrumental in creating and maintaining the Network, the sustainable transport charity is presenting key partners and individuals with thank-you awards.

Sustrans presents key partners with ’10 000 miles Awards’

The National Cycle Network was launched in 1995 following a grant of £43.5m from the Millennium Commission.

Last year the Network carried over 201 million walking and cycling trips.

The ’10 000 miles Awards’ will be presented by astronomer and broadcaster, Heather Couper, at a dinner at Churchill College, Cambridge on Sunday.

John Grimshaw, Sustrans’ CEO said: "The choices and decisions have been difficult. There were dozens of contenders in many of the categories, and so the award winners, outstanding as they are, are representative of a much wider effort.

"Looking to the next ten years, our job at Sustrans is to change the way people move. As the impact of climate change is felt more widely, and petrol prices continue to rise, we will all be travelling far less and over much shorter distances. Walking and cycling will become an everyday part of life.

"The National Cycle Network is a catalyst for change. We would like to double the amount of Network, and bring it within a mile of most of the population in the UK, with usage more than trebling. We want to see government, local and national, take cycling and walking seriously. For the Network to continue succeeding it needs to be integral to all transport planning and funding."

On 12th September, many of the award winners will attend a transport, health and climate change conference in Cambridge called ‘Driven to extinction?’. Organised by Sustrans, and chaired by Channel 4 newscaster Jon Snow, the conference will look at how transport policy can "change the world," said Sustrans.



Urban area

Winners: Belfast City Council, Newtownabbey Borough Council, Lisburn City Council, Road Service of

Northern Ireland, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Laganside Development Corporation

Route: Belfast: Jordanstown to Lisburn – centred on a wholesale renewal of the Lagan river frontage, extensive reclamation along the coast of Belfast Lough, and a beautiful reconstruction of the Lagan towpath to Lisburn.

Town and surrounding areas

Winners: Didcot Town Council, Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council

Routes in all directions linking Didcot to nearly all its surrounding settlements, often by excellent traffic-free paths.

Links to Schools

Winners: Essex County Council and Writtle College

Route: Writtle College made the whole route possible by allowing construction of key sections on college grounds creating local links as well as a direct route to Chelmsford town centre.

Developers’ infrastructure

Winners: Cork Toft Partnership, Redrow Homes and Barratt Homes

Route: Buckshaw village, between Leyland and Chorley, is the largest brownfield development in the North West on a former munitions works, and took into account the needs of cyclists and walkers right at the start of the programme.

Inspired countryside routes

Winner: Devon County Council

The Council has completed a network of routes throughout the country, including the Tarka Trails and the memorable Granite Way around the western edge of Dartmoor from Okehampton to Lydford.

Construction and Design

Winner: Kingston upon Hull City Council, Conwy Borough Council and Suffolk County Council

Kingston upon Hull has a reputation for slow speeds and continuous cycling routes, a great example being the route to Hessle. Conwy have been an inspiration in forging National Route 5 along its whole coastline. Suffolk County Council is a shining exception to the failure of most local authorities to provide truly flush kerbs at the junction of road, and path – a small, but frustrating detail, of cyclists’ journeys.

Bridges and underpasses

Winner: Lancaster City Council

The Millennium Bridge at Lancaster shines because it unites Lancaster and Morecambe, long divided by congestion and heavy traffic on the Greyhound Bridge and because of its elegant bifurcation to reach two levels and two destinations on the south side of the river.

Trunk road details

Winner: The Scottish Executive

The Drumochter Pass was our greatest single challenge requiring a new route nearly 20 miles long to avoid the A9 from Dalnacardoch Lodge to Dalwhinnie. The endeavour, which includes 52 bridges, is all the more remarkable because of the relative remoteness of the area, and the distance between settlements.


Winner: Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council

The Spen Valley Greenway through Heckmondwike, Liversedge and Cleckheaton has been an extraordinary success, with numerous links, excellent landscaping and an exciting public arts programme making it immensely popular and the catalyst for work elsewhere in the area.

Public Spaces

Winner: Carmarthenshire County Council

The Llanelli Millennium Coastal Park has been an outstanding achievement of the Millennium years reclaiming 16 miles of industrialised coast from the Lougher Bridge to Kidwelly.

Public art and sculpture

Winners: South Oxfordshire District Council, Ercol and Oxford and Cherwell Valley College

The Phoenix Trail is an excellent example of collaboration with the local community, college, and businesses to realise a whole series of works that give real character to a new route.



Winner: Transport for London

19 maps covering the whole of London and delivered free to over two million homes has been central to a resurgence in cycling in the capital.


Winner: Lancashire County Council

Lancashire Cycling News is an exceptionally well-produced informative and inspirational publication distributed widely in the county.


Winner: Dumfries and Galloway Council

National Route 7 in the south west of Scotland holds the crown for its comprehensive signing.


Winners: Seabank Power Station, Bristol City Council, David Souch and Copeland Borough Council

Seabank Power Station maintains a haven of green in Avonmouth’s industrial area. Bristol City Council maintain the railway path to Bath to a high standard. On the same route, David Souch has planted an inspiring garden of flowers at the Easton exit. Copeland’s maintenance of the open spaces as the C2C leaves Whitehaven Dockside create a brilliant start to the route


Supportive landowners

Joint Winners: British Waterways, BRB Residuary, Forestry Commission, Imerys, Lord Joicey

Canal towpaths provide invaluable sections of the Network, opening the canal network to a wide public.

Disused railways are the backbone of many important sections of route, providing beautifully landscaped routes for millions to enjoy. Forestry Commission provided many crucial links as well as whole networks of local cycling routes. Imerys donation of China Clay lands between St Austell, Wheal Martyn Mining Museum, the Eden Project and Bugle has made a fascinating part of Cornwall accessible to all. Lord Joicey has brought large numbers of visitors into the North Northumberland countryside to explore and enjoy the rich built and natural heritage that forms part of his estate.

Proactive local authority

Joint Winners: Luton Borough Council, Leicestershire County Council and Gateshead Council

Luton for completing the whole of National Route 64 and a number of Links to Schools from end to end of their area. Leicestershire for consistently delivering the Network swiftly and imaginatively, across disciplines and departments, and Gateshead for being increasingly proactive, creating high quality routes with the internationally renowned ‘blinking eye’ Millennium Bridge, the centre.

Most supportive local authority

Winner: Pembrokeshire County Council

Having embraced the National Cycle Network, Pembrokeshire have created a number of superb routes, many constructed using trainees from the New Deal scheme, and all in a relatively short space of time.


Officers and councillors

Winners: Shona Johnstone (Portfolio holder of Transport), Brian Smith (Director of Environment & Transport) both of Cambridgeshire County Council and John Holmes (Director of Regeneration and Tourism), One North East

Cambridgeshire County Council has developed and delivered many routes, and host the 10,000th mile of the Network on National Route 11 between Great Shelford and Cambridge. John Holmes (Director of Regeneration and Tourism). The Regional Development Agency (One North East) has helped deliver many miles of the National Cycle Network, in recent years helping to fund several key sections of traffic-free path to complete routes such as the Pennine and Hadrian’s Cycleway.

Volunteer rangers

Winners: Doug Ridgeway from Newcastle and David Cuffwright from Cornwall

Two outstanding representatives of an invaluable group of people – Sustrans eyes and ears on the Network, offering real support to councils and public alike.

Sustrans staff

Winner: Dave Jackson, Sustrans’ Construction Site Manager, York and Nigel Brigham, Sustrans’ Regional Manager in the East

Dave has built more and more outstanding Greenways each year since he started on the York and Selby Railway Path in 1984. Nigel represents all our national and regional staff and has had particular responsibility for all our routes to Cambridge.

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