National Cycle Network needs more investment, says transport campaign
THE first UK-Wide of the National Cycle Network has called for more investment to open up traffic-free walking and cycling paths for everyone.
A new report by cycling charity Sustrans, titled the ‘Paths for Everyone’, reveals the current condition of the 23-year-old Network. The review involved interested stakeholders and sets out 15 recommendations for local authorities, private and charitable landowners, national governments and agencies, to transform the Network in order to open up walking and cycling to more people, including children and anyone with impaired mobility.
The 16,575-mile Network is a critical part of the UK transport infrastructure. Every year over 780 million journeys are made on the Network which links towns, villages and cities across the country.
In our area, two routes have been highlighted within the report as a result of a range of issues such as poor signage, barriers, dangerous junctions and uneven surfacing, as well as solutions for creating safe, accessible and traffic-free paths. These are Ashton Court and the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, which was built in 1977 and has become a huge success, being used by 1,000 commuters who travel car free to work between the peak hours of 8am and 9am.
Commenting on the report, James Cleeton, Sustrans Director for the South of England said: “The National Cycle Network is a hugely important asset for our 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.
“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.”
To find out more about the ‘Paths for Everyone’ report, visit Sustrans’ website: www.sustrans.org.uk/pathsforeveryone