Sustrans revises National Cycle Network to focus on safer routes

21 July 2020

The National Cycle Network will lose almost a quarter of its 16,000 miles of UK-wide cycling and walking routes from Monday, as part of a plan by Sustrans to improve safety standards.

Sustrans, which runs the network, said the changes would make the National Cycle Network (NCN) more accessible and provide a consistent user experience. In particular, reclassification of routes would make it easier for families and cycle-tourers to find routes suited to them.

Almost 19% of the network will now be designated for experienced cyclists only, and 4.5% (753 miles) of busy on-road sections will have all signage removed.

Sustrans chief executive officer, Xavier Brice, said the review forms part of a strategy called 'Paths for Everyone', and what will remain is a mostly low-traffic or traffic-free network that is well-surfaced, clearly signed and accessible to all who cycle and walk. He said that a “rush for miles” over the years had damaged the image of the cycling charity and the NCN.

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