In 2015, Sustrans is celebrating 20 years of the National Cycle Network.
Since the first stretch of route was built between Bristol and Bath on a disused railway line, the Network has grown into 14,000 miles of traffic-free and on-road walking and cycling routes.
Every year, millions of journeys are made on the Network for commuting and for leisure and it connects every major town and city in the UK.
As part of the anniversary celebrations, Sustrans’ volunteers hope to introduce many more people to their local National Cycle Network Route by organising a series of ‘Go explore with Sustrans’ led rides and walks throughout the year.
Each event will be free to enter and open to everyone to join in.
Here are some of the great events you could be a part of:
- Bay Cycle Way musical celebration ride – set off at 2pm on Sunday 14 June for a ride around Morecambe Bay, with musical accompaniment from the Boom Bike
- Lee Valley and Olympic Park led bike ride – on Saturday 27 June enjoy a leisurely meander along National Cycle Network Route 1 through the Lee Valley to the Olympic Park and on to Greenwich
- Ride to the Sun in Taunton and Bridgwater – bring the kids along to follow the planet trails and find the sun on this flat, 14 mile ride on Saturday 19 July
- Redditch led bike ride – leave from Arrow Valley Park in Redditch on Saturday 8 August for a gentle circular ride, stopping for a picnic along the way.
There’s events happening all over the country, so visit the Sustrans website and search for an event near you. Everyone who registers for a ‘Go explore with Sustrans’ event could be in with a chance of winning a family break from Center Parcs!
Facts about the National Cycle Network:
- Over half of the UK population lives within one mile of a National Cycle Network route
- 4.8 million people use the Network every year
- The highest point on the Network is Black Hill near Nenthead on the C2C (Sea to Sea) route and is 1,998ft above sea level
- The longest traffic-free path on the Network is the Tarka Trail in Devon at 31 miles long
- There are 4,000 Sustrans volunteers, many who give up their free time to keep the Network
- The Network takes you directly past: 79 National Trust properties, 28 Woodland Trust Sites, 22 RSPB Reserves, 20 Forestry Commission Sites, 186 Local Nature Reserves, 47 National Nature Reserves, 158 Special Areas of Conservation, 40 AONB’s and 15 National Parks.
From May to September, we’ll be searching for the UK’s Favourite Route on the National Cycle Network. Cyclescheme have backed the Bath Two Tunnels route, but what’s yours?