Paths for Everyone

We have two priorities - to make the National Cycle Network safer and more accessible for everyone.

We want to see a UK-wide network of traffic-free paths for everyone, connecting cities, towns and countryside, loved by the communities they serve.


What is Paths for Everyone?

In 2018, we presented a new vision for the National Cycle Network in our Paths for Everyone review.

We're working with our partners, volunteers, supporters and local communities to make this vision of a traffic-free, more consistent and accessible Network for everyone a reality.

We want to create a Network where families can enjoy bike rides away from motor traffic.

Where those who are less mobile can go at their own pace. And where walkers can fill their lungs with fresh air.

We’re involving local communities in shaping and caring for their local paths. And we're responding to feedback from people who use the Network.

Our work with local and national governments to make the Network better and more accessible continues. We have 80 improvement schemes being delivered and more ready in the pipeline.

Together, we're moving towards our 2040 vision of paths for everyone.

We recently made some changes to the Network. Read our FAQ for more information.


By 2040 we want to see

5,000 more miles

of traffic-free paths

£7 billion

potential economic benefit realised


We are working to make the Network safer and increase the number of traffic-free miles.

Click on the map to find out more about each project, or you can open the map in a new window.


Little girl on scooter, two women walking dogs, one woman with pushchair and boy behind the group on cycle path

Read our Paths for Everyone report

We published our review of the National Cycle Network along with our recommendations for improvement, in November 2018.

Download the Paths for Everyone review report 2018

Download the Welsh language version of the report

Our 15 recommendations for the Network

Our Paths for Everyone report identified 15 recommendations for Sustrans, local authorities and partners to take forward in order to achieve our vision for the Network.


  1. Set the tone for harmonious use of the Network by everyone.
  2. Remove or redesign all 16,000 barriers on the Network to make it accessible to everyone, with no barriers in place for continuous travel for everyone.
  3. Transform the Network by replacing existing on-road sections with new traffic-free paths or by creating quiet-way sections so it is safer for everyone.
  4. Ensure that where the Network is on a quiet-way section the speed limit is 20mph in built-up areas and 40mph in rural areas.
  5. Improve safety at crossings where the Network crosses roads or railways.
  6. Adopt a new quality standard to ensure path widths and surfaces are built for everyone.
  7. Improve signage so everyone can use the paths without a map or smartphone.
  8. Deliver over 50 activation projects across the UK by 2023 to improve the Network and demonstrate change.
  9. Introduce a process for de-designation of parts of the Network that cannot be improved – and a clear process for incorporating new routes that fill gaps or make new connections.
  10. Make it easier for people using the Network to feed back on its condition, and use this insight to improve it.
  11. Promote the Network to new users.
  12. Encourage greater community involvement in designing, developing and maintaining the Network.
  13. Provide open data on the Network.
  14. Report regularly on the impact of the Network in improving everyone’s lives and places.
  15. Establish clear governance to bring together land managers, funders, users and others to deliver these recommendations in partnership.
National Cycle Network route sign with two school children walking in background

National Cycle Network design principles

Take a look at the 9 design principles that all National Cycle Network routes should meet.

Find out more about the Network design principles
Two volunteers smiling on the NCN with brushes

Sustrans and the Network

As custodians of the National Cycle Network, it's our role to care for it, improve it and steward a long-term vision for its future.

Read more about our role as custodians of the National Cycle Network

Close up of a single frog sat on top of a pile of wet leaves

Making space for nature on the Network

In the face of a national climate and ecological emergency, traffic-free paths have the power to improve biodiversity and protect wildlife.

Learn about how our ecologists are making space for nature