We shared a 'Paths for Everyone’ cake with delegates at the Sustainable Travel Expo in Bradford this week to celebrate the National Cycle Network and showcase its review of 16,575 miles of routes around the UK.
Rosslyn Colderley, our Director in the North of England, cut the cake alongside Gillian Ivey, Chair of the Trans Pennine Trail, Kim Groves, Chair of Transport for West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Councillor Martyn Bolt.
We presented the findings of the 'Paths for Everyone' review report of the National Cycle Network at the event in Kala Sangam to groups encouraging more people to travel by bicycle, walking and public transport throughout West Yorkshire.
Yorkshire has 1,156 miles of cycle and walking routes as part of the Network, including traffic-free routes such as the Spen Valley Greenway, which runs between Dewsbury and Bradford, the Airedale Greenway between Keighley and Shipley, and popular long-distance routes the Trans Pennine Trail and Way of the Roses.
The review reveals the current state of the 23-year-old Network and a long-term plan to make it traffic-free and tackle physical problems.
Over half (57%) of the UK population lives within a mile of the National Cycle Network, but major improvements for access and safety are needed to open it up to everyone, including children, wheelchair users, those riding non-standard cycles and the less physically active.
Only 54% of the Network is currently suitable for a 12-year-old to use safely, a road safety benchmark set by the UK Government.
Working with local authorities we aim to deliver 55 priority schemes, including projects in the Calder Valley, Methley, Harrogate and Wetherby, across the UK, ranging from improving signage to re-designing junctions and creating traffic-free paths. These are to be finalised by 2023.
Rosslyn Colderley, Sustrans Regional Director for the North of England said:
“The National Cycle Network is a well-loved, well-used asset that’s enjoyed by millions of people across the UK every day. We are proud that Yorkshire has over 1,000 miles of Network, which is also a fantastic asset for tourism thanks to popular long-distance routes such as the Way of the Roses and the Trans Pennine Trail. We are working with local authorities across the region to ensure the Network is part of wider plans for walking and cycling and helping to create links to routes across the UK.
“We want to build on its success and make the Network safer and more accessible for everyone, not just for people who currently use it. Our 'Paths for Everyone' report lays out an ambitious vision to make the Network traffic free and safe for a 12-year-old to use on their own.”