Observant local residents in Cumbria may have noticed that signs for some sections of the Sea to Sea, and other traffic-free routes in the area, have changed their numbers or names. But why?
Changes are being made to our Sea to Sea route signs on the Network. Credit: Charlotte Murray
Changes are being made to our Sea to Sea route signs on the Network.
That’s because we’re simplifying and updating signs for the route, also known as C2C, so the whole path is signed as National Cycle Route 7.
C2C is a popular long distance cycling challenge route which runs 137 miles from Sunderland to Whitehaven.
The Eastern section of route was originally signed as Route 7 on the National Cycle Network.
While the Western part was Route 71.
Consistent numbering across the C2C
Our North team and volunteers are replacing signs on the Western (Penrith to Whitehaven) section with Route 7 signs, to create one consistent C2C.
We are also working with Cumberland Council, Westmorland and Furness Council and the Lake District National Park Authority to install 80 new aluminium signs on the C2C, and to promote the changes.
New routes, new branding
As part of this work, the more challenging cross-country route which is only suitable for mountain bikes will be signed as the ‘Off-Road C2C’.
It will have a new symbol signifying that it's off-road mountain biking terrain, and will no longer have National Cycle Network route numbers.
Some local walking and cycling paths in the Central Lakes will be adopted by the Lake District National Park Authority as independent routes with their own identities.
The changes are part of our work to create a consistent National Cycle Network which is accessible for people of all ages and abilities to walk, cycle, or use a mobility aid such as a wheelchair or mobility scooter.
This is in line with our vision of Paths for Everyone.
Dave Shuttle, our Network Development Officer in the North, said:
“We’re changing signs on the Sea to Sea to help make the route numbering clearer and more consistent for everyone using it.
"The whole route from Sunderland to Whitehaven will now be labelled as Route 7.
“We’re working across Britain to help create a National Cycle Network that feels safe, consistent and accessible for everyone to enjoy.
"That means making better wayfinding, and signs which help people make informed choices about their journeys.
“Some routes are more suitable for more experienced riders, or hikers due to the terrain or difficulty level, and no longer fit the criteria for the National Cycle Network.
"These off-road paths will continue to be managed by the Lake District National Park Authority, and can be more effectively promoted under their brand.”
Sustrans team in the North have installed 80 new signs along the Sea to Sea. Credit: Charlotte Murray
Emma Moody, the Lake District National Park Authority’s Lead Strategy Adviser on Sustainable Transport, said:
“We are very happy to work in partnership with Sustrans to help make it easier for more people of many abilities to use the National Cycle Network and know that there is a consistent standard of route with clear signage wherever you are visiting.
“The C2C is one of the country’s most popular and loved long distance cycle routes.
"We know that sections through the Lake District including the popular Keswick to Threlkeld Trail are a highlight for many visitors, are well used by local residents and bring sustainable economic benefits to local businesses.
“The shorter off-road branches from the National Cycle Network in the South and Central Lakes were developed by us through the GoLakes Travel Programme.
"We will continue to maintain and promote them as individual trails, with the re-signing of these taking place by spring 2024.”
All you need to know about the sign changes
National Cycle Route 71 section of the Sea to Sea (C2C) between Whitehaven and Penrith will be changed to National Cycle Route 7 to give the whole C2C the same number.
The changes include:
- sections of Sea to Sea which are only suitable for mountain bikes will have new signage called the ‘Off Road C2C’ accompanied by a green mountain bike symbol. They will no longer have National Cycle Network symbols or route numbers.
- National Cycle Route 6 to be extended north from Threlkeld to Carlisle, via Laithes.
- National Cycle Route Workington to Cockermouth (currently routes 10 & 71) to remain as route 10 only.
- Elterwater to Great Langdale will become the ‘Langdale Trail’.
- Little Langdale to Elterwater: the off-road, more challenging of two parallel routes to be removed as a promoted route, but will still be a right of way for cyclists, walkers and horse riders to use.
- Coniston to Little Langdale via A593 and Hodge Close: alternative parallel traffic-free route to be retained.
- Low Yewdale to Monk Coniston will form part of the ‘Coniston High Cross Trail’.
- Monk Coniston to Hawkshead Hill will form part of the ‘Coniston High Cross Trail’.
- Lake Road and Shepherd’s Bridge Lane, Coniston: alternative parallel on-road route through Coniston centre to be retained.
- Coniston to Torver will become the ‘Torver Trail’
- Low Wray to Hawkshead link will become the ‘Hawkshead Trail’.