Maintenance of walking and cycling networks

Sustrans volunteers

Over 4,000 Sustrans volunteers give up their time to help maintain the National Cycle Network

A network or route that is kept in good condition will be more useful, attractive and popular than one allowed to deteriorate. Maintenance can sometimes seem like an afterthought compared to the exciting world of designing and building new routes, but having invested time and money by building the route, it is important that it remains attractive to users.

Walking and riding quality should be maintained, particularly keeping routes clean and ice free in autumn and winter. Roadworks should provide suitable diversionary routes for walkers and cyclists – without cyclists needing to dismount.

Maintenance and management of routes for cyclists (draft), Sustrans Design Manual Chapter 15, 2014 (1.4MB pdf)





Our design guide offers useful tips and advice including:

  • planning maintenance from the start
  • determining who is in charge
  • on and off road maintenance
  • maintaining signage
  • maintaining artwork and furniture
  • flood avoidance
  • bridge maintenance. 

Other Sustrans guidance:

Other external guidance:

To discuss how we can help you, please contact our design and construction team.

Find out more about the professional training we offer.