Bedlington is a small community which had huge transport problems: it had a busy crossroads in the town centre and was divided by the A189, the River Blyth and a railway line. Many existing routes were inaccessible because of poor surfaces and steep gradients. All this made travelling on foot or by bike difficult so there was a real need for better traffic-free links to enable people to reach local amenities and schools easily.
“ The new routes are bringing people into contact with some forgotten gems of public space. People can access the free woods again – some older people haven’t been able to do this since they were young. Gallagher Park is also thriving - some people in Bedlington didn’t know it existed before these routes opened. ”
Sustrans built a network of paths joining communities in the east and west of the town and connecting every school in the area to the main circular route. Paths along the idyllic north bank of the River Blyth were improved so that they could be used by elderly and disabled people. The new network connects people to schools, local amenities, green spaces and National Cycle Network Route 1 which links to Bedlington station.
Every resident is now only a short distance from high quality routes making it easy to walk or cycle for everyday journeys. The network of routes is incredibly popular and has helped residents make impressive changes to way they get around; over half of people using it make the journey daily. Thousands of young people now have the chance to cycle to school – and one school has even started its own cycling club.
Find out how we’re transforming local travel across the UK. Call 0117 926 8893, email [email protected]