Creating the UK’s first Active Travel Town in Blyth

A network of traffic-free routes in Blyth which also connects to neighbouring Bedlington has made walking and cycling the natural choice for residents
The challenge

Conditions for walkers and cyclists in Blyth were difficult with a busy and dangerous main road in the centre and inadequate crossing points at junctions. No direct routes existed across the town so making journeys on foot or by bike to local amenities was complicated. As such, the people of Blyth relied heavily on cars for local journeys, leading to congestion and poor air quality in the town.

The solution

Not only are the children taking part but there is a marked increase in the number of parents cycling too. The scheme has really caught on and even more children than usual have been inspired to cycle.

- Mike Bell, Headteacher at Morpeth Primary School

Sustrans built over five miles of high quality walking and cycling routes crossing a valley, a river and four busy roads in Blyth. This network of almost entirely traffic-free routes provides a safe and convenient alternative to the car by connecting local residents with schools, libraries, markets, shopping areas and leisure facilities. Dedicated school and workplace officers have helped to encourage schoolchildren and adults to travel actively as part of their everyday routine.

The difference

Every resident in Blyth is now only a short distance from high quality routes offering them the opportunity to walk or cycle for everyday journeys. An increase in the number of people using the network to cycle to work has led to a 15% reduction in car travel in the area. Commuters, visitors and day trippers are also enjoying the beautiful scenery along the Blyth Estuary from Furnace Bridge, at the heart of the scheme.

Want to find out more?

Find out how we’re transforming local travel across the UK. Call 0117 926 8893, email [email protected]