About Sustrans

Sustrans is the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity whose vision is a world in which people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment.

They do this by developing practical and imaginative solutions to transport challenges to improve the health of the nation and the environment.

Their flagship project, the National Cycle Network, reached and now exceeds the grand total of 10,000 miles as off September 2005.  The Network consists of traffic-free paths and minor roads linking main towns and cities, coast and countryside in the UK.

For more information on Sustrans, the National Cycle Network, buying maps and guides or how to become a Sustrans Supporter, check out:        

Sustrans’ website:                               www.sustrans.org.uk

Sustrans’ Information line:                 0845 113 00 65

Sustrans’ email:                                  info@sustrans.org.uk

As well as the National Cycle Network, Sustrans works on many other groundbreaking projects such as: Safe Routes to Schools, Travel Smart, Active Travel and Bike It.

Sustrans' work relies on the generous donations and monthly standing orders of their much valued Supporters, and the support of charitable trusts, companies, the National Lottery and local authority programmes.

Visit Sustrans Website

History of Sustrans
The origins of Sustrans, (short for Sustainable Transport), can be traced back to the significant date of July 7th 1977 (7/7/77). This is when a group of Bristol environmentalists, driven by the desire to do something about the dangers to the environment recently highlighted by the oil crisis, set up a cycling group called Cyclebag. Within two years the group started a programme of building cycle routes which has continued unabated over the last 20 years.

The dismantled railway line between Bristol and Bath was the first railway path converted for use by cyclists and walkers. Since then what started as plans for a five-mile linear route have become a 10,000-mile network covering the whole country. It is now 2006 and there are over 10,000 miles of Network in place.

Following its success on the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, Sustrans made full use of the various employment schemes available in the early 1980's with hundreds of young people helping to build more paths in other cities. Many of those who supervised these early groups have since gone on to become Regional Managers responsible for building the Network.

Negotiations with British Waterways began in 1980. The Kennet & Avon Canal near Bath was Sustrans' first towpath project which over five years (1984-88) was rebuilt in stone from Bath all the way to Devizes.

Sustrans' reputation as path builders was growing year on year. More and more cities such as Derby, York, Liverpool and Sunderland had paths built through them. It became Sustrans' intention to have one quality route in each major city.

After 15 years' experience of building paths Sustrans began to capture the public imagination and launched a Supporter Programme. Supporter numbers rose from 200 in 1993 to 40,000 in 1999. By 1995 Sustrans was in a position to make a realistic bid to the Lottery for Millennium funds for the National Cycle Network. The original bid was for a 6,500-mile network by 2005 with 2,500 miles of routes built by the year 2000. This increased to a total of 10,000 miles due to the enthusiasm for the project shown by local authorities all over the country.

The bid was successful and Sustrans was awarded £43.5 million. Although this is a huge amount, it only represents 20% of the total costs of the first phase of the project. The remainder comes from a variety of sources including local authorities, development agencies, the European Union, the Highways Agency, the cycle trade and industry, and from generous contributions from Sustrans Supporters.

Sustrans is now the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity.  Well-known for its amazing work on the National Cycle Network, which is ongoing, Sustrans has numerous other groundbreaking projects that help you to travel in ways that benefit your health and the environment, including: Safe Routes to Schools, Bike It, Travel Smart and Active Travel.

Sculpture
As you will know if you have used a National Cycle Network route, it’s not just about the cycling and walking. Sustrans has ensured that there is more to interest you. Arts and sculpture are dotted throughout the Network from the Lampton Worm, a long serpent that you can find in Consett, pairs of 5ft high legs, metal cattle, weird and wonderful seating with views to giants head's made out of stone. The National Cycle Network has it all.

In addition, the Royal Bank of Scotland generously donated 1,000 attractive metal mileposts which are dotted around the Network.

More Information on Sustrans and Cycling
For more information on Sustrans, the National Cycle Network, buying maps and guides or how to become a Sustrans Supporter, check out:  

Sustrans’ website:                               www.sustrans.org.uk

Sustrans’ Information line:                 0845 113 00 65

Sustrans’ email:                                  info@sustrans.org.uk

© Doug-on-the-Tyne - 2004