infobox Organization
name = Sustrans
formation = 1977
headquarters = flagicon|UK Bristol, UK
location =
region_served = United Kingdom
website = [ Sustrans]

Sustrans is a British charity which promotes sustainable transport. The charity is currently working on a number of practical projects to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport, to give people the choice of "travelling in ways that benefit their health and the environment". [Sustrans, 2005. " [ About Our Work] ." Accessed 2005-12-20.] Sustrans' flagship project is the National Cycle Network, which has created over 10,000 miles of signed cycle routes throughout the UK, although about 70% of the network is on previously existing, mostly minor roads where motor traffic will be encountered.

As well as the National Cycle Network, Sustrans is working on Safe Routes to Schools, Safe Routes to Stations, Home Zones (liveable neighbourhoods) and other practical responses to transport and environmental challenges. [Sustrans, 2005. " [ Our Projects] ." Accessed 2005-12-20.] Sustrans administers over 1500 volunteer Rangers who monitor over 60% of the National Cycle Network and contribute to the maintenance and promotion of the routes. Sustrans also works to promote cycling both for recreational and utility purposes, for example, by working with local authorities to organise cycling events and holding information and merchandise stalls at fairs and festivals. [Sustrans, 2005. " [ Events] ." Accessed 2005-12-20.]


Sustrans was formed in Bristol in July 1977 as Cyclebag by a group of cyclists and environmentalists, motivated by emerging doubts about the desirability of over-dependence on the private car, following the 1973 oil crisis, and the almost total lack of specific provision for cyclists in most British cities, in contrast to some other European countries.Sustrans, 2002. "The Official Guide to the National Cycle Network". 2nd ed. Italy: Canile & Turin. ISBN 1-901389-35-9. Relevant section reproduced [ here] .]

A decade earlier the Beeching Axe closed many British railways that the government considered underused and too costly. One such railway was the former Midland Railway line between central Bristol and Bath, closed in favour of the more direct, former Great Western Railway between the cities. Sustrans leased part of this route with the help of Avon County Council (Bristol and Bath were then part of the County of Avon) and turned it into their first route, the Bristol & Bath Railway Path.

In the early 1980s when unemployment rose, the organisation took advantage of government schemes to provide temporary employment to build similar 'green routes'. British Waterways collaborated with Sustrans to improve towpaths along some canals and this resulted in greatly increased use of the towpaths, especially by cyclists.

In 1983 the charity Sustrans was founded. It has 11 directors who are also the trustees, members, and board members of the charity and are chosen by the existing board. There is also an executive board composed of the chief executive and one of the two company secretaries. [Sustrans Ltd. & PriceWaterHouseCoopers LLP, 2005. "Annual Report for the year ending March 2005." Accessed 2005-12-20.]

By the early 1990s Sustrans had growing number of supporters and the network of national routes was emerging. In 1995 they were granted UK£43.5 million from the Millennium Lottery Fund [Sustrans, 2005. " [ Celebratory Events in 2005] ." Accessed 2005-12-20.] to extend the National Cycle Network to smaller towns and rural areas, as well as launch the Safe Routes to Schools project, based on earlier state projects in Denmark.

The organisation is working to introduce Safe Routes to Stations and Home Zones among other projects.


The National Cycle Network was the first project to receive Millennium Commission funding in 1995. Sustrans currently has many sources of funding, and in the 2004/05 financial year Sustrans income was £23.6 million. Of this, £2.1 million came from the donations of supporters. £8.5 million came from the Department for Transport, and a further £2.5 million from the National Opportunities Fund, specifically for the Safe Routes projects. Additional funding comes from charitable grants and trusts, local government and income from the sales of maps and books. [Sustrans Ltd. & PriceWaterHouseCoopers LLP, 2005. "Annual Report for the year ending March 2005." Accessed 2005-12-20.]

National Cycle Network

The National Cycle Network was officially opened in June 2000,Cycle-n-sleep, 2005. " [ Sustrans] ." Accessed 2005-12-20.] though 5000 miles had already been completed, and some routes had been open for over a decade. In 2005 the network reached 10,000 miles. [Sustrans, 2005. " [ Celebratory Events in 2005] ." Accessed 2005-12-20.] In urban areas almost 20% of the network is free from motor-traffic, though these sections can account for up to 80% of use. The more rural parts of the network see less motor traffic and are used primarily for leisure cycling. Sustrans has a number of opponents within the heritage railway movement and those promoting the expansion of the modern railway network to reduce motor travel. Some within these movements suggest that users of these rural routes actually increase motor travel in gaining access to these routes with cycles carried on vehicle roof racks etc.Fact|date=December 2007 Sustrans have been accused of being uncompromising on route sharing; E.g. allowing a single track railway adjacent to a cycle path on a double track railway formation. An example of this is the planned section of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway between Boscarne Junction & Wadebridge.

Sustrans estimate that in 2005 the network carried 232,000,000 journeys by all classes of non-motorised users. [Sustrans, 2006. " [ National Cycle Network Route User Monitoring Report to end of 2005] ." Accessed 2007-05-03. ] The data collected by Sustrans to compile their monitoring reports, from traffic counters and user surveys, shows that National Cycle Network usage is predominantly urban, and mainly on traffic-free sections. Furthermore, the surveys show that only 35% of usage on urban sections of the NCN is for leisure purposes.


Patrons of Sustrans include: -

Glenys Kinnock MEP, The Rt Hon Neil Kinnock, Jan Morris CBE, Dr Alex Moulton CBE RDI FREng, Dervla Murphy, Steven Norris, Jeremy Paxman, Jonathon Porritt CBE, Claire Rayner OBE, Richard Rogers, Bettina Selby, Jon Snow, The Rt Hon the Lord Waldegrave of North Hill, The Rt Hon Sir George Young MP.


Sustrans launched the 'Connect2' project in August 2006 in a successful bid to win £50 million from the Big Lottery's 'Living Landmarks; The People's Millions' Competition. It was one of six projects competing for the grant; Connect2 was announced as the winning project on 12 December 2007 [ [ The People's 50 Million ] ] .

Connect2 is a UK-wide project that aims to improve local travel in 79 communities by creating new walking and cycling routes for the local journeys that people make every day. By building bridges and new crossings over barriers such as busy roads, rivers and railway lines, Connect2 would connect people to the places they want to go. Each crossing would link to a network of walking and cycling routes and to schools, shops, work, green spaces, hospitals and other essential locations.

It is estimated that Connect2 will pass within half a mile of:
*3,280,000 people
*1,426,000 households
*1,355 schools
*500,000 pupils
*57 of the most deprived boroughs in the UK

giving the benefits:
*61.5 million trips a year are expected to made on the routes
*79,500 tonnes of CO2 could potentially be saved per annum if each of the journeys had replaced a car trip
*£135 million of funding in total will be generated by Connect2
*116 local authorities are working to deliver Connect2

The official Sustrans Connect2 website contains information on all schemes:

More information on the Big Lottery's 'Living Landmarks; The People's Millions' Programme is available on their website.

ee also

* Bicycle commuting & transport
* Bicycle touring
* Bike trials riding
* Challenge riding
* Cyclist
* List of cycleways
* Mountain biking
* Offroad cycling
* Permeability (spatial and transport planning)
* Road bicycle racing
* Segregated cycle facilities
* Sustainable transport
* Track cycling


External links

* [ Sustrans Official Home Page]
* [ Sustrans Connect2 Official Home Page]
* [ Safety of cycle paths]
* [ An alternative slant on Sustrans]

pecific routes

* [ Bristol and Bath Railway Path photographs (NCN 4)]
* [ The Taff Trail (NCN 8)]
* [ Valley Rides By Tony Gibbs (NCN 8)]
* [ The Pennine Cycleway NCN 68 Derby to Berwick by Dik Stoddart]

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