Sunderland cycle routes to benefit from £370,700 investment from Department of Transport
Communities in Sunderland and County Durham are set to benefit from investment to the National Cycle Network from the Department of Transport, which will be managed by walking and cycling charity, Sustrans.
The £370,700 funding will cover surfacing and widening work on the popular NCN1 route between Ryhope, Sunderland, and Seaton outside of Seaham.
The Department for Transport (DfT) announced funding for the Network totalling £30million as part of its ‘Summer of Cycling and Walking’ initiative.
Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Claire Rowntree said: “Sunderland hosts some very important parts of the National Cycle Network and we have cycling routes that are suited to both recreational and commuting cyclists.
“We have more than 100 km (60 miles) of these dedicated cycling routes and we are continuing to work with local and national partners on maintenance, upgrading and expanding this network as we move to becoming a carbon neutral city.
Rosslyn Colderley, Director for Sustrans in the North of England said: “This funding will bring key improvements to the National Cycle Network in Sunderland by enhancing this valued and well-used cycling and walking route. Most importantly of all, this vital boost will further enable those who want to cycle, walk or wheel to do so.”
The announcement coincides with the DfT’s introduction of the 2021/22 Capability Fund; a £30million revenue funding stream allocated to all local authorities in England, outside of London, to help them plan for good quality active travel infrastructure and to support behaviour change programmes.
The Fund is supported by a ‘Moment of Change’ guidance publication for local authorities, which enables them to support commuters to make active travel choices when returning to workplaces post-pandemic and is also released today under the Summer of Cycling and Walking banner.
Later in the year, Active Travel England will be set up as a dedicated body focused on ensuring inclusive design in town and city infrastructure, tipping the balance in favour of active forms of travel.
During 2020, cycling and walking usage on the traffic-free portion of the National Cycle Network was up by 25%, when compared to 2019.