sustrans cuts routes

NickWi
Posts: 133
Joined: 28 Apr 2011, 8:14pm

National Cycle Network Being Slashed

Postby NickWi » 19 Jul 2020, 8:15am

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020 ... ty-grounds

It looks like as of Monday we will no longer having a National Cycle Network!


Enigmadick
Posts: 31
Joined: 5 Mar 2016, 11:28am

Re: National Cycle Network Being Slashed

Postby Enigmadick » 19 Jul 2020, 9:47am

Reads to me that only 4% that follows roads with fast moving traffic are being delisted.

However it is hardly good news.
ENIGMA DICK aka Richard Barrett

Jdsk
Posts: 1233
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: National Cycle Network Being Slashed

Postby Jdsk » 19 Jul 2020, 10:30am

I hadn't heard of this.

1 Is the story in the Guardian roughly correct?

2 Does this imply lower expenditure on the downgraded routes? The article suggests that it might nudge improvements of routes that are near the new threshold...

3 Why is this better than stratified labelling?

Jonathan

PS: See existing discussion of Sustrans and touring:
https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=138944

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 13737
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Leafy suburbia

Re: National Cycle Network Being Slashed

Postby Cyril Haearn » 19 Jul 2020, 10:32am

It would be simple enough to apply reduced maximum speed limits to sections, over Hartside for example

I should love to cycle up Hartside, but how may one avoid the terrifying descent? The Alston side is not so steep, but I do not fancy that either
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB, 60097
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1537
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: National Cycle Network Being Slashed

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 19 Jul 2020, 12:00pm

See Sustrans' official NCN map - http://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ncn

The dashed lines are those routes which are being downgraded to "cycle route, but not NCN route". So I expect there'll still be cycle route signs over Hartside, they'll just say "C2C" rather than "NCN 7". Similarly, the former NCN 1 north of Tain might be signposted as EuroVelo 1, or maybe a new brand like the "Highland Cycleway" or something.

Where a route has been removed entirely, it's not on the map any more. NCN 20 from Crawley to Brighton has gone, and I think that's the right decision. Rutland, too, is now pretty much NCN-free.

Jdsk wrote:3 Why is this better than stratified labelling?


Effectively that's what's happening. NCN routes will have their own design standards (quiet street or traffic-free). There'll still be plenty of signposted cycle routes that don't meet this standard, including many of the sections of NCN dropped today - they just won't have NCN number patches on them.

Jdsk wrote:2 Does this imply lower expenditure on the downgraded routes? The article suggests that it might nudge improvements of routes that are near the new threshold...


TBH the current expenditure on the downgraded routes is minimal. Many of them are either NCN routes set up at the Millennium which have had minimal attention from local authorities in the subsequent years, or former "county cycleways" which became Regional Routes and were then brought into the NCN as part of the great Regional Route renumbering of 2010. (In retrospect, I think the renumbering caused a lot of problems which this announcement is now putting right.)

It's possible that local authorities will now choose to "adopt" their county cycleways again, and spend a bit on promotion/upkeep. Or some of them may be abandoned entirely. Who knows.

Cyril Haearn wrote:It would be simple enough to apply reduced maximum speed limits to sections, over Hartside for example


It's simple in theory but difficult in practice. Applying 20mph to city streets where people live usually gets hordes of objections. Putting a 40mph limit on a remote(ish) rural road would see many more - not least from the local police, who would claim it's unenforceable, and planning authorities are usually reluctant to go against police advice. Personally I'd like to see all 60mph roads on the NCN cut to 40mph or less.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

Jdsk
Posts: 1233
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: National Cycle Network Being Slashed

Postby Jdsk » 19 Jul 2020, 12:16pm

Thank you

Jonathan

gloomyandy
Posts: 1073
Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 10:46pm

Re: National Cycle Network Being Slashed

Postby gloomyandy » 19 Jul 2020, 1:25pm

Some of this seems a little strange though. I've cycled on the roads that make up the Hebridean Cycle Way many times and to be honest they are probably much safer in many respects than the Sustrans owned and maintained Spen Valley Greenway which is local to me. The mixture of walkers, dogs, skiers(!) and other users makes negotiating the 10 mile length interesting at best and dangerous at times.

But I (like most on here) am probably not the type of user that Sustrans seems to be targeting. I'm sure they view the mixed use on my local Greenway as a success, even though I know that many "experienced" cyclists actually avoid using it. Perhaps they have decided that the dog walking community will be a better source of income than cyclists! :-)

PaulaT
Posts: 117
Joined: 20 Dec 2018, 6:41pm
Location: Staffordshire

Re: National Cycle Network Being Slashed

Postby PaulaT » 19 Jul 2020, 2:17pm

Rural roads with speed limits in excess of 40MPH? That'll be most rural roads I've ever cycled along apart from where they pass though villages where's there's invariably a 30MPH speed limit. What a pathetic shower.

Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1537
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: National Cycle Network Being Slashed

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 19 Jul 2020, 2:30pm

The Guardian has got it wrong there. It's not rural roads with speed limits over 40mph, it's rural roads with average car speeds over 40mph. So on "my" local route, for example, the average car speed is consistently under 40mph (even though the speed limit is often 60mph) - so the route continues as part of the NCN.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

thirdcrank
Posts: 29040
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: National Cycle Network Being Slashed

Postby thirdcrank » 19 Jul 2020, 3:05pm

I see that this "only" applies to Sustrans own designation of routes suitable for cycling, but there's a strong tendency for highwaymen to regard any road not designated as a cycle route under one heading or another, to be not for cycling ie cyclists should not be on it and have only themselves to blame if they are. Furthermore, if local campaigners seek improvements, then they are likely to be dismissed on the grounds that it's not a cycle route.

PS I can see that this is only an extension of the present situation, but that's my point. The road to being restricted to ploughed fields is paved with ....

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15815
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: sustrans cuts routes

Postby mjr » 19 Jul 2020, 6:03pm

They've been listening to whom?

What we need is more routes so there's an actual network instead of a coast loop and two and a half spurs in Norfolk - and substandard parts of that network improved. Cutting the network back is a terrible move IMO. It'll put more strain on local cycling groups to monitor signs, report damaged and missing signs and to put up temporary route stickers if Sustrans rangers no longer do it, which in turn means less volunteer time for campaigning for improvements and against damage by developers... And campaigning will be hindered if we can no longer argue that a route deserves protecting or improving because it's of importance to the national network.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

oneten
Posts: 159
Joined: 11 Aug 2014, 2:49pm
Location: Whitstable, Kent

Re: National Cycle Network Being Slashed

Postby oneten » 19 Jul 2020, 6:09pm

See Sustrans' official NCN map - http://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ncn

Glancing at the above updated NCN map, I'm surprised to see that the section of NCN2 at Fairlight between Rye and Hastings hasn't been removed (though it is in blue as 'on road' with a red square ). I rode along it last week and it is a pretty dangerous stretch, especially when ascending the hills. This was on a weekday with a fair number of lorries and cars, the issue not being so much average speed but many passing quite close on the narrow uphill sections. Sensing the potential for danger, I resorted to the narrow pavement on the way up. Retracing the route back, it was more a case of keeping my speed down due to the poor road surface. I just wondered that if sections like this are still way-marked as part of the NCN, then how much more dangerous the actual removed sections must be.

wearwell
Posts: 332
Joined: 3 Feb 2011, 8:45am

Re: sustrans cuts routes

Postby wearwell » 19 Jul 2020, 7:23pm

I think we need more provision for cycling Netherlands style, traffic lanes, dedicated well maintained paths etc - for cyclists then to work out their own routes. That's what we've always done; looking at someone's "route" as useful info but then adapting it to suit ourselves

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15815
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: sustrans cuts routes

Postby mjr » 19 Jul 2020, 8:31pm

I'm tempted to ride out and take pictures of the mudbath and sandpits they're keeping and the quiet lanes they're deleting from the network, to be honest. The decisions on that map appear to make no sense. Off-carriageway routes seem to get a pass purely for being off-carriageway, even if you need waders half the year!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.