Bmblbzzz wrote:"Cut" is slightly misleading. The only sections being "cut" are on roads. Therefore, they won't cease to exist. Some signs will disappear, some maps will be altered. Some routes will become discontinuous; if you're following one long distance, you've *probably* but by no means certainly got some idea of where you're going and some way-finding method other than road signs. But if you're just out for a local potter and relying on the signs to show you where is a good place to potter without cars, you might not! Equally, if you had followed the signs off the end of the motor-free section on to the road, you would have been mislead - it's no longer pleasant. So from that perspective, removing the signs is a sensible decision.
Surely that depends on the road? Going off the end of a motor-free section onto a long single track dead-end road serving a couple of farms is unlikely to be hell.
Also, there are plenty of 60mph roads being kept in the NCN. Otherwise, almost all the blue solid lines on the Sustrans OS Map layer would be in built-up areas and the network would have been cut up even more.
The roads might not cease to exist but there will now be even more guesswork involved about which is the best road to take, probably spreading the small number of cyclists even more thinly between them. My example: you arrive at the dead-end of NCN11 in Ely heading north (congratulations on surviving the very stony farm track!). How do you get to the next section at Ten Mile Bank?
1. National Byway B road to Queen Alexandra, a C-class road to Littleport, 100m on an A road and U-class road to Ten Mile Bank;
2. Cycleway alongside a B road to Little Downham, a few miles on a U-class road, 50m on an A road to a roundabout, then a C-class through Littleport, across an A road and then a U-class road to Ten Mile Bank;
3. Cycleway alongside a B road to Little Downham, then the B road to a rural A road for a few miles and on to a C-class road to Ten Mile Bank;
4. Cycleway alongside a C-class road, then the C-class road to/through Littleport, across an A road and then a U-class road to Ten Mile Bank.
Now, I know which I would currently take and which I will take in a few months time if some announced works are completed, based on stuff like traffic levels, road widths and driver behaviour, which is stuff that won't appear on many maps, will it?
Interestingly, cycle.travel picks the one closest to the current NCN, but that's not one I'd pick either now or later, unless I wanted to go to the bird reserve.
Calling these routes "routes" in the first place opens up a contradiction. A route goes from one place to another. It might be a long, such as a coast to coast route, or it might just be from the suburbs into the city centre, but the idea is to get somewhere. Which is great, and is what many Sustrans ways do. But quite a lot of them don't really go anywhere, they just mark out the pleasant places to bimble. Which is also great.
Name a NCN route which didn't go anywhere? It didn't always go the most direct route between neighbouring towns (National Route 1 Lynn to Wisbech = 33km, Local Route 9 - Market Lane - Wisbech Road = 26km) but it was often arguable (Route 1 did not have a level crossing with an A road, unlike Market Lane).
The main problem was that we needed more routes to form a network linking each town to its neighbours directly, rather than it looking like you should go from A to D via H, W and F instead of B and C...
There used to be (maybe still are in some places?) "Local" sections of NCN, marked with numbers on a blue background.
I think those were Regional Routes. Many were renumbered into the national routes a few years ago. The remainder seem to have been deleted from the NCN now (Sustrans replied to me that "Regional Route sections in the area have been removed from the map as they do not meet the quality standards we aspire to for the National Cycle Network"), but I don't know if the blue route numbers have become available for other uses now.
I think Norfolk do different again: Norwich has used coloured squares and West Norfolk has black numbers on white and I don't think either of those appear in TSRGD but I haven't checked.