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Pennine Cycleway

Launch of spectacular new 350 mile route

    The official opening of the 350-mile Pennine Cycleway was marked at 11am, on Thursday, 10th July, when Councillor Lucy Care, Cabinet Member Planning, Transportation and Environment, of Derby City Council launched an inaugural ride of around 80 supporters of Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity responsible for coordinating the development of the National Cycle Network. In ideal weather conditions the group set off on an eight-day trail blazing ride from Derby to Berwick-on-Tweed.

Cyclists with flags on the Tissington Trail

Lead riders on the Tissington Trail en route to Berwick on Tweed (photo CTC Cymru)

    Led by Sustrans Chief Engineer John Grimshaw MBE, the riders planned to meet up with local authority and other dignitaries representing organisations which have played a part in developing the route. This involves passing through various picturesque locations including Buxton, High Peak, Barnsley, Hebden Bridge, Calderdale, Ingleborough, and Appleby. The ride is scheduled to finish at Berwick-on-Tweed on the 17th July.

    The Pennine Cycleway is now the longest cycle challenge ride in the UK covering around 350 miles along the backbone of England. It follows quiet country roads for around 80% of its length, with the remainder on forest tracks and disused railway lines. It will test the limits for those wishing to witness the wild and beautiful scenery of the English Pennines as the route passes through three national parks.

Shaking hands

Sustrans receiving warm congratulations from CTC Cymru in a former railway cutting near Parsley Hay, south of Buxton. John Grimshaw MBE, Sustrans Chief Engineer, left. Roy Spilsbury, Hon Sec CTC Cymru, right.

   The northern section of the Pennine Cycleway was launched last summer. The current ride celebrates the official opening of the entire length including the central and southern sections and the completion of National Cycle Network Route 68. Sustrans predicts the Pennine Cycleway will become the latest success story in long-distance cycle tourism, alongside routes such as the C2C and Lôn Las Cymru. It also provides opportunities for weekend and day trips. The route takes in some of the most remote and spectacular scenery in Britain running down the very spine of the English countryside.

    Sustrans’ Challenge Routes Manager, David Gray, says “This is going to be a fantastically enjoyable trip. Some of the sections are of the more challenging nature, so it isn’t just the scenery that’ll take your breath away, but this is a cycle ride not to be missed!”

    Construction of the route has been the result of many local authority partnerships and funding from numerous sources. Funding for the final signing, information boards and mapping has been provided by the Countryside Agency.

    Congratulations to Sustrans and partners for the Pennine Cycleway. An initiative for which future generations will be truly grateful. Unfortunately throughout the UK negative landed interests persist, and cause unnecessary diversions and obstacles to sustainable progress.

Visionaries in North Wales remain bitter by the loss of nerve by Denbighshire which turned down the 18 mile LON CLWYD CYCLEWAY along the former rail route from Rhyl to Ruthin. This would have opened up a truly magnificent, largely off road, cycle route from Ruthin to Barmouth.

    Rest in Peace ? - Not on your life !

    The National Cycle Network was initiated with a Lottery grant of £43.5 million from the Millennium Commission to provide a legacy of new facilities for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users in the 21st Century. The National Cycle Network, two-thirds of which is traffic-free and the rest on quiet minor or traffic-calmed road, already covers 7,000 miles of the UK and is due to extend to 10,000 miles by 2005. It is already helping to encourage new and inexperienced cyclists to get on their bikes and has seen a growth in usage of 20% since its official opening in 2000.

    For further information please contact the Press Office Telephone: 0117 927 7555; Fax: 0117 930 4149; E-mail: press@sustrans.org.uk.

     Senior Press Officer – Kevin Saunders (Mobile – 07802 986728). Press Officer – Anja Dalton (Mobile – 07736 398940). Photo Librarian – Jonathan Bewley (0117 915 0120).

    Further information about Sustrans, including other news releases and detailed online route mapping, is available through website:  www.sustrans.org.uk

    For information about CTC, the oldest cycling organisation in the world, click here.

    For information about cycle routes and rides in North Wales together with news, features and cycle photos that tell a story, see other sections of this website. It is updated several times a week and recently added files can be accessed from our Home Page.