National Cycle Network
There are some 1,200 miles of the National Cycle Network in Wales – roughly 10% of the UK network. About a third of the Network is traffic free, with the remainder on quietroads. Our major project the Valleys Cycle Network to extend the NCN over the next three years in the South Wales valleys will add a further 100 miles of mostly traffic free routes to the Network.
Connect2 is the BIG Lottery funded walking and cycling project that is transforming local communities across the UK. In Wales we are working with ten communities to overcome barriers to walking and cycling over the next five years. They are: Cardiff (Cardiff Bay to Penarth), Carmarthen, Clydach, in the Swansea valley, Merthyr, Monmouth, Newport, Port Talbot, Pontypridd, Rhyl and Tintern.
Active Travel works with policy-makers and practitioners to promote walking and cycling. Sedentary lifestyles are causing an obesity epidemic and increasing the risk of health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancers, and osteoporosis. One of the easiest ways to increase physical activity is to include walking and cycling in the daily routine.
Sustrans Cymru is running two practical projects in the South Wales valleys to encourage local people to build walking and cycling into their daily routines.
We know that millions of children want to cycle to school in this country, yet only 2% do. Sustrans has stepped in to sort this out with Bike It , a ground-breaking project which has already tripled the number of children cycling to its target schools. In cardiff, Conwy and Neath Port Talbot we are working with twelve schools each year to overcome barriers to walking and cycling and create a positive cycling culture which continues long after we have left.
The vast majority of the trips we make start or end at home, and if we step out of our front door into a hostile environment, we are likely to react defensively. This often means we end up getting into a car when we don’t really need to. Our DIY Streets project is working with residents to cheaply re-design their streets to make them less car-centric, more attractive and safer places for children to play.
With funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and our Local Authority partners we are running ten pilot projects across the UK, three of which are in Wales (Cardiff, Port Talbot and Bridgend).
Art and Landscape
As part of our Valleys Cycle Network project we will be developing public arts projects across the former south Wales coalfield. We aim to increase access to the arts as an imaginative and inspiring way to explore wider aspects of the human experience, and attract people to try walking and cycling. We will be working with artists and communities to develop an extensive range of work inspired by the changing environment along the National Cycle Network.
Our volunteers are our eyes and ears in communities throughout Wales – more than 200 peple who give their free time to support Sustrans. Many maintain and sign the Network to enable as many people as possible to use it, others champion our efforts within schools and workplaces, and others help the charity to be more sustainable by holding fundraising events.
You can also find all sorts of rides at our bilingual Routes2Ride Waleswebsite. The site features full route descriptions, maps, weather forecasts and RSS feed