Durham County Council has announced that a popular cycle route in Durham is to receive a makeover, having received a £999,445 grant from the Department for Transport, through the sustainable transport charity Sustrans, to enhance the route.
Sustrans is a charity dedicated to making it easier for people to walk and cycle. As custodians of the National Cycle Network, they aim to constantly improve the Network, and as such encourage more people to use it.
National Cycle Route 1, which runs from Dover to the Shetland Isles in Scotland and also forms part of the North Sea Cycleway, includes a 23 mile stretch through County Durham.
The work will include surface improvements at South Hetton and between Cold Hesledon and Dawdon, as well as upgrading the boardwalk at Pesspool Wood, near Haswell, to improve accessibility. Additionally, as the cycle route passes through sensitive environments, habitat improvements will be made to benefit wildlife.
Durham County Council has said that residents and community groups will be invited to get involved in clearing up the sites, with the aim of creating a safer and smoother route for people to enjoy for commuting and exercise.
Grahame Morris MP welcomed the planned improvement works, saying, “The National Cycle Network route attracts international visitors to County Durham every year, so the planned improvement works will be hugely beneficial to the area. They will provide a safe and accessible place to exercise, and further facilitate green and sustainable travel options for residents.”
The works, which were halted due to the coronavirus outbreak, will resume as soon as it is safe to do so, and it is anticipated that they will be completed by September 2022.