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FionaOutdoors
FionaOutdoors

New cycle routes in UK and France

The growth of cycling in recent years has seemingly prompted a fast-expanding network of cycle routes. Or perhaps it’s the other way around, and the increase in cycle routes is boosting the amount of people taking to their bikes. Here we bring you a round up of a range of new cycle routes that we have spotted.

New UK cycle routes

A 100-mile cycle route in Northumberland will launch this summer. The Sandstone Way will run between Berwick and Hexham. Following the “sandstone spine” the route tracks the geological ridge, linking sandstone features such as the pink coastal cliffs at Spittal, St Cuthbert’s Cave, Bowden Crag, Simonside, Lord Armstrong’s carriage drive at Rothbury and Warden Law, near Hexham. The new Neston to Deeside cycle route is set to link England to Wales. The Sustrans 568 cycle route officially opens in the coming months and offers a lovely off-road route featuring fine views of the Dee to the west and the new RSPB Burton Wetlands visitor centre. Look out for a new York cycle route. The  route north of the beautiful city is at planning stages. The £925,000 scheme would see an off-road pedestrian and cycle route created along the outer ring road, between Haxby Road and Wiggington Road. New Scottish Borders cycle and walking routes are being lined up to replace those lost by the return of the £300 million Borders Railway in Scotland. The new 35-mile line connecting Edinburgh to Tweedbank in the Borders will pass through Midlothian, joining with the old Waverley Line near Eskbank. Since its closure in 1969, long sections of the line have been replaced by walking and cycling routes, but these will now be lost. Midlothian Council has held talks with transport charity Sustrans to ensure all the paths will be replaced. Construction of a Lewes to Kingston cycle path, in Sussex, has started. Part of a £30million package of developments to link communities, the route will “create a picturesque safe route of travel between the town and the village for cycling enthusiasts,” according to Lewes MP and Transport Minister Norman Baker. A new greenway for walkers and cyclists linking Shipley and Bradford looks set to get the green light. The scheme will cost around £500,000 but it’s being welcomed by the communities and health groups. It was proposed that creating purpose-built cycle routes are a safer way to encourage people to take up riding for exercise than creating more cycle lanes on the main roads themselves. The Mayor of London has confirmed that almost £1 billion will be spent on what he's calling a 15-mile crossrail for the bike through the capital. As part of the route a new bridge will be built at the A40 near Shepherd's Bush to allow cyclists to join the Westway. A new off-road schools cycle route is to be built between two schools in Dorset. Pupils will be able to travel from Burton School to the Grange School in Christchurch on the route, which is part of Three Towns Travel project.

New cycle routes in France

The first section of EuroVelo 1, La Vélodyssée – the Atlantic Coast Route in France is now officially open and fully signposted. Starting at the Brittany port of Roscoff, EuroVelo 1 journeys for 1,200km along the French Atlantic coast through 4 Régions and 10 Départements, all the way down to Hendaye in the Basque country. It takes in the Loire estuary, the Vendée Marshes and the sandy beaches of the Aquitaine Coast. See www.lavelodyssee.com. In spring 2013, 11 new cycle routes are being opened in Orne, northern France, along the green alleys and byways known as the Voie Verte. Around 140km of the Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel route will pass through Orne, including 75km of dedicated traffic-free cycleways, which are part of the new national cycle route www.veloscenie.com linking Notre Dame in Paris with Mont St Michel. It passes through the department in the Normandy-Maine National Park, linking Carrouges Castle, the spa town of Bagnoles, Mediaeval Domfront and the Andaines Forest. Dozens of cycle routes range from 10km to 80km long.
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