At least 55 new projects will be delivered over the next five years across the UK to kick-start a ‘major’ overhaul of the National Cycle Network.
The aim is to transform it into paths and open up walking and cycling to children, wheelchair users, those riding non-standard cycles and the less physically active.
The projects are a result of the first ever review and an independent audit of the 16,575-mile network.
Among the key measures to improve the network are 55 ‘activation projects’ which Sustrans aims to deliver in partnership with local authorities and other landowners across the UK.
These range from improving signage to removing ‘unnecessary’ barriers and creating new traffic-free sections.
The projects are to be finalised by 2023 at a cost of approximately £60 million.
Xavier Brice, CEO for Sustrans, said: “The National Cycle Network is a huge opportunity for central and local Governments to transform the way people travel and help tackle a number of challenges facing their communities, including congestion, high levels of obesity and inactivity.
“The Network already enables 4.4 million people to travel actively every year, but currently only one-third of the paths are away from cars and half are not the quality asset they should be.
“The new projects are the first step to help us achieve a vision for a traffic-free, safe and accessible Network for all.
“We look forward to working closely with local authorities and other landowners to turn this vision into a reality and create walking and cycling paths used and enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities across all nations and regions.”