Thursday, 13 December 2007

Sustrans wins!

As a member of Sustrans, I am delighted that their Connect2 project has won the Peoples' £50million Lottery Giveaway. This was a triumph of telephone-based electoral organisation of which Lord Rennard would be proud.

A couple of weeks ago I was phoned by a Sustrans volunteer to ask if I would vote for the project. Then earlier this week I received one of those text messages which are sent in spoken form to your home phone (there's probably some proper name for this process), then finally another personal phone call to make sure I'd voted.

The only drawback from my point of view is that none of the Connect2 projects touch Darlington. The nearest is a link path between Ingleby Barwick, Eaglescliffe and Yarm. Indeed, Darlington is one of the largest towns in the country not yet on the National Cycle Network map. There is a proposed route linking us to Stockton, from where there is access to the whole country by cycle routes, but as yet we are isolated, which is strange, since we are a Cycling Demonstration Town.


miketually said...

The Sustrans network passes through Hurworth (the Barnard Castle to Whitby route (NCN 52?)) so the Borough is connected, although not yet the town itself. This is, I think, partly down to the way that the funding for CDT was provided, which states the money can only be used within the urban area (since that's what the study was looking at).

Darlington Cycling Campaign have suggested a way that cyclists can be safely routed past the A66(M) roundabout to get to Stapleton and so link in to the Sustrans network. There are also two possible routes from Hurworth into the town itslef.

Hopefully, the town can still benefit from the Connect2 bid winning, as funds which would have been used on those schemes in the Tees Valley which were included could be used in Darlington instead. (I do know of at least one person who commutes by bike from Ingleby Barwick to Darlington, whose journey may be made better by the scheme.)

A fantastic result for Sustrans.

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes.

Yes indeed a wonderful result.

Let's hope that Darlington Cycling Campaign's suggestions are implemented and co-ordinated dedicated networks of cycle routes, including into and out of Darlington Town Centre are created where cyclists can travel safely and cyclists are separated from cars, buses and lorries.

Aeres said...

Yes, it's good news I think.

Interested to hear that Darlington - Stockton may be in the pipeline. I live in Darlington and work in Thornaby and would love to cycle to work in the Summer months. However, last time I looked it appeared that it was impossible without either taking a round about route or risking life and limb on the A66.

Unless of course miketually can suggest an alternative that I've missed that's staring me in the face (bit of a novice I must admit... :-)

miketually said...

There is the back road to Stockton, from Sadberge, but you'd probably be safer on the A66!

You could ride to the station and catch a train to Boro, then ride from Boro to work? Though I suspect that this would take a very long time.