National Cycle Network
The National Cycle Network in the United Kingdom was created by the charity Sustrans (Sustainable Transport), aided by a £42.5 million National Lottery grant. In 2005 it was used for over 230 million trips.
Many routes try to minimise contact with motor traffic, though 70% of them are on roads. The NCN uses pedestrian routes, disused railways, minor roads, canal towpaths and or traffic-calmed routes in towns and cities.
Total national mileage 
The original goal was to create 5,000 miles (8,000 km) of signed cycle routes by 2005, with 50% of these not being on roads, and all of it being "suitable for an unsupervised twelve year old." By mid 2000 5,000 miles (8,000 km) of route were signposted to an "interim" standard, and a new goal was then set to double that to 10,000 miles (16,000 km) by 2005. August 2005 saw the completion of that goal. At mid-2011 there were 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of signed cycle route to NCN standards.
Numbering system 
NCN routes beginning with numbers 1 to 6 are generally in England, with 7 start in the far north of England and Scotland, with 8 are generally in Wales, and 9 in Northern Ireland. The main routes have one digit (1 to 6 radiate clockwise from the south of England); other routes have two digits, starting with the number of the relevant main route.
There are also many regional routes, reaching smaller towns and cities within ten designated regions. Each region is divided into a maximum of nine areas. Regional route numbers comprise the area number 1 to 9 followed by another digit. (An exception is in the Scottish Borders council area, where regional routes are numbered 1 to 9.) This means that across the UK there could be 10 regional route 12s, for instance, as well as the national route 12. To reduce confusion, identically numbered areas in adjacent regions do not abut, and routes with the same number are widely separated.
In 2009 regional routes were being renumbered with 3-digit national numbers.
Routes are occasionally numbered to match the motorways and major roads that connect the same destinations; examples include NCN Route 62, which by connecting the two sides of the Pennines mirrors the M62 motorway.
The network is signposted using a white bicycle symbol on a blue background, with a white route number in an inset box, but with no destination names or distances. National Route numbers have a red background, Regional Route numbers have a blue background. The system of symbols is based on that used by the Danish Cycle Network.
1000 Millennium cast iron mileposts funded by the Royal Bank of Scotland to mark the creation of the National Cycle Network, and found along the cycles routes through the UK.
There are four different types, "Fossil Tree" (designed by John Mills), "The Cockerel" (designed by Iain McColl), Rowe Type by Andrew Rowe, and "Tracks" (designed by David Dudgeon). The four artists are from each country of the UK, though all posts can be found in all four countries.
Main routes 
See also 
- The National Byway - an alternative 4,500-mile (7,242 km) sign-posted cycle network around Britain
- Segregated cycle facilities
- List of rail trails
- Hesdin, Farah (2011-11-29). "The UK on a bicycle: the National Cycle Network". Bikenet.com. Retrieved 2012-09-24.
- "National Cycle Network". Essex Council. 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-24.
- Beds for Cyclists, 2012. National Cycle Network Popularity." Accessed 2012-05-05.
- Route Numbering system - Sustrans
- National Cycle Network Mileposts [131 photos] :: Geograph Britain and Ireland - photograph every grid square!
- Mileposts | Sustrans
Further reading 
- Sustrans, 2002. The Official Guide To The National Cycle Network, 2nd ed. Italy: Canile & Turin. ISBN 1-901389-35-9.
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