Since 2015, we’ve invested over £100 million in boosting England’s cycleways. In October 2018, we partnered with Sustrans to help improve the UK's 16,505 mile National Cycle Network. Our investment is providing safer crossings and connecting cycle schemes along some of England’s busiest roads.
The Vigo Railway tunnel in County Durham passes under the A1 and is part of the UK’s most popular challenge cycle route - the Sea to Sea. However, users of the tunnel were finding that it was often flooded, and some felt the damp and dark route was unsafe. In addition, the path turned sharply after exiting the tunnel - leading to several head on collisions and near misses. Working with Sustrans, we invested almost £2.5 million to upgrade the path, making it safer for all users.
As well as lining the tunnel with steel, we shored up and repaired retaining walls, cleared vegetation and realigned the path to increase visibility. We also changed the camber of the path and improved drainage so that the tunnel is less likely to flood. The initiative has resulted in an extra 131m of cycle path along this route.
"It’s great to see this work completed and open to users once more. This section now has significant improvements for people walking, cycling or using a wheelchair or mobility scooter. There are also reduced maintenance issues on the bridge for years to come."Gina Clarke, Land Manager, Sustrans