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Sustrans spends around £1.3m each year on maintenance

After record-breaking levels of rainfall caused significant damage across the National Cycle Network this winter, Sustrans has launched an appeal to raise funds for maintenance and repairs.

This winter saw a number of path and road sections of the National Cycle Network submerged with at least two cycle bridges suffering significant damage in Cumbria.

Sustrans spends around £1.3 million a year maintain the parts of the network it owns with a large proportion of the money coming from public donations.

Julian Hall, Director of Fundraising at Sustrans, said:

“Apart from in Scotland Sustrans doesn’t receive any money from the Government to maintain the parts of the National Cycle Network that we own so we rely heavily on the kind donations that we receive from the public.

“This winter has been extremely wet and the network has suffered as a result. Money raised will help us repair the worst hit parts of the network that we own and enable us to support 2,000 volunteer rangers who valiantly work to keep their local section of the Network clear come hell or high water.”

To donate, visit http://www.sustrans.org.uk/appeal or phone the Supporters Team on 0300 303 2604.

Money raised will go towards everything from clearing ditches and replacing fencing to removing debris and repairing bridges.

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14 comments

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zanf [947 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

If the quality of their work improved, they wouldnt have to keep going behind themselves to repair it

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Albec1 [17 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Keep up the good work Sustrans, you’ve done a terrific job in encouraging the general public to take up cycling - to work, to school and for the sheer fun of it.

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bikebot [2119 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

I wish I could like Sustrans, but when I've tried the off road sections of the NCN, even during good weather I've abandoned them.  

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mrmo [2093 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes

so where are the appeals for charity fund raising to repair the motorways? 

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Prosper0 [99 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Sustrans does great work, often in the face great opposition. They cared about making routes before anyone else even cared about cycling. Donated. 

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RedfishUK [157 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
bikebot wrote:

I wish I could like Sustrans, but when I've tried the off road sections of the NCN, even during good weather I've abandoned them.  

 

I agree to a certain extent, but a work colleague was complaining about improvements on canal paths round Manchester. His take was that the smooth surface had removed the fun and made them "less bouncy".

Difference between us I use the canal path (in Leeds) to commute, he is a weekend leisure cyclist on a MTB.

While Sustran try and tick all of the boxes, I get the impression they are more focused on Leisure off road cycling and they do that quite well.

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Guanajuato [83 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Mrmo - did you miss the bit where it says Sustrans get no government funding? unlike the motorways, which get far more funding than is received through 'road tax' (or fuel tax + Vehicle excise duty).

Thankfully, we have what's called community spirit here in Cumbria.  Millions have been raised by Cumbria Community Foundation, which will no doubt be supporting some of the reconstruction as they did after the 2009 floods.  The local councils are also contributing.  And in a brilliant move, as part of the A591 work, they're upgrading a bridleway to provide a traffic-free (tarmaced) link from the top of Dunmail Raise to the almost traffic free route on the west of Thirlmere.  Thus bypassing one of the worst bits of road for cycling in the lake district.

2 old railway bridges that formed part of the sustrans route from Keswick to Threlkeld were destroyed, a boardwalk was undermined.  These are all events that no amount of 'quality of their work' would have prevented.  If you've ever ridden that route, you'll know its a lovely route. Far better than getting close-passed by tourist-filled cars up the hill out of Keswick towards Castlerigg.

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [510 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Every single cycle track near me has huge complicated barriers to make it difficult for cyclists to access those tracks.  They also make it completely impossible for disabled people (in wheelchairs or mobility scooters) to access them.  And even after all that, the surfaces are usually terrible.

So no Sustrans, you'll not be receiving any donations from me.  Spend what funds you have creating decent infrastructure, not rubber stamping risable crap.

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STATO [540 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

Every single cycle track near me has huge complicated barriers to make it difficult for cyclists to access those tracks.  They also make it completely impossible for disabled people (in wheelchairs or mobility scooters) to access them.  And even after all that, the surfaces are usually terrible.

So no Sustrans, you'll not be receiving any donations from me.  Spend what funds you have creating decent infrastructure, not rubber stamping risable crap.

 

Thats very likely local council owned. Sustrans may have been involved in building it possibly but barriers like that are things that the general public request to prevent their stupid kids riding motorbikes on the tracks.  I agree Sustrans should be aiming for higher standards, especially in what their contractors produce, but they are humstrung by how big they have become and the need to pander to council requirements or they will lose contracts and put their (not inconsiderable!) office workforce out of jobs.

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RedfishUK [157 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

Every single cycle track near me has huge complicated barriers to make it difficult for cyclists to access those tracks.  They also make it completely impossible for disabled people (in wheelchairs or mobility scooters) to access them.  And even after all that, the surfaces are usually terrible.

Trouble is without barriers you get motorbikes and quad bikes everywhere. Locally the barriers have been damaged to allow access into the local woods and the paths are now virtually impassable even on foot, never mind cycling.

So yes it is frustrating but on balance the lesser of two evils

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Edgeley [469 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Sustrans will get money from me when

- it stops saying yes to every half-arsed scheme our local authority puts forward, thus undermining sensible cycle campaigns, since the authority can then say they have cyclist approval

- stop building rubbish cycle facilities.  Near us there is one in which the potholes were fixed by putting a 2 inch layer of gravel over the top.

I am sure they mean well.  But they don't deliver.

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fukawitribe [1935 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Sustrans aren't perfect, far from it, but perhaps they can be improved by the contribution and help from those those that have issues with them ? They're not _that_ monolithic at the local level that they're not amenable to some persausion here and there IME.

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Guanajuato [83 posts] 1 year ago
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https://twitter.com/keswick_bandb/status/710140279886618624

This is the kind of thing its for. Pretty sure sustrans 'poor work' can't be blamed for that.  7

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oldstrath [816 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
fukawitribe wrote:

Sustrans aren't perfect, far from it, but perhaps they can be improved by the contribution and help from those those that have issues with them ? They're not _that_ monolithic at the local level that they're not amenable to some persausion here and there IME.

In my experience they are utterly focussed on mileage of signed 'cycleways', far too willing to compromise with vested interests, and only really concerned with leisure travel. Consider, for  example,  the recently opened Aviemore to Kincraig  path - poorly surfaced, with gradients sufficient to deter some of my colleagues, and boasting 11 gates in its 5 miles. Fine for a leisurely potter,  but when some hack politico opened it the Sustrans heid yin blethered on about how it would be great for commuting.  After some pressure he admitted he was wrong,  but no plans to do anything about it. 

So 'open to persuasion' means they occasionally admit that they build shite,  not that they will stop building shite.