Wednesday, 3 February 2010

National Route 6

"National Route 6 of the National Cycle Network will connect London and Keswick in Cumbria when complete. The route will pass through Watford, Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Market Harborough, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Worksop, Sheffield, Manchester, Blackburn, Preston, Lancaster, Kendal and Windermere." (Sustrans). 
So a major bit of cycling infrastucture then? Don't get me wrong, the bit I have cycled, between Salford and Bury, NW England, is enjoyable for a ride out but is not a patch on the quality of routes available in Holland. Although I doubt it was intended to be, It is certainly not an adequate commuter route. What a shame we cannot invest in routes to get people out of their cars. 

Here are some videos: 

An easy to use bridge

At least this section is better than the one alongside

A bit made with bricks


  1. Route 5 is cracking - well looked after - well the North Wales bit anyway :)

  2. Hi Darrell
    As a local Sustrans volunteer ranger I think I need to point out a couple of things. Yes the routes vary greatly and I think the term 'national network' sets expectations too high. I view them primarily as leisure routes and some are truly excellent (eg Bath-Bristol). However the NCN 6 through Salford to Manchester is a very useful quieter route to town and I use it on my daily commute. Barriers annoy us all but they are a necessary evil - when you see illegal motorbikes please report them to the police on 872 5050, if we don't report, they'll never act. The stoney bit by Elton res is a private road which is a public right of way. The local farmer takes down signs as soon as us Rangers put them up. The very supportive Bury MBC can't enforce anything. As you care for cycle routes you might like to join as a Ranger too?
    Cycle safe, Nigel

  3. Joby

    I'll have to try route 5 one day. Going to be doing a fair bit of the National Cycle Network in July when I cycle from Derby to Berwick-upon-Tweed and will be reporting my travels on the blog.


    I think you are right. Calling it a National Network suggests some kind of "national" standard/quality where in reality it is not. There are excellent sections I know, but many are created using the existing infrastructure (not a bad thing in itself) and giving it a new/additional label - hence the problem with the farmer or using private 'right of ways'. All this is fine for a hardy mountain biker or even a leisure ride but will surely put a lot of potential commuters off me thinks. It is not Dutch quality by any means and will not make a substantial impact on car use IMO.

    Yes, barriers are required in some sections. What a shame they are though. Of course I will report scramble bikes - i'll even give the police video evidence!

    Join you as a Ranger? I'd need to know more first. It sounds a bit Boy Scout - please say you don't do badges? Seriously though, I would consider it. Drop me an email (available from my profile) and we'll talk.


  4. Ha ha video evidence would be very useful! I'll drop you a line about Rangering, I've not done much myself recently but with the Prestwich Forest Park developments and the Woolfold Gap project north of Bury there's going to be some marked improvements in our area. For on road issues I recommend Bury Cycle Forum your camera footage is excellent and I'm sure would be of interest to the council. Keep up the filming and blogging!