From Academic Kids

Sustrans is a British charity which promotes sustainable transport. The charity is currently working on a number of practical projects to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport in order to reduce car traffic and its adverse effects. Sustrans' flagship project is the National Cycle Network, creating 16,000km (10,000 miles) of cycle routes throughout the UK.

As well as the National Cycle Network, Sustrans is working on Safe Routes to Schools, Safe Routes to Stations, home zones and other practical responses to the transport and environmental challenges we face. Sustrans' work relies on the generous donations and monthly standing orders of 40,000 Supporters, and the support of charitable trusts, companies, the National Lottery and local authority programmes.

Missing image
Sustrans' first ever route follows a disused railway though a green corridor in Bristol.


Sustrans was formed in Bristol in July 1977 by a group of cyclists and environmentalists motivated by the 1973 oil crisis and poor provision for cyclists in British cities. A decade earlier the Beeching axe had closed many British railways that were performing badly comercially as road transport grew. One such railway was the former London, Midland and Scottish Railway line from central Bristol to Bath, which had been closed as it competed with the former Great Western Railway between the cities. Sustrans acquired this wide, flat route with the help of Avon and Bristol councils (Bristol and Bath were then part of the county of Avon) and turned it into their first route, the Bristol and Bath railway path.

In the early 1980s when unemployment rose, the organisation took advantage of benefits to employ people in major cities, whose local authorities were often keen on the sustrans idea, to build similar 'green routes'. British Waterways collaborated with sustrans to improve towpaths along many canals and open them to cycle traffic.

By the early 1990s sustrans had a fast growing supporter base and the Network of national routes was emerging. In 1995 they were granted UKú43.5 million from the Millennium Lottery Fund on top of the donations from local authorities, the Department for Transport, European Union and the cycle industry, allowing them to extend the National Cycle Network to smaller towns and rural areas, as well as launch the Safe Routes To Schools project.

The organisation is now working to introduce Safe Routes to Stations and Home Zones.

External links

Official Sustrans sites:

Sustrans Rangers Cymru (Wales):

Rangers Pages

Websites for specific routes:

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