The NCN is a vast cycle network across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
But it’s a leisure-time network. Large swathes of the trails start and finish in the middle of nowhere, so requiring a car to get there.
The network is laudable in that it makes it safe and easy for people to enjoy the countryside on a bike, and that it’s designed to be safe for children to use. (“A true bicycle network is one which can be safely used by a child” – Enrique Peñalosa, bike-friendly former mayor of Bogotà.) The other major users appear to be touring cyclists.
Disappointingly though, it does nothing for increasing bike use on a day-to-day basis. Hence the government can boast about the amount of money they pour into cycling without having to raise the number of people getting around town on a bike.
How about a little more provision and support for regular people on regular bikes in regular places? Functionality first, right?