June 17, 2014 | Community News
A new cycle route through Durham City, jointly funded by the Banks Community Fund, has opened thanks to work done by Durham County Council and Durham Cathedral.
Local cyclists joined a guided ride to celebrate the new route and explore other recent improvements to the walking and cycling infrastructure around Durham City.
The route is part of a wider project to improve the paths along the city’s riverbanks, which has seen over £60,000 worth of investment from the two parties. Work has included tarmacking paths and restoring cobble drains to improve their efficiency and aesthetics and a specialist cobble restoration team has been used due to the Heritage nature of the site.
Now upgraded to a permissive bridleway, the route can be used by cyclists and includes a newly resurfaced stretch of path from the North Bailey to Quarryheads Lane, across Prebends Bridge.
In time the route will become part of the National Cycle Network 14, something that Durham County Council are currently working to finalise.
Gina Davies from Durham Cathedral’s Woodlands and Riverbanks team said: “Our project aims to encourage more people to enjoy the riverbanks for leisure and relaxation and so we are extremely grateful to the Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Banks Community Fund, Biffa Award and the Friends of Durham Cathedral, who have all helped fund this project.”
Durham County Council has funded over £60,000 towards the project, with funding coming from their Local Transport Plan fund for walking and cycling, a direct capital grant from the Department for Transport.
County Councillor Neil Foster, portfolio holder for Economic Regeneration said “The ride is a fun way to celebrate and showcase our portfolio of infrastructure improvements for walking and cycling in and around Durham City. We hope that the improvements are a clear demonstration of our commitment to creating opportunities for active travel.”
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, said: “This route opens up new opportunities for both residents and visitors to explore Durham by bike, and as a locally-based employer, we’re proud to be part of further enhancing our beautiful city.”