The National Byway is a 3,300-mile (5,311 km.) sign-posted cycling route round England and parts of Scotland and Wales.
The project was developed out of the desire to make a contribution towards a lasting change in the quality of U.K. life through the integration of the social, environmental, health, economic and educational benefits to be derived by the community from bicycling.
The National Byway is a registered charity whose Patron is Viscount Linley and President is Lord Foster of Thames Bank. David Griffiths is chair of the trustees who include
Richard Dilworth and Victor Emery. Michael Breckon is secretary to the trust and Alan Rushton is responsible for operations, marketing and sponsorship.
The National Byway journeys 3,300 miles through the natural environment, providing discreet sign-posted direction along some of the most attractive and peaceful rural lanes, which carry traffic at only 2% of the national average level.
In addition to the main route, there are 58 circular Loop rides.
The Byway passes through 42 counties: it meanders through the countryside, visits 150 market towns, hundreds of rural communities and more than 1,000 places of interest along the way including 8 World Heritage Sites, all providing a reason to ride.
Route details and information about places of interest can be found on the informative Byway maps available for purchase on the Maps For Sale
The National Byway has been developed for the use of the burgeoning U.K. cycling market.
Sixteen million adults from across the social spectrum are bicycle owners, 24 million young people already own bicycles and are potential users.
Ownership is predicted to continue to grow by 10% per annum.
When completed, the Byway will be within one hour's journey of 65% of the population.
It also provides an ideal destination for thousands of international cycle-tourists who visit the U.K. each year.
The concept is working:
- Usage is already developing: a pilot quantitative user survey carried out in the East Midlands indicates that 15,000 journeys took place on one section of route in one year, on quiet roads previously little used by cyclists;
- The environment is benefiting: when completed the Byway will contribute a reduction of 74,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions as well as saving £3m a year in damage to the environment from the 8 million journeys by an expected 3 million people;
- The rural economy also benefits: by more than £100 million per year when the route is complete, and 800 jobs will be created;
- A Ranger programme is planned: to be set up to develop partnerships and increase the sense of community ownership along the route.
So whatever the reason, wherever and however far you want to go, The National Byway is the place on which to ride: peace and quiet, meandering rural lanes on which it is safe to cycle, lovely countryside and fascinating places to visit along the way. Our nation is an open book with a wonderful story to share. The National Byway helps tell that story - a splendid tale of thousands of years of civilisation and an ever-changing, fascinating natural environment all within our shores.