Okay, so I may be guilty of a slight bit of hyperbole, but Sustrans truly is amazing. Basically, it's all about sustainable transportation in Great Britain and bicycle transportation plays an important role in the equation.
The Sustrans link I have provided here is to an interactive trail map. In a recent email I received from Sustrans' Information and Trading Officer, Sam Howard, I discovered that, "Approximately one third of the National Cycle Network is made up of traffic-free cycle routes." The only problem with the interactive Cycle Network map is that I could literally spend all day perusing it. Between my obsession with the UK and my love of bike trails, the map has an almost hypnotic draw.
|England's Sustrans provides an active way to|
view the scenery and history of the UK.
If you haven't had enough statistics yet, the bikehub.com website reveals that, "420 million journeys were made in 2010 on the National Cycle Network, of which 204 million were on foot and 216million were by bike." So that means that, despite what so many naysayers are spouting here in the U.S., a national trail network gets use and easily pays for itself economically, environmentally, and physical fitness...ly?!
And Sustrans and its interactive map is exactly what I've been trying to pitch to my congressmen lately. A network of trails is great, but we also need a unifying body to consolidate all the resources and to get the word out. What good is a network of trails without the people to use them?
I would love to hear from any of you who have experience with Sustrans or would like to see something similar in the U.S. Heck, even if you don't think it would work, I'd like to hear from you and your reasoning as to why it wouldn't. Don't be afraid to leave a comment below. You can do it anonymously or loudly and proudly.