Cycling in Sunderland
Sunderland hosts some important parts of the National Cycle Network. It has numerous routes suited to a range of journey purpose from recreational to commuting. Many routes serve both functions.
There are 100km of dedicated cycle routes in Sunderland, with more than 80km off-road, providing easy routes for beginners, as well as long distance routes.
Few cities can provide off-road cycling access from the heart of the city centre, out to the suburbs and countryside.
Main Cycle Routes in Sunderland
National Route 7 - The C2C Cycle Route, runs West from Roker along the North Bank of the River Wear. It is promoted internationally as the premier route in the country, but sections of it through Sunderland serve more substantially to connect local areas. It is the arterial east-west cycle route for the north bank of the river, linking residential to employment and retail sites at Sunderland Enterprise Park, east Washington major employment sites, and south Washington in Birtley employment areas. The route continues west to Whitehaven in Cumbria and attracts over 20,000 long distance cyclists every year.
National Route 1 - Runs the length of the East Coast of the country, with the section through Sunderland running up the popular Seaburn and Roker coastline. It's route through Sunderland currently dives in land from Ryhope Village, but ongoing network development will hopefully make it possible to align the route closer to the coast for its entirety.
National Route 70 - The Walney to Wearside Cycle Route, connect from the Roker coast Southwest out of the city to Durham, Barnard Castle and on to Walney Island of South Cumbria. It was developed nominally as a 'return C2C' cycle route.
To make Sunderland an active travel city, we need to take action to tackle the main barriers to cycling. We need to attract people to active travel by building better quality infrastructure, making streets better for everyone and we need to make sure people feel safe and confident cycling.
We aim to provide where possible safe, continuous, direct routes for cycling, physically separated from pedestrians and volume motor traffic, serving the places that people want to go.
Sunderland's Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is in the process of being prepared. It is a long-term approach to developing local cycling and walking networks over a ten-year period.
The LCWIP is a strategic infrastructure programme which forms a vital part of the Government's strategy to double the number of cycling journeys made and increase walking activity substantially by 2025 and will be essential to securing future funding for walking and cycling schemes in Sunderland.