The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Board and Cycling UK have received a capital grant of £19,000 from the London Marathon Charitable Trust for an exciting new project. Titled ‘Cycle Surrey Hills’ the project will create a 90km network of off-road cycle trails in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The funding will pay for the installation of signs along existing bridleways and byways, improve access to the routes and promote the routes to novice and confident mountain bikers.
The Trust awards grants to organisations in all areas where London Marathon Events Limited organises mass participation events. Since the first Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling in 2013 almost £2.3million has been awarded by the Trust to 67 projects across Surrey.
Sarah Ridley, Chief Grants Officer of the London Marathon Charitable Trust said: “We’re delighted to support this project to promote the mountain bike trails in the Surrey Hills. We are sure it will be well used and inspire more people to get active and take-up cycling. We’re always keen to fund projects in areas which support our events.”
David Wright, the Chairman of the Surrey Hills AONB Board, said: “The bridleway and byway network in the Surrey Hills offers a wonderful opportunity to access the countryside by bike. This project will help users plan their journey and share their enjoyment of this fantastic traffic free resource. This would not have been possible without the financial support of the London Marathon Charitable Trust funding and the help of Surrey County Council and volunteers at Cycling UK in identifying and surveying the routes.”
Roger Geffen, Director of Policy at Cycling UK said “Cycling UK is delighted to have partnered with the Surrey Hills AONB to research and identify a network of wonderful off-road cycle routes. With our roads becoming increasingly busy, Cycling UK’s Rides of Way report showed a real unmet need for joined-up off-road cycle networks and for good signing to help people find them. Thanks to the London Marathon Trust, families and others will now be able to enjoy the fantastic health and quality of life benefits that off-road cycling can provide. We hope this project will be a model for others to follow, both in other parts of the Surrey Hills and elsewhere around the country.”
Local businesses and Parish Councils will be engaged throughout the project and the network will be launched in Spring 2018 as part of the 60th anniversary of the Surrey Hills AONB designation.