Walking and Cycling for everybody

Active travel is a term for journeys made as a result of a physical activity – such as walking or cycling. Other examples of active travel include travel using wheelchairs, trikes and scooters.

Walking and cycling are great forms of exercise and easy ways to get some gentle exercise into your daily routine – they’re great habits to get into and are suitable for all ages and abilities. Not only do local journeys by foot or by bike help us to feel good and increase our fitness levels, but they also have a positive impact on our environment – helping take cars off the road and improving our air quality.

So, whether you’re travelling to school or work in the city, or out and about in the countryside or at the coast, by foot or by bike are great ways to get about.

Why is it so good for us?

Did you know that the North East has the lowest life expectancy of all the regions in England? The North East is working hard to help achieve better health outcomes for people by encouraging more active travel and getting people to travel more sustainably. This will help our region achieve health levels similar to other regions in the UK, which is a key objective of the North East Transport Plan – which sets out how we should be travelling up to 2035.

Walking and cycling are sustainable forms of transport as they don’t create emissions. Reducing emissions by limiting the number of car journeys you make helps reduce the region’s air pollution, delivering cleaner and a better environment for us all. Less cars on the road also means there’s less noise pollution from traffic so everyone’s a winner.

If you’re interested in making more sustainable transport choices, remember that every single active travel journey you take makes our region a better place to be.

Our networks

Our growing cycle network has had £60m investment in recent years and is made up of a healthy mix of rural and urban areas, with 16 routes that are part of the National Cycling Network. In some urban parts of our region, cycling to work has increased by 2.5 times in six years but there is still lots more to do.

Evidence from the 2021 North East Transport Plan shows that 86% of people asked in an insight survey feel that more footpaths should be built alongside current roads and 81% feel the same about cycle paths.

We know people want to do more and that’s why we’re working hard to improve our walking and cycling route network as well increasing access to training and route information. Find out more about active travel and how to make the most of walking and cycling journeys by reading our blog.

Cycling & Walking Maps

Unsure of where to go next? Whether you’re cycling or walking for leisure or as part of your commute, plan your journey with our comprehensive North East Walking and Cycling maps.