Other Cycle Route Projects originated and surveyed
The Haltwhistle - Alston - Brampton Greenway ‘T’ Route: utilising the South Tyne Trail and its extension in conjunction with the disused Lord Carlisle Railway track. Purchased land and negotiated with some 30 landowners and / or stakeholders (1999 / 2000)
The Source to Sea Cycle Routes: a series of down-valley cycle routes following the main rivers in the region namely:- The River South Tyne, the River North Tyne, the River Eden, the River Wear, the River Tees, NB. Plus all other rivers in the region (1996 / 2002)
Conceived and surveyed Cycle Tour of Northumberland (oddly named Northumbria’s Cycling Kingdom) linking 3 NCN routes in a triangular cycle tour of the county (1993/4)
Conceived and surveyed Cycle Tour of the North Pennines (orbital / zig-zag route) with optimum use of existing or planned cycle routes (1997) resulted in the Wheels to the Wild Cycle Route.
Surveyed, wrote study and guidebook description for Wheels to the Wild (cycle tour visiting 4 dales in the North Pennines) on behalf of North Pennines AONB (2005/6)
Surveyed main route corridors and advised on Furness Penninsular Greenways Pilot Scheme (2000/2001)
Cumbria Cycleway: completed route assessment, review and re-alignment with NCN (1998)
Survey of the Borderlands Cycle Route between Carlisle and Berwick upon Tweed (1998)
Conceived Cycle Tour of The Cheviots and Kielder (1998)
Pennine Cycleway (South) – Derby to Kendal (off-road version)
Sandstone Way: linnear MTB Route between Berwick on Tweed & Tynedale
Cycle Route Signing
Other related cycling development project and / or products
Cycle Route Project Work for Cycle Route Service-providers
General Cycle Route support work and research and organised Cycle Rides
Other relevant experience / Important Contacts
I have worked closely with a number of major County and District Councils (as well as many Parish Councils) across the north of England. negotiating on behalf of Carlisle City Council as well as working closely with Cumbria, Durham, Scottish Borders and Northumberland County Councils + Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside. Other partners include the Countryside Agency, Northumberland, Yorkshire and the Lake District National Park Authorities, the National Trust, RSPB, The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, North Pennines AONB & North Pennines Heritage Trust, Northumberland and North West Water Authorities, the MOD, Northumberia and Cumbria Tourist Boards, Forest Enterprise, the Highway Agency, NFU and CLA, landagents, farmers and property owners of all categories.
Other working partners include Sustrans, the CTC, England's North Country, British Tourist Authority and Tynebikes.
My Cycle Route Development CV does not pay much attention to my previous work prior to full time employment in sustainable travel planning and implementation. My early career was in agriculture which included attending Northumberland College of Agriculture where I obtained a National Cert of Agriculture. This was followed by a period of various farming-related posts including estate management, soil analysis and sales training / negotiation with farmers and landowners. I went on to gain a Diploma of Education and taught Environmental Science and instructed Outdoor Pursuits whilst developing skills working with children with Special Needs and Disabled people. I have a BA in Social Psychology (Open University) and managed my own Holiday / Outdoor Pursuits* and Personal Development company for some 20 years until my son then aged 20 received serious head injuries in a car crash in 1990. Cycling continues to be part of his rehabilitation.
I have a strong and life-long affinity with the countryside and I have lived in rural Northumberland for over 45 years. My home is a successful Bed & Breakfast business which my wife operates as well as owning and managing a self-catering cottage and a self-catering apartment in a large chalet in the French Alps.
I have many years experience of walking and cycling in the UK and in all Alpine regions including working with children with Special Needs and severely disabled people. Between 1995 and 2003 I dedicated time each year for research and personal development by initiating a series of Study Visits to a number of other European countries. The main interest and focus of my visits was to identify the ‘cornerstones’ and ‘building bricks’ of Cycle Tourism in terms of : infrastructure, conflict avoidance, support services, interpretation, signing and waymarking, on- route information, mapping, monitoring, analysis and evaluation, promotion / marketing, utility blending with recreational cycle trips and Cycle Network / Route Management policy.
Some of my trips have been incognito whilst others have been formal educational visits. Apart from many years of professional and personal involvement with outdoor activities and countryside access, since 1997 I have cycled and/or walked a wide variety of linear routes and Greenways. In the UK, I have walked many Long Distance routes and I have cycled the C2C, the Reivers Cycle Route and the Coast & Castles Cycle Route numerous times; Carlisle to Berwick upon Tweed, Carlisle to Glasgow, Glasgow to Inverness, Skye to Glasgow, Sanquar to Berwick upon Tweed, Derby to Kendal and Teesside to York as well as making many cycle tours not formally promoted as such. Unfortunately, my application in 2001 for a Churchill Travel Fellowship to extend these Study Tours to Canada, Australia and the USA was unsucccessful.
I am a member of the YHA, the South Pennines Packhorse Trust and the Byways and Bridleways Trust and my application to become an Associate member of the Institute of Public Rights of Way Officers (IPROW) is being processed. I work closely with the BHS but also with Cumbria Bridleways Association and the Ramblers Association. In Autumn 2000, I attended the National Federation of Bridleways Association’s Annual Training Workshop. The agenda included ''improving PROW - the Planning Position',' UCRs - surface standards', 'Conservation and Wildlife Legislation and the CROW Act. In March 2000 I attended a 1 day seminar on 'Creating Paths and Managing soil Erosion' organised by the CoAg in conjunction with Hadrian's Wall National Trail followed up with a 2 day programme of site visits in October 2000 to look at best practice. I have advised the Countryside Agency NE on the ROWIP initiative.
I am a voluntary member of the Joint Local Access Forum for Northumberland and an active member of Hexham Civic Society as spokesman for transport and the environment and a member of Hexham Civic Society.
My commitment to cycling and particularly Cycle Tourism has enabled me to have a major influence on the structure of the northern part of the NCN in conjunction with the identification of a strategically planned support network of recreational cycle routes across the whole region. It is this overview and associated level of understanding which contributed towards the production of the North East Cycle Tourism Strategy and also the Cycle Tourism Strategy for Cumbria.
For me, cycling has become intrinsically bound into my lifestyle yet I still find time to mountaineer and walk in the hills. Professionally, Cycle Tourism is my specialism and was my full time work. It is set in a time-frame context of several decades emersed in the Tourism industry yet balanced with timely imput into education and farming. This unusual mix, combined with a natural affinity with all things rural, including my home since 1967, provides the foundation for my understanding of, and vision for, the link between walking and cycling and the so-called ‘rural economy’.
A cycle route (or indeed a route of any sort) is not a product and until this is recognised, the named long distance cycle routes in the UK will continue to be under-used and under-achieve. It will take focus, skill and vision to waken the ‘sleeping giant’ which is Cycle Tourism and feed the voraciously healthy appetite it has for goods and services. It will not happen by itself or in consequence to best intention.