With 3,200km of the National Cycle Network already complete, civil engineering charity Sustrans is well on the way to achieving its target of 4,800km open by June 2000, and reckons it could do even better.
Sustrans spokesman Mike Collins believes the project has been such a success because it has happened 'at the right time' and is focused towards local communities.
'There has been a sea change in the attitudes of local authorities and a realisation that alternatives need to be found to the gridlock caused by motor traffic,' he says.
The project also benefits from a broad funding base putting in money above the 43.5M Millennium Commission grant. Not surprisingly, most of the money has been raised from local authorities, which have carried out much of the work. Smaller contributions have come from the private sector for specific links to business sites and through sponsorship of public art and sculptures along the route.
The Government's Integrated Transport White Paper published in the summer has also helped to keep the project at the fore, and other government initiatives have added further funds.
The Landfill Tax Credit scheme is another major contributor, with the Oxford to Didcot section of the network receiving 574,000 through taxation on quarrying and materials company ARC just last month.