London to Paris Cycle Path is near completion

Avenue Verte is celebrated outside Notre Dame in Paris
Avenue Verte is celebrated outside Notre Dame in Paris

CELEBRATIONS were taking place this month as signposting of a cycle and walking route which will connect London with Paris, via Newhaven’s ferry service, neared completion.

The Avenue Verte, which runs from the London Eye to Notre Dame, is even just in time for the 2012 Olympic Games. It is a project championed by a group of partners drawn from local authorities and transport organisations on both sides of the channel.

The English side of the Avenue Verte Partnership is led by East Sussex County Council.

All the partners made a commitment in 2007 to work towards having a cycling route identified and signposted in time for the 2012 Games.

This month, representatives from the partnership met at Notre Dame in Paris to celebrate a key milestone in the project – the forthcoming completion of the signposting of the whole route with the Avenue Verte logo: the first signed route between the UK and mainland Europe.

East Sussex County councillor Matthew Lock, chair of the English Avenue Verte Partnership, said: “The Avenue Verte offers a marvellous opportunity for cyclists and walkers on both sides of the Channel to explore each other’s countries in a safe and healthy way.

“All the partners agreed to try and ensure that a complete cycle route was identified and signposted by 2012 in time for the Olympic Games, and we are all delighted that our efforts have succeeded. I’d like to thank our French partners for all the efforts that they have made.”

Regional director for South East Sustrans, Simon Pratt, travelled to a celebration event in Paris using the newly signed route.

He said: “The ride from London to Paris was excellent and varied, passing through delightful countryside. It is a good combination of traffic-free paths and quiet country roads.

“Cycling into Paris, the 25km section along the Seine was a highlight. It is surprisingly easy cycling there, with plenty of routes to explore across the city.” Visit www.sustrans.org.uk/avenueverte