A TRAFFIC-free cycling 'super highway' will make commutes healthier by encouraging active travel.

The Haydon Bridge to Hexham Cycle Path is a project which comes out of the Haydon Bridge Neighbourhood Plan, which was approved several years ago via a referendum in the village.

The cycle path is one of the planning policies in the plan. The route is part of a wider plan to develop a cycling 'super highway' in the Tyne Valley which Hexham MP Guy Opperman and Rob Aubrook, a cycling advocate from Hexham, have supported.

The Haydon Bridge to Hexham Cycle Path is supported by Hexham Town Council, Haydon Parish Council and Guy Opperman. The project is being developed by the Haydon Bridge Development Trust.

The Trust intend to submit an application for grant funding for a feasibility study to National Highways.

Guy Opperman MP said: “I was delighted to meet with some of the Haydon Bridge team and Rob Aubrook to discuss this exciting project.

"This builds on our Tynedale Cycle Superhighway plans and the £9 million we secured for a cycle route between Corbridge and Hexham, creating local jobs and making commutes easier and healthier.”

Phil Hartley, of Haydon Bridge Development Trust, said: “Guy was kind enough to talk through our proposals and ride the route with us. The route itself follows the old disused section of the A69 out of Haydon Bridge, follows the route of the A69 for approximately one and a half miles, which would require a new path to be constructed, and then follows the Greenshaw Plain bridleway to Warden Bridge.”

Rob Aubrook said: “Cycling in Tynedale continues to grow in popularity. Improvements to infrastructure are desperately needed to ensure people of all ages can safely enjoy riding their bikes.

"Creating a Cycle Superhighway along the Tyne Valley will link communities for active travel and leisure which will bring huge economic and health benefits to the area.

"A traffic-free route between Haydon Bridge and Hexham is a critical link in creating the Cycling Superhighway and would complement the improvements planned between Hexham and Corbridge.”