The National Cycle Network (NCN) will lose almost a quarter of its 16,000 miles of UK-wide cycling and walking routes.

Following the UK-wide assessment carried out by Sustrans of the quality of the Network in 2018, a total of 38.4% of the NCN in Scotland is set to be reclassified or removed during 2020.

RECLASSIFIED: 976.2 miles (37.2%) will be reclassified and promoted as part of dedicated named routes

REMOVED: 20.2miles (1.02%) will be removed from the Network and will cease to be promoted.

NCN status and route numbering will no longer apply to the above sections.

NCN Route 1: North of Tain the route will be removed from the network and will be branded under a new Inverness to John O’Groats named route – with the name yet to be decided.

NCN Route 7: connecting Inverness with Glasgow via Aviemore, will be branded using the existing Lochs and Glens Way name

NCN Route 78: stretches from Dores to Fort Augustus and stretches further south near Oban will be reclassified as non-NCN.  The overall route will be branded using the existing Caledonia Way


Text taken from the Sustrans web site indicates how they will amend signage for removed and reclassified route sections:

We will be removing the red National Cycle Network number patch signs on removed sections of the Network.
We will also remove the red National Cycle Network number patch on reclassified sections.
However, the branded signage or logo for the named route that the section runs on will be retained.

Sustrans is working with VisitScotland as part of the changes and promotional campaigns will be developed and will see interactive journey planners for each route and all material translated into German for the overseas market.

A new web site will initially include the following routes relevant to the Highlands:

  • The Lochs and Glens Way
  • Caledonia Way
  • Off-road Loch Ness 360 route

Inverness Courier: 31 July 2020

Inverness Courier: 22 July 2020

Sustrans: Reclassification of NCN – FAQs

Hitrans: Board Meeting 24 April 2020