Mile-Long Bike Tunnel Opens in England

Converted railway line part of 14,000-mile National Cycle Network

Cyclists with claustrophobia—and a fear of bats—had best sit this one out.

Britain’s longest bike tunnel is set to open this weekend in the scenic countryside near Bath, England. At just over a mile long, the Combe Down Tunnel completes the Two Tunnels Greenway, a four-mile stretch of former railway now converted to a dedicated walking and cycling path.

Closed for almost 50 years, the newly lit, cleaned and paved tunnel is now part of Britain’s 14,000-mile-long National Cycle Network. It was a joint project between local authorities and Sustrans, the U.K. non-profit that founded and continues to expand the NCN.

Much like the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in the U.S., Sustrans has helped convert over 1,500 miles of disused railway to walking and cycling paths in the U.K., according to the Telegraph.

Although the Combes Down Tunnel will now enable a clean form of transportation, the unventilated underground stretch was once infamous for being “a place of choking smoke and red-hot flying cinders,” writes the Guardian.

Via Vagabondish.

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