Cycle path links Paris and London
Bertrand Delanoë waves off group of cyclists heading for the Olympic Games opening ceremony
A NEW cycle path has been opened between Paris and London in time for the Olympic Games, which start next month.
The Avenue Verte London-Paris starts from the esplanade in front of the Notre-Dame with the finishing point on Westminister Bridge.
It has two main signposted routes - one via the Epte Valley that takes 408km or another via Beauvais taking 474km - and includes a four-hour ferry crossing from Dieppe to Newhaven to arrive around 170km from the finish.
At the moment only around one-third of the route is on green cycle paths and the rest on roads, but the aim is to create a full green route by using old railway lines and using available land.
The route crosses Paris and heads to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine along the Canal Saint-Denis and then beside the Seine into Ile-de-France and Normandy before reaching Dieppe.
The 45km cycle path between Forges-les-Eaux and Dieppe in Seine-Maritime has been created on the route of the old Paris-Dieppe rail express line, which was abandoned in 1988.
Once in England, the new route uses cycleways from the National Cycle Network, including the Cuckoo Trail from Heathfield to Eastbourne Park in East Sussex.
The new route was launched on Saturday morning with Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë waving away a group of cyclists who are heading to London for the Olympic opening ceremony on July 27.
It is planned to have more cycle routes from Paris, with the first being to Mont-Saint-Michel.
For more information (in French): www.avenuevertelondonparis.com