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Frequently asked questions

How do I safely leave and enter Port of Dover Eastern Docks as a cyclist, and are there safe signposted cycle routes to other towns?

  1. As a cyclist you will often be put in at the front of a special lane and directed onto the ferry in Calais first before other vehicles.
  2. On arrival in Dover you will be asked to wait until ALL other vehicles have left the ferry. This is for your safety and you will leave the ferry last.
  3. There is a special safe route for cyclists out of the docks marked by a RED LINE painted on the road. Follow this and it will take you at one point through a magnetic gate operated by a push button.
  4. This keeps you clear of other vehicles although care must be taken as you cross some vehicle routes.
  5. Once through the gate follow this RED line through customs and out of the terminal.
  6. The RED line will direct you in front of the Booking Office and across a controlled crossing by the side of the cliff and the police offices.
  7. This is the start of 4 Cycle Routes out of Dover:
  8. National Cycle Route 1 (NCR1) National Cycle Route 1 sign will take you north to Canterbury about 40 miles via Walmer, Deal, and Sandwich. At Sandwich you can continue eastwards around the North Foreland. NCR1 goes all the way to London, York, and John O’Groats.
  9. National Cycle Route 2 (NCR2) National Cycle Route 2 signtakes you westward eventually to Lands End mainly along the South Coast.
  10. Regional Cycle Route 16 (RCR16) Regional Cycle Route 16 sign is a more direct route to Canterbury of about 21 miles.
  11. Regional Cycle Route 17 (RCR17) Regional Cycle Route 17 sign is a less direct route to Canterbury of about 28 miles.
  12. Follow the cycle signs for these routes, you will need to cross the main road out of Dover at the controlled crossing and go along the cycle path on the promenade.
  13. Cyclists continuing westwards continue on this route which splits halfway along the promenade and turns right going through an underpass which takes you into Dover. Follow signs for NCR1 and RCR16 up the hill past the Castle. At the top the routes split with RCR16 going straight on and NCR1 turning right and the immediately right again where there is a Sustrans milepost.

CycleStreets is good for planning cycling journeys using quiet roads and cycle paths. You can see that National, Regional, and Local cycle routes shown on the map on this website. A free CycleStreets iPhone App is available for download. However you will require a mobile data connection to be able to use this.

Also, see Where can I buy maps that show the route of the National Cycle Network? below for maps that you may find useful to carry with you.

Red Nacional de Carriles de Bici en Kent

Where can I buy maps that show the route of the National Cycle Network?

Ordnance Survey's Landranger series of maps are the best for cycling. The National Cycle Network routes are shown with green dots along the roads and paths that the route follows. Canterbury, Whitstable, Herne Bay, Thanet (Margate, Broadstairs, and Ramsgate), Sandwich, Deal, Dover, Folkestone, and Hythe are covered on sheet 179. Faversham, Sittingbourne, and the Medway towns (Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham) are covered on sheet 178, and Ashford, Hythe, Rye, Tenterden, and the Romney Marsh are covered on sheet 189. The maps can be purchased online using the links to each sheet or many bookshops and newsagents in the UK stock them.

Who are Sustrans?

Sustrans is the charity that set up the National Cycle Network in the UK. Their name is short for Sustainable transport. Safe Routes to Schools and Bike It are other well-known projects operated by Sustrans to encourage cycling. Sustrans also encourages both walking and cycling through Active Travel.

How are cycle routes signed?

Cycle routes are usually denoted on signs with blue backgrounds with a bicycle symbol. These signs exist on both the traffic-free and the on-road portions of the cycle network. Some sections are part of the National Cycle Network (aka NCN. See Who are Sustrans? above). National routes in the NCN are shown with a red background to the route number, such as National Cycle Route 1 sign for National Cycle Route 1. Regional routes within the NCN are shown with a blue background behind the route number, such as Regional Cycle Route 16 sign for Regional Cycle Route 16. Parts of the London Cycle Network are signed with similar colours to the regional routes on the NCN, but they also have London Cycle Network written on them: London Cycle Network sign. The numbering of the London Cycle Network is independent from the NCN's Regional Cycle Network.

How can I join Spokes?

Full joining details can be found on our membership application page.

Where can I report issues relating to roads and cycle routes and facilities?

Issues within Kent can be reported online using Kent Highway Services' fault reporting system. Elsewhere in the UK use the CTC's excellent sites Fill That Hole for the roads and Clear That Trail for traffic-free routes. Alternatively, you can report the issue using FixMyStreet, which also supports reporting a greater range of issues, such as graffiti. If you've got suggestions or issues with cycle-specific items, such as cycle parking, then you can submit them to CycleStreets's photo map (Note though that local authorities do not necessarily look at this map.). If you have an iPhone then you can download free apps for Fill That Hole, FixMyStreet, and CycleStreets.

How does the law relate to cycling?

That's a surprisingly complicated question! We think that it's best answered by reading the excellent Cycling and the Law article on Bike For All.