National Cycle Network Route 23

National Cycle Network Route 23 (NCN23) joins Reading to the Isle of Wight but it did come to a halt either side of Winchester until February 2013 when the Hockley Viaduct, the missing piece, was officially opened and the route was completed.

To mark the official opening, Olympic Champion and three-time World Champion team pursuit cyclist Dani King crossed the historic structure. She was accompanied by children from Compton All Saints Church of England Primary School and junior sports leaders from a number of local sixth-form colleges. Photos of the opening are on our Facebook page.

The much-loved railway bridge has been fully restored, with repair of brickwork, re-pointing of the viaduct parapets and the laying of a concrete deck. Some sections of the parapet have been lowered to allow visitors to see the attractive river, countryside and city views beyond. It now provides a very memorable pathway across the Viaduct for leisure walkers and cyclists and also offers a low-carbon means for commuters to head into central Winchester from the South Winchester Park and Ride, by using a bike rather than a bus.

The £1m restoration was funded jointly by Winchester City Council (£500,000), Hampshire County Council (£250,000), Sustrans (£200,000 through the Department for Transport ‘Linking Places’ fund) and the Fieldfare LEADER programme (£50,000).

Parking close to the viaduct can be found at the South Winchester Park and Ride, charges apply, or there is a smaller car park on Garnier Road close to where the NCN23 crosses it. A route map can be downloaded at the bottom of the page or alternatively see the Sustrans website.