I just stumbled across the following story (updated: May 26 2005) on the Sustrans site.
Sustrans Darlington youngsters connect to the National Cycle Network: "Hundreds of young people in Darlington will be able to enjoy a school journey on foot or by bike from today, thanks to a new cycle route developed by Sustrans, the UK's leading sustainable transport charity together with Darlington Borough Council. Cllr Nick Wallis today joined Ryland Jones of sustainable transport charity Sustrans and youngsters from local schools to open a new safe cycling and walking route that will connect schools and local community to the National Cycle Network."
"This link provides a dedicated, mostly traffic-free route between Abbey Infants and Junior School and Hummersknot School and Language College, via the upgrading of an existing footpath to segregated shared use, plus a Toucan crossing of Carmel Road, and associated signage. The new link provides safer access for pupils to both schools from surrounding residential areas, particularly crossing the busy Carmel Road. The route will eventually link to National Cycle Route 14 once additional sections of the cycle route network in Darlington are completed. The scheme has been implemented by Darlington Borough Council with £35,000 from Sustrans' Department for Transport Grant."