Developing new paths for cycling in the countryside

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Do you ride - or want to ride - on a particular path, but can't tell whether you're allowed to do so? Does your favourite bridleway suddenly turn into a footpath and you wish it didn't? Do you want to do something about it? Read on...
Riding off-road
Riding off-road

Expanding the rural path network for cycling

At the moment, only about 30% of the public rights of way network in England and Wales is available to cyclists. Access to land in Scotland is much more widespread, due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, which gives the public (including cyclists) lawful access to most land and inland water there, provided they comply with the Outdoor Access Code.

CTC would like to see the rest of the UK adopt the same off-road access arrangements that Scotland now enjoys, but in the meantime, there are a number of options for developing more countryside routes for cycling in England and Wales - some of them much better and more workable than others.

Basically, the options fall into two categories:

  • By statute (i.e. applying the law); or
  • By gaining the landowner's permission.
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