Campaign Theme

Off-Road Access

Introduction

Off road
Off road
Rights of way in the countryside, forest trails, paths along the coast, seafronts, canal towpaths, the riverside, former railway lines and routes through parks or other green spaces, can all offer an attractive, motor-traffic free environment for cycling either for recreation or a utility journey.

Towpaths, promenades and parks can form valuable routes and links, offering a useful complement to the road network for cyclists. Coastal paths and forest trails are also excellent settings for cycling, from extreme mountain biking, to days out for the family. Many off-road opportunities like this are already open, but it would be good to see far more of them.

Likewise, only 30% of the Public Rights of Way network in England and Wales is available for cycling. It is often fragmented and incoherent, and the legal status of some paths seems arbitrary (some footpaths, for example, are better for cycling than some bridleways).

Complex processes usually apply whenever there are proposals to make a path legally available to cyclists, but in Scotland the Land Reform Act 2003 gives the public, including cyclists, lawful access to most land and inland water, provided they obey an access code. Adopting this approach for the rest of the UK would be a welcome boost for cycling.

To make sure that they are well used and usable for cycling, all routes away from the roads should be well signed  and publicised. Good maintenance (e.g. clearing obstructions) is also important.

 

 

Latest News

Make Trails for Wales!
Trails for Wales
The Welsh Government wants to improve the opportunities to access the outdoors. CTC, together with Open MTB and partners, sees this as a chance to open up the Welsh countryside while also putting...
"Make Wales off-road centre of UK" says cycle coalition
Mountain Bikers in Wales
"Increased off-road access to rural Wales would give a healthy boost to the economy," say CTC and Open MTB.
Closure threat to essential part of Wales Coast Path
Barmouth Bridge faces closure
Barmouth Bridge, part of the National Cycle Network, faces closure after 150 years use due to council cuts, potentially forcing cyclists and walkers on an 18 mile detour.
Could Wales lead the way in off-road access?
Mountain biking in Wales
On Friday 10 July, the Welsh Government launched its consultation 'Improving opportunities to access the outdoors for responsible recreation'.

Archive

  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

Copyright © CTC 2015

Terms and Conditions