Off-Road Access

colinpalmer's picture

Book review: Rights of Way: Restoring the Record (by Sarah Bucks & Phil Wadey)

Rights of way (ROW) in England & Wales could offer so much more for cyclists and others - but official records don't do it justice. 'Rights of Way: Restoring the Record' reveals how to use evidence to prove or disprove the existence of ROW. Reviewed by Colin Palmer, CTC's Off-road Adviser.
A cyclist on a right of way

Although we already have some 32,000 km of bridleways and byways in England & Wales available for recreational or utility cycling, the network is, in reality, much, much larger.

However, unless we do something about it, off-road cyclists could lose out on the chance to convert all these fragments into a coherent network of useable circular rides.

The problem is that the wider network of legal cycle routes is either unrecorded, or under-recorded as a footpath, denying their use on the saddle.

Chris Peck's picture

New law for better cycle paths in Wales

The Welsh Government has proposed a new law placing a duty on local authorities to map the walking and cycling routes in their area and make a plan and budget to improve them. Wales is being touted as the first country for such law to be introduced.
The NCN8 near Caernarfon alongside a major road

The Welsh Government's proposals have been brought before the Welsh Assembly as the Active Travel Bill Wales 2013, following a consultation in 2012. 

It's a highly ambitious set of proposals which will force local authorities to identify, map out and improve the walking and cycling networks in their area.

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Cherry Allan's picture

Local Access Forums (England & Wales)

Local Access Forums (set up by local authorities to bring together people and groups interested in public rights of way) should work towards developing the network for cycling...
Off-road cycling
Headline Messages: 
  • Local Access Forums (LAFs) should aim to maximise the benefits of the Rights of Way (RoW) network for both recreational and day-to-day travel.
  • LAFs should include representation of cyclists’ interests to ensure that the network is developed, maintained and promoted accordingly.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • Cycling interests should be represented on all LAFs. 
  • Local authorities should be receptive and responsive to LAF recommendations on:
    •  amendments to the definitive map and on processing them in a timely fashion, to the benefit of off-road cyclists 
    •  the promotion and signing of the RoW network and other opportunities for off-road cycling 
    •  the proper maintenance of byways, bridleways and un-surfaced unclassified roads o the removal of obstructions. 
  • LAFs should promote off-road cycling as a healthy and enjoyable activity, particularly to families and young people. 
  •  LAFs should adopt, implement and promote CTC’s key Rights of Way Improvement Plan (RoWIP) priorities
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
January 2013
Cherry Allan's picture

Sharing paths with walkers: a Code of Conduct for cyclists

In most circumstances, cyclists and walkers are able to co-exist happily when they use the same routes, but mutual respect and consideration are a vital part of this. The Code of Conduct from Sustrans, endorsed by CTC, helps encourage responsible behaviour on shared-use paths.
Walkers and cyclists on a shared-use path

Shared-use paths are popular with people who are looking for motor-traffic free routes, either for leisure or for getting to work or the shops, for example. Inconsiderate cycling undermines the tranquillity of these paths and is particularly intimidating for people with reduced mobility, or who have hearing or vision difficulties.

Speeding is a growing problem. More people are riding along shared-use paths for fitness training or to record personal bests, for instance - activities that are much better suited to quiet roads.

Cycletopia

Cycletopia includes 15 real life examples of good schemes to promote cycling
CTC's Cycletopia is made up of real life examples of what can be done to make Britain's towns and cities more cycle friendly, combined in a single image.
Victoria Hazael's picture

Cycletopia – turning cycling dreams into reality

CTC, the national cycling charity has created ‘Cycletopia’ – an imaginary town made up of 15 real life examples in the UK of the best ways to promote, protect and inspire cycling.
Cycletopia includes 15 real life examples of good schemes to promote cycling

CTC Chief Executive Gordon Seabright said: “Great Britain proved this summer we have the best cyclists in the world. Now, we need to create towns and cities that are world class for cycling. There are already great things being done right here in the UK to improve cycling; they just need to happen across all our towns and cities. Cycletopia aims to help every local authority learn from what other places are doing to increase the numbers of cyclists and reduce traffic congestion.”

Contact Information: 

CTC Press Office
Email: publicity@ctc.org.uk
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

Notes to Editors: 

An interactive map of Cycletopia can be found on CTC’s website: http://beta.ctc.org.uk/cycletopia.

High resolution and detailed images of Cycletopia are also available from CTC Press Office.

Cycletopia is drawn by the cartoonist and cyclist Peter Welleman.

CTC, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling.

We work to protect and promote cycling to create a healthier, cleaner world, now and for the future. We want the UK to be a place where it’s easy and safe for people of all ages to cycle, whatever their ability, background or income. We believe that cycling is more than just transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.

We encourage all types of cycling, on the road or off it.  We support you if you already ride, or would like to ride, to work or school, for health, touring, sport and leisure – or just because it’s fun.

We’ve been working for cycling for over a century. Nationally and locally, we use our knowledge to influence decision makers and help people discover how cycling can change lives.

• We provide expert, practical help and advice.
• We support individuals and communities.
• We protect cyclists’ interests.
• We campaign to make cycling mainstream and to remove the things that stop people cycling.
• We help people develop the confidence and skills to cycle.
• We promote the benefits of cycling to individuals, to society and to the economy.

CTC is an independent charity, and relies on 69,000 members, volunteers, grant funders and partners for support. Without them, we would not be able to do our vital work in communities inspiring hundreds of thousands of people across the UK to cycle.

 

Cherry Allan's picture

Your chance to help open up the English rights of way network for cycling

6 August 2012
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' consultation on the processes for recording, diverting and extinguishing public rights of way (England) is a chance to suggest ways to make it easier for cyclists to engage with the system and help open more of the countryside for cycling.
This footpath is a metalled road, but the bridleway is a muddy trail!

At the moment, the system is extremely bureaucratic, but the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra) consultation on the processes involved is a good opportunity to press for the changes that will help enhance the experience of cycling in the countryside.

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Chris Peck's picture

Forest Access Panel - green light for walkers, amber for everyone else

6 July 2012
The Independent Forestry Panel was set up in 2011 to advise the Government on the ownership and management of English forests following the public outcry over plans to sell off the English Forestry Commission forests. That panel has now reported and the recommendations are helpful.
Nearly all dedicated off-road trails are located on Forestry Commission land

In its final report the panel recognises the high value of these woods for recreation, and recommends that they should continue to be publicly owned and managed for timber, recreation and conservation, and that this is best achieved if the Forestry Commission is managed as a trust on behalf of the nation.

The Government has welcomed the report, indicating that it is minded to retain forests in public ownership. A formal response expected in January 2013.

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Cherry Allan's picture

Respond to the Government's consultation English rights-of-way legislation

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' consultation on the processes for recording, diverting and extinguishing public rights of way (England) is a chance to suggest ways to make it easier for cyclists to engage with the system and help open more of the countryside for cycling.
This footpath is a metalled road, but the bridleway is a muddy trail!

Why do cyclists need to respond to this consultation?

At the moment, the system for recording, diverting and extinguishing public rights of way in England is extremely bureaucratic, but the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra) consultation on the processes involved is a good opportunity to press for the changes that will help enhance the experience of cycling in the countryside.

Cherry Allan's picture

Seaside cycling: the coast, promenades and sea fronts (England & Wales)

A good proportion of the English and Welsh coast could be safely and beneficially opened up for cycling...
Seaside Cycling
Headline Messages: 
  • The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Part 9)  has placed a duty on the Government to create a path for walkers all round the English coast. However, any cycling provision would result only from local negotiations with relevant landowners.
  • While the Wales Coastal Path, opened in May 2012, was primarily developed for walkers, the Assembly Government encouraged the inclusion of cyclists on a number of sections.
  • Currently, only a tiny part of the English coast - 1.5% - is available to cyclists. While the Marine Act may help open up more cycling routes, success will depend heavily on agreements with landowners and, if this is not forthcoming, concerted local pressure.
  • Many councils have opened up promenades and sea fronts to cycling, providing benefits for cycle safety and local tourism. Concerns about conflict with walkers have generally proved to be unfounded. Other councils should seriously consider revoking any bye-laws that prohibit it.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • A good proportion of the English and Welsh coast could be safely and beneficially opened up for cycle use.
  • The provisions of the Marine Act are extremely weak in terms of delivering cycle access along the English coast. Ultimately, it still depends on gaining the landowner’s agreement and, as such, on sustained local activity and campaigning.
  • Councils should revoke bans and allow cyclists to use sea fronts and promenades as scenic, traffic-free routes and links for recreational and utility purposes.
  • Segregating cyclists and imposing speed limits on them along sea fronts and promenades is unnecessary: research shows that cyclists modify their behaviour in the presence of pedestrians (e.g. by slowing down, taking avoiding action or dismounting as necessary).
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
June 2012
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  • 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

 

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