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Cyclists are only legally entitled to use 21 per cent of the rights of way network in Wales

British Cycling and Welsh Cycling have joined together to support countryside cycling in Wales.

Both organisations say that Wales can be a world-leading destination for cycling - and called for responsible cycling to be allowed on all paths and land with public access.

At present, cyclists are only legally entitled to use 21 per cent of the rights of way network in Wales.

British Cycling Campaigns manager, Martin Key, said: “At British Cycling we want as many people as possible across the UK to be able to access cycling in the countryside.

“Allowing responsible cycling on all paths and land with public access will be transformational, providing people with far greater opportunities to cycle on off-road routes, which is ideal for those who might be new to cycling and want to build their confidence on a bike away from traffic.

“Responsible access for people cycling would provide a significant boost to the Welsh economy and would help deliver cleaner, greener and healthier communities.”

Wales currently has approximately 33,000 kilometres of public paths but just 7,000 kilometres are currently accessible by bike. If the proposals were taken forward this could see 26,000 kilometres opened to the public and would remove uncertainty around access rights and potential sources of conflict between cyclists and other user groups.

Welsh Cycling chief executive officer, Anne Adams-King, said: “At Welsh Cycling, we live by our vision of inspiring Wales to cycle and fulfilling the potential of cycling in Wales.

“We strongly support the consultation, which will greatly increase access for people on bikes to paths and routes across Wales, therefore providing far more opportunities and routes for people to enjoy a ride.”

Earlier this year we reported how Cycling UK and OpenMTB also backed Welsh Government proposals to open up most footpaths in Wales to cycling and horse riding and are calling on the public to show their support via the Trails for Wales campaign.

In a joint response to the 2015 consultation ‘Improving opportunities to access the outdoors for responsible recreation’, Cycling UK and OpenMTB called for increased access and an outdoor access code to ensure responsible behaviour from all users.

The consultation received 5,796 responses, with over 4,000 backing the Trails for Wales campaign.

The Welsh Government’s more recent consultation, "Taking forward Wales’ sustainable management of natural resources”, now proposes legislative changes to allow cycling and horse riding on footpaths where suitable.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Head of Advocacy and Campaigns, said: “The Welsh Government is rightly looking for opportunities to manage its wide range of wonderful natural resources, recognising in their consultation the uncertainties that may come with Brexit. These proposals will help more people enjoy the outdoors, while also benefiting the rural economy – their forward thinking is on the way to making history.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

28 comments

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don simon [1709 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

What's the percentage of cyclable rights of way in england? Can we have some of these opened up too?

A recent chat with a park ranger informed me that the traffic up Snowdon was horrific. It's all well and good having a tourist attraction, but when the numbers of tourists make it more theme park and less attraction we'll have lost the objective completely.

I oppose having my Wales overrun with tourists.

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ConcordeCX [560 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
don simon wrote:

What's the percentage of cyclable rights of way in england? Can we have some of these opened up too?

A recent chat with a park ranger informed me that the traffic up Snowdon was horrific. It's all well and good having a tourist attraction, but when the numbers of tourists make it more theme park and less attraction we'll have lost the objective completely.

I oppose having my Wales overrun with tourists.

http://www.cyclinguk.org/campaigning/views-and-briefings/public-footpath...

 

Avatar
crazy-legs [951 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
don simon wrote:

What's the percentage of cyclable rights of way in england? Can we have some of these opened up too?

A recent chat with a park ranger informed me that the traffic up Snowdon was horrific. It's all well and good having a tourist attraction, but when the numbers of tourists make it more theme park and less attraction we'll have lost the objective completely.

I oppose having my Wales overrun with tourists.

Open up more rights of way then. Spreads the load out. Ghetto-ising the access and restricting it to ever smaller pockets creates congestion, frustration and (bizarrely) extra traffic since people will drive to an area, ride it and then drive home rather than doing a point-to-point tour.

Open it up, allow people to spread out a bit and not all gather in the same honeypot.

Avatar
don simon [1709 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
ConcordeCX wrote:
don simon wrote:

What's the percentage of cyclable rights of way in england? Can we have some of these opened up too?

A recent chat with a park ranger informed me that the traffic up Snowdon was horrific. It's all well and good having a tourist attraction, but when the numbers of tourists make it more theme park and less attraction we'll have lost the objective completely.

I oppose having my Wales overrun with tourists.

http://www.cyclinguk.org/campaigning/views-and-briefings/public-footpath...

 

Cheers.

10% of the english 146k  will give us greater access than 10% of the Welsh 26k. More of the population are there anyway, so much more beneficial for the gemeral public. The focus should be on opening up english rights of way.

Avatar
crazy-legs [951 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
don simon]</p>

<p>

</p>

<p>[quote=don simon

wrote:

Cheers.

10% of the english 146k  will give us greater access than 10% of the Welsh 26k. More of the population are there anyway, so much more beneficial for the gemeral public. The focus should be on opening up english rights of way.

Easier to open up smaller areas, prove that the concept works, then extend to bigger areas. Also it's easier dealing with the devolved Welsh Assembly than it is trying to push laws through Parliament.

You sound like a classic NIMBY.

Avatar
don simon [1709 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
crazy-legs]</p>

<p>

</p>

<p>[quote=ConcordeCX

wrote:
don simon wrote:

Cheers.

10% of the english 146k  will give us greater access than 10% of the Welsh 26k. More of the population are there anyway, so much more beneficial for the gemeral public. The focus should be on opening up english rights of way.

Easier to open up smaller areas, prove that the concept works, then extend to bigger areas. Also it's easier dealing with the devolved Welsh Assembly than it is trying to push laws through Parliament.

You sound like a classic NIMBY.

Easier to open nearer the larger populations to demonstrate that it works. If I'm a NIMBY why isn't it rolled out in england.  Who sounds like  the NIMBY now?

I'm only a NIMBY because this appears to be a good idea in Wales, but not really a good idea in england. If the english want it, the the english can have it, in england.

Avatar
rogermerriman [133 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
don simon wrote:

What's the percentage of cyclable rights of way in england? Can we have some of these opened up too?

A recent chat with a park ranger informed me that the traffic up Snowdon was horrific. It's all well and good having a tourist attraction, but when the numbers of tourists make it more theme park and less attraction we'll have lost the objective completely.

I oppose having my Wales overrun with tourists.

 

plenty of places with limited numbers of tourists etc, near my folks places, people arent using the trails we have any way, with quite a few either unpassable or getting close to it!

Avatar
don simon [1709 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

@crazylegs, the fact that you appear to be happy to be against opening up both england and Wales would make you the NIMBY, no? I'm happy for Wales to have rights of way opened up as long as it's in line with england. If england doesn't, why the fuck should Wales?

Avatar
Grahamd [820 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Who have they consulted? I am a cyclist and have a right of way through our land, yet nobody has spoken with me. When I purchased my home I did it knowing that people could walk on the ROW, if they want to change it then they can pay for it, the same way I had to, buy the land.

This may sound like a good idea, but it has to be paid for. 

Avatar
don simon [1709 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Grahamd wrote:

Who have they consulted? I am a cyclist and have a right of way through our land, yet nobody has spoken with me. When I purchased my home I did it knowing that people could walk on the ROW, if they want to change it then they can pay for it, the same way I had to, buy the land.

This may sound like a good idea, but it has to be paid for. 

Not sure understands Right of Way...

Avatar
Grahamd [820 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
don simon wrote:
Grahamd wrote:

Who have they consulted? I am a cyclist and have a right of way through our land, yet nobody has spoken with me. When I purchased my home I did it knowing that people could walk on the ROW, if they want to change it then they can pay for it, the same way I had to, buy the land.

This may sound like a good idea, but it has to be paid for. 

Not sure understands Right of Way...

Understand it perfectly thankyou. Have had plenty of discussions with Brecon Beacons National Park.

Avatar
don simon [1709 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Grahamd wrote:
don simon wrote:
Grahamd wrote:

Who have they consulted? I am a cyclist and have a right of way through our land, yet nobody has spoken with me. When I purchased my home I did it knowing that people could walk on the ROW, if they want to change it then they can pay for it, the same way I had to, buy the land.

This may sound like a good idea, but it has to be paid for. 

Not sure understands Right of Way...

Understand it perfectly thankyou. Have had plenty of discussions with Brecon Beacons National Park.

Where does the payment come in then? Who do you want that has to pay? And where does this payment go?

EDIT: This is precisely why the opening of paths in Wales, but not england too, is wrong.

Avatar
wycombewheeler [1242 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
crazy-legs]<p>
</p>

<p>[quote=ConcordeCX

wrote:
don simon wrote:

Cheers.

10% of the english 146k  will give us greater access than 10% of the Welsh 26k. More of the population are there anyway, so much more beneficial for the gemeral public. The focus should be on opening up english rights of way.

Easier to open up smaller areas, prove that the concept works, then extend to bigger areas. Also it's easier dealing with the devolved Welsh Assembly than it is trying to push laws through Parliament.

You sound like a classic NIMBY.

Easier but as all the people may then be cycling in 14% off the space it may prove it doesn't work as the trails become overloaded with cyclist to the detriment of all other users.

Avatar
don simon [1709 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
wycombewheeler]
</p>

<p>[quote=don simon

wrote:
ConcordeCX wrote:
don simon wrote:

Cheers.

10% of the english 146k  will give us greater access than 10% of the Welsh 26k. More of the population are there anyway, so much more beneficial for the gemeral public. The focus should be on opening up english rights of way.

Easier to open up smaller areas, prove that the concept works, then extend to bigger areas. Also it's easier dealing with the devolved Welsh Assembly than it is trying to push laws through Parliament.

You sound like a classic NIMBY.

Easier but as all the people may then be cycling in 14% off the space it may prove it doesn't work as the trails become overloaded with cyclist to the detriment of all other users.

Get the bloody Chilterns opened so I've got somewhere to ride when I get down to your part of the world.

Avatar
Grahamd [820 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
don simon wrote:
Grahamd wrote:
don simon wrote:
Grahamd wrote:

Who have they consulted? I am a cyclist and have a right of way through our land, yet nobody has spoken with me. When I purchased my home I did it knowing that people could walk on the ROW, if they want to change it then they can pay for it, the same way I had to, buy the land.

This may sound like a good idea, but it has to be paid for. 

Not sure understands Right of Way...

Understand it perfectly thankyou. Have had plenty of discussions with Brecon Beacons National Park.

Where does the payment come in then? Who do you want that has to pay? And where does this payment go?

 

It's quite simple really, if a cyclist wants to ride across a ploughed field then it is not going to work, they will require a surface to cycle on. That will inhibit the owner in their rightful use of part of that land. Consultation is therefore required, if the Welsh Assembly want it available then they can buy it, they can also then maintain it. Owning a piece of land does not make someone a charity.

Avatar
don simon [1709 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

If a farmer ploughs over a Right of Way, they have to make good that Right of Way so cyclists can use it, at their own expense. The farmer doesn't get to decide what is or isn't a Right of Way if the Govt has deemed it so.

NIMBYISM at its finest.

Avatar
Grahamd [820 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
don simon wrote:

If a farmer ploughs over a Right of Way, they have to make good that Right of Way so cyclists can use it, at their own expense. The farmer doesn't get to decide what is or isn't a Right of Way if the Govt has deemed it so.

NIMBYISM at its finest.

I am not going to debate this issue further, I have had sufficient dealings to know that ROW can be amended with proper consent, because I have done it. Most ROW are at edges of fields leaving a verge for pedestrians that no cyclist would want to use. 

Avatar
don simon [1709 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
Grahamd wrote:
don simon wrote:

If a farmer ploughs over a Right of Way, they have to make good that Right of Way so cyclists can use it, at their own expense. The farmer doesn't get to decide what is or isn't a Right of Way if the Govt has deemed it so.

NIMBYISM at its finest.

I am not going to debate this issue further, I have had sufficient dealings to know that ROW can be amended with proper consent, because I have done it. Most ROW are at edges of fields leaving a verge for pedestrians that no cyclist would want to use. 

Of course you don't want to debate it any more. You know better.

Avatar
Grahamd [820 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
don simon wrote:
Grahamd wrote:
don simon wrote:

If a farmer ploughs over a Right of Way, they have to make good that Right of Way so cyclists can use it, at their own expense. The farmer doesn't get to decide what is or isn't a Right of Way if the Govt has deemed it so.

NIMBYISM at its finest.

I am not going to debate this issue further, I have had sufficient dealings to know that ROW can be amended with proper consent, because I have done it. Most ROW are at edges of fields leaving a verge for pedestrians that no cyclist would want to use. 

Of course you don't want to debate it any more. You know better.

Er no, I just know you are misinformed, and until you check some facts further debate is pointless.

Avatar
don simon [1709 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
Grahamd wrote:
don simon wrote:
Grahamd wrote:
don simon wrote:

If a farmer ploughs over a Right of Way, they have to make good that Right of Way so cyclists can use it, at their own expense. The farmer doesn't get to decide what is or isn't a Right of Way if the Govt has deemed it so.

NIMBYISM at its finest.

I am not going to debate this issue further, I have had sufficient dealings to know that ROW can be amended with proper consent, because I have done it. Most ROW are at edges of fields leaving a verge for pedestrians that no cyclist would want to use. 

Of course you don't want to debate it any more. You know better.

Er no, I just know you are misinformed, and until you check some facts further debate is pointless.

Which is, of course, what I just said, you know better...

...Inform me then, with links (you are correct that ROWs can be changed, but explain why there should be payment for a ROW over your land and why you think yoiu can plough over an existing ROW).

EDIT: For shits and giggles show me the bit where a landowner is allowed to plough over a Right of Way. https://www.gov.uk/right-of-way-open-access-land/use-public-rights-of-way

Avatar
crazy-legs [951 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
don simon wrote:

@crazylegs, the fact that you appear to be happy to be against opening up both england and Wales would make you the NIMBY, no? I'm happy for Wales to have rights of way opened up as long as it's in line with england. If england doesn't, why the fuck should Wales?

I'm absolutely for more rights of way for everyone, England, Scotland and Wales. The limiting factor here is political and it's far easier to get this sort of legistation through devolved parliaments (like Scotland and Wales) than it is to get it through Westminster which is what needs to happen for it to become law in England.

Scotland has already done it.

Avatar
Sniffer [456 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
crazy-legs wrote:
don simon wrote:

@crazylegs, the fact that you appear to be happy to be against opening up both england and Wales would make you the NIMBY, no? I'm happy for Wales to have rights of way opened up as long as it's in line with england. If england doesn't, why the fuck should Wales?

I'm absolutely for more rights of way for everyone, England, Scotland and Wales. The limiting factor here is political and it's far easier to get this sort of legistation through devolved parliaments (like Scotland and Wales) than it is to get it through Westminster which is what needs to happen for it to become law in England.

Scotland has already done it.

The same arguments about how it wouldn't work were expoused in Scotland prior to the passing of the 'Right to Roam'.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_to_roam

It has been hugely successful and few of the concerns have come to pass.

I know there is no tradition of freedom to roam in England and Wales, but I am sure it would work there too,

Avatar
bendertherobot [1484 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Grahamd wrote:

Who have they consulted? I am a cyclist and have a right of way through our land, yet nobody has spoken with me. When I purchased my home I did it knowing that people could walk on the ROW, if they want to change it then they can pay for it, the same way I had to, buy the land.

This may sound like a good idea, but it has to be paid for. 

So far there have been two public consultations.

Avatar
danthomascyclist [347 posts] 4 months ago
5 likes
don simon wrote:

 

I oppose having my Wales overrun with tourists.

 

Without tourists, large parts of your Wales won't thrive

Avatar
wellsprop [616 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes
don simon wrote:

 

I oppose having my Wales overrun with tourists.

Had to chuckle a little, this reminds me of being in Cornwall when my girlfriend was at university there. All the locals hated students and tourists, despite the fact that most the locals were employed in jobs supported almost entirely by the students and tourists in the area.

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CygnusX1 [698 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

This is a local right of way, for local people...

 

Avatar
don simon [1709 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
danthomascyclist wrote:
don simon wrote:

 

I oppose having my Wales overrun with tourists.

 

Without tourists, large parts of your Wales won't thrive

Key word was "overrun". It differentiates between having enough to survive and having so many that you won't get to enjoy the thing you've come to enjoy. There are still plenty of other employers in Wales too, but yes, tourism is important.

I wouldn't dream of trying to get away from it all by having a walk up Snowdon.

Scotland is lucky in that it is a good distance from the major english population of Llondon, it's probably easier to hit the M4, no?

Avatar
Ush [1035 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
don simon wrote:
danthomascyclist wrote:
don simon wrote:

 

I oppose having my Wales overrun with tourists.

 

Without tourists, large parts of your Wales won't thrive

Key word was "overrun". It differentiates between having enough to survive and having so many that you won't get to enjoy the thing you've come to enjoy. There are still plenty of other employers in Wales too, but yes, tourism is important.

I wouldn't dream of trying to get away from it all by having a walk up Snowdon.

Scotland is lucky in that it is a good distance from the major english population of Llondon, it's probably easier to hit the M4, no?

Take their cars away and then maybe they'll go for a good walk where they live.