An extra 16,000 miles of trails could be made legal to ride

In a surprise move, the Welsh Government has opened a consultation which could improve access to the countryside for mountain bikers. This could be massive news with the adoption of a similar, open access model to Scotland being a genuine possibility.

Currently, Wales uses the same system as England, where you are allowed to cycle on bridleways but not footpaths. To put this in perspective, Wales has 20,505 miles of public access rights of way, currently only 21per cent of these are available to cyclists. This leaves over 16,000 miles of unexplored riding.

Wales open access - Laurence Crossman-Emms

More great Welsh riding could soon be a possibility (Crossman-Emms)

Not only will this be great news for current cyclists, who want more trails to ride, but hopefully it will also open up the sport to more people.

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A number of interested mountain biking parties including guides, journalists and cycling groups are  forming a steering group to push for open access. They will meet with British Cycling and CTC to gain their support for the motion as well.

Stob Ban, Highlands, GPS route download

You just can’t beat natural riding

The groups says: “governments only do things if they are seen to be popular, and on previous occasions where this has been debated, there’s been little representation from mountain bikers.

“This is our big chance to be heard, but we need to take action and we need to take it fast.”

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The mountain biking community has until October 2 to respond to the paper. The group will be producing a summary of the document and advice on how you can add your voice in the next few days. We’ll make sure we keep you up to date with all the latest as we hear it.

You can find further information by clicking here