Potentially implementing access to footpaths

News in from British Cycling

The Welsh Government yesterday announced proposals to change access rights for mountain bikers, cyclists and horse riders on public rights of way in Wales.

Following sustained pressure from British Cycling and its members for improvements to and clarification on access, the Welsh Government has agreed to:

  • Begin the process of reviewing and potentially implementing access to footpaths by mountain bikers, cyclists and horse riders
  • Enable organised cycle racing to happen on bridleways

Welsh Cycling and British Cycling worked closely with other national governing bodies, cycling organisations and in particular OpenMTB in submitting a co-ordinated response to the Welsh Government’s Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources Consultation.

Welsh Cycling CEO, Anne Adams-King, said: “This is fantastic news; enabling organised racing on rights of way, opening up a number of venues which have previously been unavailable to us, and sending out a strong signal to the Access Reform Working Group that cycling on footpaths ought to be approved. Not only will Welsh residents benefit from an improved and simplified trail network, but the economic benefit brought by additional visitors to the country should be significant.”

British Cycling’s Mountain Bike Leadership Manager, Dan Cook, said: “The Welsh Government’s decision is a big win for British Cycling and Welsh Cycling’s long-standing investment in improving opportunities and access for people on bikes, which was has been made possible through the ongoing support of our members and riders.

“We have long held the view that a single right of way for non-motorised traffic will provide a clear and simple set of access principles, which will in turn enable more people to get on their bikes in more places – with all of the associated health and economic benefits that brings. We would like to thank all of those who have worked alongside us on the campaign, including the 3,000 British Cycling members who pledged their support.”