William Eichler 20 August 2019

Cyclists demand access to rural footpaths

Cyclists demand access to rural footpaths image

British cyclists are calling for a reform of England’s rights of way legislation to allow bikes onto country footpaths – a call resisted by walkers.

The group British Cycling argues that countryside paths should be opened up to everyone – cyclists and ramblers alike – so that everyone can enjoy them.

‘We need to open up our countryside paths to be enjoyed responsibly by everyone, in a healthy, non-polluting way. That’s what I want for my kids and family,’ British Cycling’s policy advisor, Chris Boardman, said.

He argues that it works in Scotland where there is open access to all: ‘There is no reason to presume it would be different in England.’

Responding to concerns about the risks of allowing inconsiderate cyclists onto footpaths, Mr Boardman pointed out that this was no reason to ban all cyclists.

‘Of course some people can be inconsiderate to others and we agree that there should be a code of conduct where walkers should take precedent,’ he said.

‘However, we shouldn’t ban everyone for the poor behaviour of a few – that would be like banning walkers because some people litter or let their dogs foul.’

Gemma Cantelo, head of policy and advocacy with The Ramblers, disagrees with the proposal to open up rural footpaths to everyone.

‘Some footpaths aren’t suitable for shared use because of their physical characteristics, e.g. blind bends, unsuitable surfaces,’ she said

However, she added that in certain circumstances it would make sense to upgrade rural footpaths for cycling because this would improve the path for walkers.

‘That’s why we think upgrading footpaths to multi-use should be decided on a case-by-case basis, taking account of local circumstances, keeping the safety of all users paramount,’ she said.

‘We are keen to work with cyclists, horse riders and other users to shape joint approaches to this issue, and help to introduce a clear code of responsible behaviour and associated behaviour change campaign.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Youth Service Lead

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Essex is a diverse county which encompasses some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country as well as some highly affluent communities. This England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Qualified Social Workers within Adult Services

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Essex County Council ( ECC) can offer a wide range of opportunities within Adult Social Care for Qualified Social Workers across a variety of teams an England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Building Surveyor

Essex County Council
£38001.0 - £43299.0 per annum
Discover the perfect work/life balance - then combine it with genuine job satisfaction. At Essex County Council, we are proud to support a highly skil England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Care Manager - Preparing for Adulthood Team

City of York Council
£30,500 - £34,797 per annum
We are looking for someone who will... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Control Practitioner - Nights

City of York Council
£21,400 to £23,793 per annum) reduced pro-rata
Be Independent are a City of York council service focused on assisting customers to live independently in their own homes. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue