British Cycling believes that where public access exists to outdoor places then that access should include responsible mountain biking.
The Scottish Land Reform Act proves that responsible access by people on bikes is sustainable, manageable and highly beneficial to tourism, health and the economy. We believe that this responsible access model should be explored for the whole of the UK.
We have called for the government to invest in robust research to evidence the viability of generating a responsible access model in England and Wales.
British Cycling, Scottish Cycling and Welsh Cycling do not condone the building and riding of illegal trails. We will only support informed, evidence based, dialogue with landowners and government agencies in order to bring about the changes that we believe will benefit society as a whole.
A British Cycling commissioned poll by YouGov (12 and 13 June 2016) asked nearly 2000 people their views and understanding about cycling in the countryside. The poll revealed that 64% did not know that they are not allowed to cycle on the majority of public paths in the countryside.
Nearly 70% were either unsure or said that you should be allowed to cycle on the majority of public paths. Younger people are the least likely (71%) to know where they can cycle and also the most likely to support greater public access.
There is also massive demand for more countryside cycling – despite only 6% of people cycling regularly in the countryside, half of the survey’s respondents would like to cycle there more.