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 responsible access to suitable rights of way by mountain bikers, cyclists and horse riders, which are currently off-limits to those user groups.
- Open a discussion that could enable sanctioned cycle racing on suitable bridleways.
Welsh Cycling and British Cycling worked alongside other national governing bodies, cycling organisations and in particular OpenMTB in submitting our 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 sanctioned racing on limited 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 suitable 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 on the campaign, including the 3,000 British Cycling members who pledged their support.”