British Cycling and Welsh Cycling have today welcomed the Welsh Government’s proposal to review statutory access across Wales’ countryside.
The proposal has the potential to cement Wales as a world leading destination for mountain biking and to have a positive impact on the Welsh economy, levels of physical activity, and the health, lifestyle and countryside engagement of Welsh communities.
It will also be key to driving forward the 2013 Active Travel (Wales) Act, ensuring the people of Wales have access to a variety of cycling opportunities.
The proposal is now in a consultation period until the beginning of October and is seeking views on:
- Ways to reduce the costs and burdens associated with administering public paths and wider access
- How to better meet current and future recreational needs
- Ways to tackle some of the practical difficulties of improving opportunities for all, not just for those who can afford to travel or those who are already enthusiasts
British Cycling’s Mountain Bike Leadership manager, Dan Cook, said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for all of Wales, with its residents and visitors set to benefit through gaining far greater exposure to the superb outdoor environment that the country has to offer.
“Current countryside access laws are outdated, challenging and costly to administer bearing little relation to the ways that most people now access the countryside.
“As proven through Scottish Outdoor Access, the UK’s mountain bikers and off-road cyclists are sensible and considerate people that bring a host of benefits to help develop rural economies. I therefore look forward to supporting riders, mountain bike leaders and Welsh communities through our response and feel confident that evolution in this area can only be positive for all.”
Welsh Cycling’s National Development manager, Georgina Harper, said:
“Welsh Cycling welcomes the move to improve the access to Wales’s varied and stunning countryside, enabling more people to access local opportunities to cycle off road.
In turn this will not only have a positive impact on levels of physical activity, but it will bolster local economies and tourism in Wales.”
You can read the consultation and submit your response here. British and Welsh Cycling, along with partners including the National MTB Advocacy Group, will jointly respond to the consultation before the October deadline.
For more information about how to get into cycling visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/getinvolved