More support for #TrailsforWales as campaigners meet in Cardiff

More support for #TrailsforWales as campaigners meet in Cardiff

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Top cycling bodies meet with Welsh Assembly Members to voice their support for Trails for Wales, the campaign to increase access to the countryside for bikes.

Trails for Wales is the rallying cry for the UK’s leading cycle bodies as they respond to the Welsh Government’s consultation “Improving opportunities to access the outdoors for responsible recreation” which runs until Friday 2 October, and call for open access to the rights of way network as enjoyed by Scotland.
The campaign hopes to follow in the footsteps of the greater access rights that now exist in Scotland, since 2003. Increased mountain bike access benefits the Scottish economy by £46.5 million a year, with indirect expenditure of up to £119 million, and generates over 1,300 jobs.
Since the campaign started on 1 September, over 2,600 off-road and mountain bike enthusiasts have written to the Welsh Government in support of Trails for Wales. This high level of engagement is reportedly the most the Welsh Government has ever had with the off-road cycling community. Recent signatories include current World Enduro and former World Downhill Champion Tracy Moseley and Scottish adventurer Mark Beaumont.

A gathering of cycling interests met Welsh politicians on Wednesday 23 September in Cardiff, to highlight the high level of support there is for increased off-road cycling access in Wales.

CTC’s Trails for Wales Campaigner, Gwenda Owen, said: “Wales has been an off-road cycling hub for years but there are still so many more trails out there that are currently not open to cyclists but could be.

“By opening up rights of way for cyclists, Wales could become an even better off-road destination.

“We have seen in Scotland just how much more money cycling tourism can bring to rural economies, so to have the support of big hitters in the cycling industry helps to show how serious business takes this opportunity for economic growth.”

John Griffiths AM for Newport East said: “Responsible access is a clear way to ensure that the most people get the most enjoyment out of our beloved Welsh countryside, which is why I’m supporting CTC and Open MTB’s call of Trails for Wales."

Emyr Davies, Welsh MTB Downhill Champion, said: “Trails for Wales will enable much-needed changes to open up off-road racing in Wales. It’s a growth sport in Wales, despite current restrictions. If managed well so as to prevent conflict, Trails for Wales will help inspire the next generation of Welsh cyclists and attract thousands through tourism.”

Welsh Cycling and British Cyclign are supporting the campaign to increase access to the countryside for bikes, you can show your support for Trails for Wales here.