I'm sure many of you, especially those in the south ride on MOD land. As you know, access is governed by the byelaws in place for each area, but typically they allow open access for recreational purposes on foot, and cycle access on roads made up for vehicles. As most MOD ranges are criss-crossed with stone topped tracks, this gives pretty good access, although officially, anything else is off-limits.
Regular cyclists in these area are also aware and respectful of training exercises, so use conflict is minimised. So overall, a reasonable status quo.
BUT recently, I and others have been told to leave MOD land by the wardens - Landmark, who are stating that cycling is not tolerated at all. We have also been informed that as of this April, the MOD will be carrying out patrols and issuing 1 strike notices if we are caught. A 2nd offence will lead to a £500 fine.
But this does seem to contravene the byelaws governing access. The CTC are aware of this as they believe an ongoing byelaw review may be driving a change in approach to cyclists.
The CTC are urging a response to them directly if you are challenged or removed from MOD land. Link to contact them here:
Please do so if this has happened.
My concern is that the stance of the MOD has moved from tolerant straight to no-cyclists whatsoever regardless of the byelaws that do grant access. I am also concerned that whilst I believe the byelaws support access, I'm probably not going to argue much with a man with a gun who is threatening £500 fines, which seems to be the likely situation in 4 weeks time.
So anyone else in the same boat? About to lose access to an area you've ridden for years? Any thoughts on how to proceed. I'll see what the CTC say and hopefully there will be some movement here.