Why Cycling should be allowed on footpaths in England, Wales and NI.

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  • Why Cycling should be allowed on footpaths in England, Wales and NI.
  • antigee – they are a couple of good calls, there are plenty more I can think of just into the white peak – it would open up some long rides with no linking by road.

    csb
    Member

    antigee – I think you’ve foreseen a key risk of the law changes here, that the availability of safer alternatives will result in cyclists being restricted from using some roads.

    A James
    Member

    I realise I am totally alone but I don’t think they should. I’m not a walker, recented it whe
    I had to do it to get to climbs. However, I do think those that do and choose to do it do have the right to know they are on a path that will not be occupied by horses or me on my bike. Let’s be real, I have risen past many walkers on bridle ways who I know have been inconvienienced by my rattling past. It bugs me when they tut or comment cos I have the right to be there, if they don’t want to share a right of way with me use a footpath. Also, again I’m alone I suppose, spent a lot of time in the Scottish hills, the landscape and usage their is significantly different to England so ‘ it works in scotland … ‘ doesn’t equate to me. Sorry, just my opinion.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    I do wonder of some trails would be easier to walk with a bit more traffic. Loads of rights of way just don’t show up at all and are over grown

    I went off roading with a mate in Wiltshire once. We drove a 20 mile Bye way goinf grom no where to no where. I feel certain without vehicles using it the bushes would have closed over and nothing walker, bike or horse would ever get down it again

    More people in the country side deters crime, particularlt at night

    antigee
    Member

    csb – Member
    antigee – I think you’ve foreseen a key risk of the law changes here, that the availability of safer alternatives will result in cyclists being restricted from using some roads.

    sadly a dangerous truth – i’ve experienced the “you shouldn’t be on here there’s a cycle path” argument first hand but counted my self lucky enough to ride sufficiently defensively not to have got hurt

    would like to think what should be achieved is an overall increase in the number of cyclists and a more pleasant experience for families – the current debate about safe off road alternatives is “dangerous” in that it doesn’t emphasise driver responsibility

    personally i’m ok riding on the A57 – but i wouldn’t ride it with my kids and I would like the option of a nice route in the country rather than tarmac, litter and stacked vehicles desperate to get past

    I think there are a lot of paths which just aren’t suitable for cyclists. mainly a dangerous to other users but also erosion, but then again there are a lot that are and should be changed to bridleways.

    The main problem in my eyes is that there are to many cyclists who just aren’t respectful or sensible enough.

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear
    Subscriber

    Singlespeed shep

    surely this is about the right to enjoy are great countryside? Lets not legislate for a few cyclicts and walkers who cause issues. Lets live together, one planet.

    Premier Icon cobrakai
    Subscriber

    Being Scottish and now living in rural Hampshire I can see the effect of both sides of the argument.

    I think it will have to come down to local discretion. If there is a long distance walking route maintained by the council etc, it should be open to MB. As is the case, all BW’s should be open to MB but the grey area comes down to footpaths, especially around here.

    Most footpaths cut across fields which may mean damaging crops or scaring cattle. The biggest thing that would worry me though is in the shooting season it sounds like the Somme around here. Shooting syndicates know where public access routes are but they will be less likely to be bothered if you are on a bridleway (the horsey types are one of them).

    I’ve grown up riding wherever and whatever path I want. All it takes is a little consideration, a smile and a polite “hello” and everything should be ok. If that doesn’t work, match their rudeness and do the same back. Feels great and they dont like it!

    retro83
    Member

    there’s some quite interesting information in the PDF here regarding erosion, perception of walkers & horse riders:

    http://www.tomgeraghty.co.uk/2010/09/15/mountain-bike-erosion-and-trail-use-study/

    gusamc
    Member

    Fairer allocation of limited resources and application of lifestyle trends to those resources. Promotion of a hobby that can generally be regarded as ‘good’ for the individuals taking part (and the country as a whole – i.e you don’t get many obese mountain bikers). I’d also like to see a relationship between subsidy and public access to agricultural land.

    see – http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/access/rightsofway/prow/default.aspx

    I ride ‘sensible and polite’ cheeky all the time, no real issues, I’d suggest less than 1% of people know the law (or actually care).

    If everybody(bikers) was polite, smiled, shouted hallo (or bike behind or ting ting etc),slowed down and ‘worked’ with the other user types so that meetings were pleasant I’d like to think that would help our case (even when confronted by loonies).

    Singlespeed shep

    surely this is about the right to enjoy are great countryside? Lets not legislate for a few cyclicts and walkers who cause issues. Lets live together, one planet.

    Yes I fully agree. but it has to be thought out and done sensibly. especially in areas that attract large volumes of people.

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    I’m going to sound all silly now but bear with me. In a lot of way market forces, some version of it will come into play.

    Someone mentioned fields above, unless there is a well worked packed down path by a field (usually round the edges), field as BALLS to ride, there are BW across a few near me, having made the decision to ride them once, never again. Like wise badly eroded areas are often poor riding, and also many cyclists are aware of this issues and will avoid in poor weather, or just most of the time. Large numbers of people are also a deterrent for me. On Bank Holidays etc I always go further out of town and avoid the Nidderdale Way. I don’t think I’m alone in making riding choices like this…

    mark90
    Member

    Lets not legislate for a few cyclicts and walkers who cause issues. Lets live together, one planet.

    Unfortunately legistlation usually trys to account for those that cause issues and legislate against them, at the expense of the more responsible sensible users who really don’t need the legislation in the first place.

    I do wonder of some trails would be easier to walk with a bit more traffic. Loads of rights of way just don’t show up at all and are over grown

    I went off roading with a mate in Wiltshire once. We drove a 20 mile Bye way goinf grom no where to no where. I feel certain without vehicles using it the bushes would have closed over and nothing walker, bike or horse would ever get down it again

    This is a very valid point, increased usage can not only cause errosion but also have a positive effect of helping keep the RoW clear, open and passable. Since NERC and the ‘down grading’ of RUPP’s to RB’s there are a significant number that were easily passible by anything from a walker to a 4×4 that have now become virtually impassible even due to over growth due to lack of use. The less use it gets the more over grown it gets, the more over grown it gets the less use it gets.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    Would you accept a law that made it legal to ride on a foot path if it also became illegal to ride where there is no right of way? Without prior permission of course.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    I think there are a lot of paths which just aren’t suitable for cyclists. mainly a dangerous to other users but also erosion, but then again there are a lot that are and should be changed to bridleways.

    A lot of contentious spots are already the subject of byelaws prohibiting cycling. Keeping a footpath a footpath in the absence of any other prohibition is a useless way of dealing with an issue, because there’s no method of enforcement aside from the landowner asking the trespassing parties to leave.

    I’d also agree with the poster who pointed out that cyclists do not “run people over” and survive unscathed, in the way that motor vehicles do. They are two vulnerable user groups and aside from the possibility that one may be wearing a helmet, there’s a very similar risk to both.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    decided to do a gentle ride with my wife on Saturday. We were out from about 11 to 2.

    We got to Henley and wanted to get to Wargrave or Sonning.

    Imo the road between Henley/Wargrave is very cycle unfriendly so went down Thames path(footpath). Obviously busy in a couple of places so we just walked these bits (ie the henley lock).

    But between Shiplake and Sonning there were actually more cyclists than walkers ! And these were nt MTBer this were mainly young couples there was 1 group of 6 ! (think they may have been students at Reading Uni).

    Does seem like the current ROW regulation doesnt really meet the needs of the users to me !

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Schnor, out of the current FP network what proportion would you say is covered by byelaws prohibiting cycling? Down here in the South West I’d say it’s about 1%, but covers the most contentious areas – e.g. the Downs in Bristol.

    As an aside, has anyone else found the quality of a lot of BWs in Wales to be extremely variable? I did an off-road E2E with Singletracksurfer recently (a new route, not the 24 hour record one) and was struck by how many BWs are marked on a map but don’t seem to exist on the hill.

    I’d like to see the different non-car users joining up to look after each other and sharing routes. Although weight of maintenance may cause some arguments. However, our society may not be ready for it as people are regressing their societal responsibilities.

    I, as a cyclist, am annoyed at the plonker who crashed into the back of me whilst I was walking on the pavement last week, where he failed to acknowledge the injury to my right hand I suffered on his bars as he rode off from teh scene of the accident. I’d have moved to the side to let him through if I had received warning from him, knowing the congestion on that road that leaves me using the pavement from time to time. I personally make noise to create awareness for pedestrians, slow to a crawl, or get off when necessary. I don’t run them down. This is why it’ll never work.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    scu98rkr, the Thames Path seems like a right dog’s dinner. I’ve encountered some aggro on there before on a section we were perfectly entitled to use. http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/ThamesPath/uploads/Overview%20map%20Nov%2009.pdf

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    Would you accept a law that made it legal to ride on a foot path if it also became illegal to ride where there is no right of way? Without prior permission of course.

    I have no idea why that would be relevant to a discussion about the merits of allowing cycling on footpaths?

    There is absolutely no point in talking about bits of trail here, bits of trail there and whether they are viable routes or not, that way just leads to “getting lost in the weeds” (or nettles and brambles).

    Premier Icon schnor
    Subscriber

    Schnor, out of the current FP network what proportion would you say is covered by byelaws prohibiting cycling? Down here in the South West I’d say it’s about 1%, but covers the most contentious areas – e.g. the Downs in Bristol.

    In my county (in N.E. Wales) I can think of only two bye-laws – both requested by the local parish council a few years ago – and a few TRO’s in the town centre, so its maybe 2km (which isn’t enforced BTW) out of ~870km. So if I had to guess nationally, it would be less than 1%.

    The above comments show quite well that even amongst a distinct user group like ours there are plenty of differing opinions.

Viewing 21 posts - 46 through 66 (of 66 total)

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