Blog – In Scotland, you’re legally allowed to cycle on (most) rural footpaths. Why not England?

Opening up rural footpaths for cyclists

Should cyclists be allowed to ride on rural footpaths in England and Wales? 🚲

Posted by BBC Breakfast on Monday, 12 August 2019

Today when cycling in some local woods, I had a man block the path and told me I can’t cycle on the public footpath. I actually thought I was on a bridleway, explained that to him and said sorry sir, and thank you when he moved out of the way. He said thanks back but that made me think about this video that I watched recently. In Scotland they have access to most rural paths, so why not England? Is it time for the law to change?

I made a post about cyclists in the UK being viewed negatively, cycling on footpaths probably isn’t helping the matter for those that feel passionately against cycling on paths. But in my argument if your cycling at low speeds, I can’t see how you can cause any issues, And as this bloke on the video says it gives the walkers a chance to meet new people… (maybe due to the COVID 19 pandemic – people are more likely to not want to see people currently though, and that might be partially the reason this man said something to me).

As the video says lots of people are put off from cycling due to a lack of segregated paths, if people had ‘legal’ access to them – surely this would improve matters and get more people cycling.

There are lots of others benefits of cycling on rural paths, they are often out in nature. I read green spaces are good for mental health, and why should only walkers get to experience them? No one should own nature.

I read an article yesterday about about someone setting traps out in woodlands to stop cyclists – such as branches blocking the paths, another article talked about wires tied to trees. I guess there is some hatred out of there for cyclists on paths. But as long as people are considerate to walkers I don’t see an issue.

I really support the UK government allowing cyclists to cycle on rural paths in England and Wales.

Cheers hope you enjoyed reading.


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