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9 Nov 2022, more…

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7 Nov 2022, more…

Cycling Industry News launches annual Market Study

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3 Nov 2022, more…

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Government accused of not consulting cycling bodies over National Trail overhaul plan

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Government accused of not consulting cycling bodies over National Trail overhaul plan

Posted on 5 Oct 2022

The Government has been accused of failing in its duty to contact statutory consultees within the cycling and equestrian sectors as part of a significant national trail overhaul plan.

Cycling UK, alongside the British Horse Society, have now written a joint letter to Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Ranil Jawawardena, calling on the Government to reconsider proposals that would effectively prevent people cycling or horse-riding along the length of England’s next National Trail, the Wainwright Coast to Coast.

Cycling UK says the oversight on the project, which is significant enough to command a £5.6 million overhaul budget, is cause for concern.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns said: “The Wainwright path is a fantastic attraction for the north of England, and it’s great news the Government wants it to be a National Trail.

National Trail

“There’s so much to celebrate about the new trail’s aims to increase opportunities for people to experience the outdoors, but what is frustrating is the tunnel vision automatically excluding specific groups like people cycling or horse riding, that is also contrary to government policy on outdoor access.

“If you ride a bike or a horse, you can use only 22% of England’s rights of way network or ride two out of 16 of our National Trails. We need to do more to increase access, not limit it. The benefits are real for rural hospitality businesses, which will see increased trade from a more diverse group of visitors.”

Set to become a National Trail by 2025, the route spans 197 miles, stretching St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hoods Way in North York Moors National Park. At the present time the route combines footpaths unsuitable for bike riders and horses and bridleways which are more welcoming to cyclists.

The Government’s oversight runs contrary to a recommendation made in the 2019 Glover Report, which was used to inform the Government’s Landscapes review, advising how to make national landscapes more open to everyone.

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