If there's one surefire way for a news outlet to tot up some hits, then it's stirring up a bit of resentment between different user groups. Happily, BBC Breakfast's piece on whether footpaths in England and Wales should be available to cyclists - as they are in Scotland - seems to have drawn a disappointingly reasonable response from both cyclists and walkers.
In a rather pleasant turn of events, this BBC Breakfast Facebook post seems to have turned out as a fairly reasonable (by Facebook standards) discussion of the rights and responsibilities of walkers and cyclists to be all respectful and get on with sharing the countryside with each other.
That sharing is something that's enshrined in law up in Scotland, but England and Wales are sadly lagging behind on, despite the best efforts of Cycling UK and other user groups - horse riders included - to change that. The Welsh Government did announce a U-turn in policy in favour of increased access earlier this year after a large scale consultation, but there's still no sign of any shift from the English Government.
The BBC's 1:36 long video features Team GB cyclists Mark Maguire and Frazer Clacherty explaining how Scotland's open access regime is great for their training as it allows them more varied places to ride.
Opposing that view is Sandra from Carlisle and District Hiking Club who had a 'near-miss with a cyclist travelling at speed' and now believes that "mountain bikers seem to think that they should always take preference, and that walkers should always step aside, no matter what the terrain is".
When pressed on whether she thinks that she should have to step aside, she responds "No".
Great stuff all round.
The report mentions a Cycling UK survey that says 65% of people are currently put off cycling in towns and cities because of a lack of segregated cycle lanes, with opening more routes to cyclists being a solution to that issue, especially for families.
Apart from the broader health benefits of getting more people riding, open access is also likely to have a positive effect on the local economy, with figures suggesting that the mountain biking economy added over £105m to the Scottish economy in 2015, the lure of open access undoubtedly contributing to that.
Either way, amongst the usual 'I have experienced one thing once which means that my experience must be incontrovertibly true for all of those things' posts, there are some lovely gems of reasonable co-existence found in the comments.
There's also someone pointing out that most cyclists and walkers will never get to meet a famous 18th-century American author, which is both true and sad, though possibly not relevant.
Anyway, do let us know if you find some great content that promotes friendly discussion about access issues and we'll make sure we report on it.
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