The Trails for Wales campaign is reaching a critical point as they draw nearer to the date on which the Welsh Government will consult on a forward-looking set of plans which would radically reform access rights in the country – effectively allowing cyclists and horse riders to use the vast majority of the country's footpaths.
Head to the Lake District and it's not difficult to put together a beautiful and technically challenging route in the heart of the national park, yet in North Wales' Snowdonia National Park (for example) it's much, much harder due to the disjointed nature of the trail network.
Manon Carpenter supports Cycling UK's Trails for Wales campaign, by Cycling UK
The reformation of access rights could significantly reform the rights users have to the trail and land in Wales, taking the access from a restricted 21 percent of the whole rights-of-way network to much, much more. If the reforms go ahead it will be the biggest thing in UK mountain biking since Scotland reformed its access rules in 2003. The Welsh Government has only put forward such bold changes because of the hugely successful Trails for Wales campaign run by lobby groups Cycling UK and OpenMTBin 2015 when the preliminary consultation was launched on the issue.
Whats in it for you?
- More access to more trails in beautiful Wales
- Bigger rides without awkward road linking sections
- Less concentration of riders in a given area
- Little used walking trails, perfect for mountain bikes would be accessible
- Creation of brand new, epic rides
- Linking trail centres together
What can you do?
Cyclists and other outdoor users need to make their voices heard, buy expressing your support on the response form below Cycling UK has sent a detailed response to the Welsh Gov, supporting the proposals and making some convincing arguments in favour of reform.
You don't have to live in Wales to respond to the consultation. You don't even have to live in the UK. You just have to be enthusiastic about the potential of the Welsh Government's plans. The consultation closes on Saturday, 30 September - so please don't delay in having your say.
Click here to support and have your say