Snowdon is the third highest peak in the UK and it's rightly on the must-do list for any adventurous mountain biker. However, irresponsible behaviour by some cyclists is putting the current access arrangement at risk, says Cycling UK.
Since 2003, there has been a voluntary restriction for cyclists on the peak, with Snowdonia National Park Authority, Cycling UK and other cycling groups agreeing not to exercise their legal right to ride on the three bridleways to the summit: the Llanberis, Snowdon Ranger and Rhyd Ddu paths. This agreement stands from the beginning of May to the end of September, between the hours of 10am and 5pm. It's worked well for the last fifteen years allowing cyclists to enjoy riding on the mountain during the summer months while also minimising the potential for conflict with Snowdon’s other users.
However, Snowdonia National Park Authority (NPA) has reported incidents of a number of individuals flouting the restriction and riding inappropriately, impacting on the safety and enjoyment of other users. If this continues, long-term access to the mountain for cyclists could be put at risk.
Snowdonia National Park’s access officer Peter Rutherford said:
“The agreement has worked well for many years, showing that all users can share the paths successfully, but this does rely on individuals complying with the agreement, which most do.
“We’re delighted that so many mountain bikers come to Snowdonia and choose to ride on our highest mountain, and the success of this agreement could lead to increased access in other areas over time, so we would urge cyclists to please respect other users and exercise due caution – especially on their descents.”
With close to 375,000 people walking up Snowdon every year, it’s by far and away the UK’s most popular mountain and it's also got some of the UK's finest natural mountain bike descents on it, so it'd be a tragedy for us to lose access to them.
With that in mind, we'd urge anyone thinking of taking it on to respect not just the voluntary agreement, but give the utmost respect to all other users when you're on the mountain. Slow down for walkers - down to walking pace or below as you pass them - and give them plenty of space and warning about your presence. Be polite and courteous at all times and if you see a cyclist not respecting any part of the agreement, have a gentle word with them - it's not particularly hard stuff and it'll ensure access for many years to come.
You might also like: