Please sign this petition to open up more cycle paths

Please sign this petition to open up more English footpaths for cycling, as is being done in Wales.

This aims to set a default for public rights of way to become multi-use for cycling or horse-riding, EXCEPT where it could be shown to be harmful to people, nature, historic features or ancient monuments.

On Hayling Island we have several under-used public footpaths that are desperately needed as cycle paths to make safer cycling, but the landowners won't allow it.

One is the only alternative to the very narrow, 100 year old A3023 with around 25,000 vehicle movements a day. Walkers are few and far between, but the landowner, a farmer, just “doesn’t want” it opened up.

Another is a wide farm track, but the farmer claims it would be dangerous for cyclists, “because of the heavy agricultural vehicle movements”. As if walkers weren’t also at risk (again, not that there are many)!

As I understand it, when rights of way were put on the definitive maps in the 1950’s and 60’s, the decision to make them a footpath or bridleway was pretty arbitrary, and largely unimportant, because you could cycle by road quicker and perfectly safely. Now that traffic is 10 or 20 times busier, it really does matter.

I’m sure any legislation would insert safeguards to protect walkers. But there should be a stronger presumption of cycle access where it is needed for transport and active travel, or to link existing cycle paths, and perhaps less where pure leisure riding would disadvantage existing walkers, or where there are cycling alternatives.

Please get your friends to sign the petition too!

About Wilf Forrow

I'm a retired IT consultant, and a touring and utility cyclist. I'm particularly interested in campaigning for better cycle infrastructure, and a member of Sustrans and Cycle Hayling, amongst others. I am fascinated by cycle technology, and especially folders.

8 thoughts on “Please sign this petition to open up more cycle paths

  1. Yes, makes sense, but in only some circumstances and certainly not for all footpaths. Thus rather difficult to legislate and to control cyclists' behaviour. Roger Pratt.

  2. In my limited experience farmers suffer from people wandering off the footpaths, unwittingly or uncaringly damaging those farmers’ livelihoods. I wonder, is there anything to those farmers’ advantage that might come from or be offered to them as part of, an opening-up to cyclists?

  3. It would be nice to see cyclists making use of the cycle paths already in existence. very difficult to convince the authorities for more infrastructure when we don't use what is already provided. I would like Cycling UK to tell their members to use them where reasonably practicable.

    1. Be careful for what you vote for because of unintended consequences. Much of existing infrastructure is at best tedious and slow and sometimes more dangerous than the road. There is no requirement to use cycle paths but some motorists expect us to use them whatever the condition and try to bully us into using them. Better access is a worthy aim but don't suggest we should be instructed to get off the road. Sometimes we need to make headway for variety of reasons and not all cycling is for leisure purposes.

    2. Couldn't agree more Stephen - I get this pushback all the time, especially from the councillors who make the decisions. Difficult to justify public money if it's going to be wasted.

      My reply to them is to make cycle paths as good and fast as the roads, then people will use them.

  4. I have signed this petition because hopfull it will lead to cycling infostructure because where I am there is no all weather cycling infostructure.
    The local authority are not willing to build cycling infostructure dispite the very desperate need for it. The other is we would need to convert foot parths or purchase land to build cycling infostructure. I understand it unpopular thing to do but motor ways, bye passes are built so why not cycling infostructure.
    I don't like shured cycle and footpaths because its unfair on padestrans and it creates conflict.

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