If you’re a Scottish rider you’ve got a chance to make a difference to riding in your area. The CTC are making an urgent appeal for cyclists throughout Scotland to help them ensure the quality and quantity of offroad routes as the country develops legislation on Outdoor Access.
The Land Reform (Scotland) Bill could result in hundreds of biking trails being opened, signposted and maintained. The idea behind it is to give countryside users such as cyclists, walkers, horse riders and climbers the right to use all suitable land for recreation. But the development of the bill requires public consultation and CTC Scotland’s concern is that cyclists are fully represented.
In early March this year, the 31 local authorities of Scotland will each be required to form Local Access Forums to discuss the new Outdoor Access Code. To be sure of proper representation of cyclists on these forums the CTC is looking for over 100 of you Scottish riders to take part.
It’s hoped that the code, due to be finalised in December, will mean that new ‘core path networks’ (comprehensive routes around towns and villages) and longer distance links between them will be signposted within three years. John Taylor, Access Officer for CTC Scotland commented, “It is still early days because the enforcement date has not been decided but we are really looking forward to being able to cycle offroad in every suitable place with assurance."
The code will also cover such issues as responsible use of land available. While it is unlikely that cyclists will be barred from footpaths as they are in England and Wales, Taylor hopes that signposts will steer riders away from unsuitable tracks. Once the code is complete, local authorities will be expected to erect the posts and will have a duty to keep paths open and maintained.
If this sounds like something you’d want to help out with then call John Taylor on 01556 670395 or drop him an email.