John Wilkinson, IMBA UK’s Executive Officer has just sent out the latest IMBA update. In it, he states that Rupps (Roads used as Public Paths) now no longer exist, and have been re categorised en masse as Restricted Byways which can only be used by walkers cyclists and equestrians. IMBA has been concerned for some time that the regulations did not appear to prevent ploughing – but’s Defra has now told us that these routes continue to be proper carriageways – and can’t be ploughed. Good news for the East Anglian riders then…
Slightly worrying is the fact that the Discovering Lost Ways Review isn’t really going anywhere. This is the project which was introduced as part of the Crow Act 2000 as a sop to landowners keen to prevent new bridleways being established over their land. TheÂ idea is that all such Lost Ways will be in place by 2025 after which no new routes can be established. Seven years later, and with the clock ticking, progress has progressed at a snails pace, a Natural England Report notes that to date only Cheshire is close to completing the research phase.
Next on the list is Shropshire, where work is already underway, so rapid progress into other counties does not appear to be likely. We should all be concerned about the slow pace of this project â€“ so a note to your MP emphasising the importance of this to cyclists and others is well worth considering.
Finally 34 miles network of mountain bike trails is now ready to ride in the 8,600-acre Dalby Forest near Pickering in the North York Moors. Built with Â£141,000 from the European Union by local trailbuilding club SingletrAction working with the Forestry Commission, the Â£400k network is now the most extensive in the UK to be found outside of Wales or Scotland and could become part ofÂ the training facilities for mountain biking events at the 2012 Olympics.