Cycling organisation CTC is alarmed that cyclists are being asked to leave Ministry of Defence land where cycling has long been allowed.
The tracks of Hankley Common, between Farnham and Godalming, are a favourite among cyclists in Surrey and Hampshire. In recent years, however, cyclists have been stopped by the third-party managers of the land and asked to leave.
CTC has taken the matter up with MPs and the MoD, but is now seeking to find out if this is a wider problem. “We do not know if the problems in Surrey are purely local or a symptom of wider issues that have first surfaced here. We certainly do not want the restriction of longstanding tolerated access to become standard.”
Many of the wilder MoD areas are popular with cyclists who want to ride away from traffic: Otterburn Ranges in Northumberland, the Eppynt ranges in Mid-Wales, and Salisbury Plain are all excellent cycling country. However, attempts to bring the National Cycle Network into these remote areas have not always come to fruition. Though the MoD has been reviewing its byelaws since 2003 to put access on a firmer footing, CTC says “little progress have been made”.
If you cycle on MoD land, CTC would like to hear from you. E-mail [email protected] with the formal position (if you know it) for cycling on your local MoD land, and what happens in practice if this is different.