Off-road missing links: tell us your story

Routes like this could make a big difference for traffic-free cycling
Real-life examples are a powerful illustration of how increasing off-road access in England could make a difference to people’s lives. Do you have a story to share?

“You can’t ride there, that’s just how it is.”

“It says footpath for a reason.”

“There are plenty of other places you can go.”

How many times have you heard these comments? Chances are, we all know a fair few people who struggle to understand why we keep banging on about off-road access for cycling.

They might be cyclists themselves, but they mainly stick to the tarmac and it’s not something they’ve ever thought about.

That’s why we want to hear from you to bring the issue to life.

Is there a particular route that would really benefit you if you were able to cycle on it?

Share your story

We want to gather personal stories that show how much we could gain by improving off-road access

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK' head of campaigns

Cycling UK's head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore explains: “With close to 80% of the rights of way network in England off-limits to cyclists, it can be really difficult to link up a route on bridleways and byways. Opening up more of our existing network of off-road trails provides so much potential for safe traffic-free routes, and is a cost-effective way of enabling more people to cycle.

“But a lot of people still don’t really see why it’s important, which is why we want to gather personal stories that show how much we could gain by improving off-road access.”

Thousands of people have added their route suggestions to our missing links map, and now we’re looking for real-life stories of how opening up off-road routes would improve the lives of nearby residents.

Would it enable you to take the kids to the lakeside cycle path a couple of miles away, rather than spending ages squeezing bikes into the car?

Would it give your partner the confidence to join you for a ride if only you could use the traffic-free track running parallel to the busy road?

Could it mean you're able to take a scenic trail through the woods, reaching that spot with the incredible view, and turn an everyday ride into something special?

Our map contributors from Bristol gave us an example:

“The National Trust estate at Tyntesfield is somewhere we quite often go at the weekend, it’s nice for the kids to run around and it has a good café. It’s only about four miles from our house in Bedminster, but it’s accessed by the majority of the population of Bristol by car.

“A family-friendly route through the Forestry England Ashton Hill plantation, connecting with the existing Festival Way cycle path out of Bristol, would be a great addition to the area and make it an accessible place to cycle to.”

Do you have your own story to share?

Cycling UK will use these examples to illustrate to decision-makers the impact that increasing off-road access for cycling could make to people’s lives.


Share your story