Cyclists asked to stay off country paths in West Sussex

CYCLISTS straying onto public footpaths in West Sussex have been asked to stick to routes intended for riding, not walking.

The appeal has come from the Countryside Access Forum for West Sussex, whose members have expressed concerns that cycling along narrow, unsuitable footpaths could be dangerous, as well as unlawful.

A spokesman for the forum said: “Cycling is a great way to enjoy the West Sussex countryside.

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“Cycling off-road is challenging and safe and gives you the chance to enjoy superb views and see a variety of wildlife.

“Around the county and especially on the Downs, there is a network of country lanes and bridleways which can provide circular routes or long distance rides between towns and villages.”

However, he added: “Please remember footpaths are for walkers only (unless the landowner has given specific permission for other use).

“Unlawful or inappropriate use can cause problems for landowners and dangers for legitimate users.”

The main routes for cyclists are public bridleways, but they can also use restricted byways, byways open to all traffic, designated cycle paths and roads;, as can walkers and horse riders.

“All can be identified on any Ordnance Survey map.”

Cyclists were also asked to be courteous to others enjoying the countryside, to use a bell when approaching and to shut gates.