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Cycling UK outlines plans for off-road Land's End to John O'Groats route

90 per cent of 1,000-mile route using right-to-roam legislation to be open by 2020, the rest will take a little longer to develop

Cycling UK has outlined plans for a traffic-free route that would enable off-road cyclists to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Partly using existing hiking trails, the charity is using the extension of right-to-roam legislation to include cyclists and horse-riders to devise the route, reports The Sunday Times.

Paul Tuohy, the organisation’s chief executive, explained: “Britain’s network of walking routes are envied around the world.

“In England and Wales, however, only about 20 per cent of that network is legally accessible for bikes and horses.

“In 2020 the [England] Coast Path is due to be completed, which is why we’re announcing this weekend Cycling UK’s ambition for what should come next: an off-road Land’s End to John o’ Groats route open to everyone.”

Among the country’s 15 national trails, the latest of which is the 2,795-mile England Coast Path, only the South Downs Way and the Pennine Bridleway can be ridden in full on bike or horseback.

The Land’s End to John O’Groats route, most of which is due to be open by 2020 – riders will have to use roads for around 10 per cent of its length, with Cycling UK estimating it will take 15 years for the route to be completed – is a number of trails that the charity is developing.

Those include one named the Wiltshire Loop which will run from Stonehenge to Surrey and another which will connect Kent with Cornwall.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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bob.sweet | 5 years ago

Too late, Sustrans already have a route using Sustrans routes, not 100% off road, but I doubt the CTC route will be either.


dassie | 5 years ago

Decent hard-surfaced tracks would be good -  wider tyres on, great.  I guess I was thinking it sounded more like this...

alexb | 5 years ago
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I guess it depends what standard they build it to.

A good chunk of Sustrans routes are just a case of stringing together random back roads to yield a confusing mashup of urbam backstreets, quiet country roads and unmaintained bridleways.

There are a few hard-surfaced rail trails as well, but it would be fabulous to have the equivalent of the French VeloVerte route to Paris, which is hard-surfaced, includes toilets and cafes en route and is almost entirely "off-road", but not off-road, (i.e. muddy trails).

Drinfinity | 5 years ago

I would like to do it mostly on bridleways.

I think it’s not compulsory, so if you don’t want to do it, they can’t take away your cycling proficiency certificate. 

dassie | 5 years ago

Sounds good, but I wouldn't want to do LEJOG mostly on bridleways.

aegisdesign replied to dassie | 5 years ago

dassie wrote:

Sounds good, but I wouldn't want to do LEJOG mostly on bridleways.

ok, this isn't for you. There's plenty of semi-offroad routes already. eg. Pennine Cycleway instead of Pennine Bridleway which is a mix of roads and some forest tracks or just some of the NCN.

I am slightly puzzled by this though. For a route that is supposedly using Right-to-Roam legislation changes to use hiking paths, most of it seems to be on exiting national bridleways or green roads eg. The Ridgeway and Pennine Bridleway not the Pennine Way.

Unfortunately the paywalled article and map isn't helping.

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