Waterways Cycling Permits

Slartibartfast

Über Member
Hello all,

I've downloaded one of these today, as my new commute will take me along a towpath. I was just wondering, has anybody been asked to produce one when out riding? And what would the consequences be of not carrying one?
 
Location
Essex
Slartibartfast said:
what would the consequences be of not carrying one?
Reading the back, I would assume you would be made to get off and walk. As you would not have permission to cycle on the tow path.
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
As far as I could work out they're not needed (waived) where the towpath is part of a NCN cycle route, otherwise you can be asked to get off and walk and if you don't presumably prosecuted.

Just carry it!

I use the Taunton Bridgwater towpath quite frequently, and I ignore the bit about not riding after dark - I'll post when/if I get done or asked for the permit.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
I printed one about 20 years ago, carried it for about a year and then lost it and haven't bothered since. I've never heard of anyone being stopped and asked to produce a permit.

I imagine the point is to reinforce the idea that we are being given permission to ride on the towpath, and if we misbehave (e.g. riding over carbon fibre fishing rods) then the permit could be revoked. We could be in trouble if the authorities then caught us on the towpath.

Either that, or it's a complete nonsense... :biggrin:
 

Norm

Guest
I think it's more because British Waterways don't want to grant free access to their tow paths. By having the licensing scheme, even if it is very lightly enforced, they retain the option to close down the network.
 
I think technically, in Scotland at least they are required for groups of more than 2 cyclists. I've done plenty of group rides and solo rides along the Union Canal (Edinburgh-Falkirk) towpath and never been asked or even seen anybody official'ish.
 

manualtypist

New Member
Location
London
Origamist said:
I had a permit for years, but was never stopped. In London, they've done away with them.
Was just about to say...they're not needed in London. But I suppose if you're not in London and cycling along the waterways...it's probably just easier to carry the permit just in case...
 

mark i

Well-Known Member
It could be a legal method to stop the towpaths becoming a right of way for cycles. savernak forest is free access to everyone except the first working day after new year. It stops the paths becoming rights of way.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
mark i said:
It could be a legal method to stop the towpaths becoming a right of way for cycles. savernak forest is free access to everyone except the first working day after new year. It stops the paths becoming rights of way.
I'd thought about that too.

There is a path in this area that I have been riding MTBs on for about 17 years. I originally thought that it was a bridleway, but I'm now fairly sure that it is officially a footpath. It is actually more suitable to ride on than many of the official bridleways. Nobody has ever challenged me for riding it. I reckon if I carry on for a few more years I could have established a right to ride on it! :evil: (According to the CTC, this is possible if you can show that there has been unhindered access for 20 years.)
 
Top Bottom