STEPincLogo A

Displaying items by tag: cycling strategy

Saturday, 04 February 2023 21:23

NPWS cycling strategy

In STEP Matters Issue 213 we commented in detail on the new draft NPWS cycling strategy. This is a highly controversial issue so many submissions were made.

The final documents have now been published and can be downloaded from the NPWS website. As the website states:

National parks managers will now have guidelines to improve sustainable cycling experiences and manage unauthorised tracks in consultation with stakeholders, while fulfilling legal requirements to protect our natural and cultural heritage.

Compared with the draft the final documents are much simplified. There is now greater emphasis on the need to protect the environment and prevent damage being done by unauthorised tracks. We hope there will be enough funding and staff resources to actively close down and rehabilitate these tracks that have proliferated in recent years. There is likely to be strong opposition from the mountain biking lobby so a determined level of enforcement will be required.

There are two documents:

  • the actual strategy
  • guidelines for implementation

Submissions were highly critical of a point scoring system in the draft guidelines that takes into account a multitude of criteria for deciding whether a proposed track route is suitable. This seems to be highly discretionary. The proof of its effectiveness will be revealed in time. However the important decision up front as to whether or not a new track should be built or unauthorised track approved is now more definitely defined and simplified.

Published in STEP Matters 219