I have been lobbied recently by groups of local residents who are both opposed to and for the use of Kings Wood by cyclists. For mny years, whilst usage of the woods was relatively low, the council turned a Nelsonian blind-eye to cycling in this and other spaces. However, walkers have recently been complaining via a variety of forums about the large increase in cyclists using the paths as a result of lockdown.
I have asked the relevant council officers for the official position, which is pasted below:
The current park bylaws can be found here.
In section 1 it refers to the discretion given to cycling in ‘parks’ as long as it is not to the detriment of the site or the enjoyment of other users.
Recent complaints from woodland visitors about the large number of cyclist in the wood – a Covid-19 related increase - prompted the temporary no cycling signs.
We are fully aware that most cyclists using King’s Wood are responsible and the complaints are about a small number of cycle groups, but with no enforcement capacity it is hard to get the ‘responsible cycling’ message across.
Horse riding in the wood is not permitted, like elsewhere in the borough, horse riding is restricted to designated bridleways.
I can see both sides of this. Given the restrictions of movement we have all been subjected to, it is entirely understandable that parents want to use the woods as safe spaces to cycle with their chldren. But, conversely, it shouldn't be treated as a mountain biking course by groups of adults.
Although officers say 'no cycling' signs have been posted, there is no sign of these on at least some of the entrances, so there are still many cyclists present. But please, if you are cycling in the woods, bear in mind that they are primarily for pedestrian use and you must keep your speed down around people, be considerate to pedestrians and preferably stick to paths which are wide and with good sight lines.