Share, respect and enjoy the National Cycle Network

We want everyone to be able to use the National Cycle Network Network safely and confidently.

Traffic-free paths on the Network are perfect for exploring the outdoors, enjoying time with friends or family and for exercise.

They provide safe spaces for us all to travel, relax, unwind and play.

But it’s important that we are all mindful of those around us and take care of one another when we're on the path. We need to:

Share the path

Respect all other users

Enjoy the Network safely and responsibly

Together, we can make sure everyone enjoys using these routes.

And to help you do this, we’ve put together some tips that you can follow before and during your trip, so that you and everyone around you can enjoy their time.

Before you go

Plan ahead

Some traffic-free paths get busy at weekends, bank holidays or when the weather’s nice.

And some routes can get busy with commuters during pre and post-work times.

Keep an eye on the time you want to head out.

And before you leave, plan some places you can stop off for a break in case you need it.


Check your route

If you’re running or cycling, bear in mind your ability level when planning your route.

Some routes may include steep hills, inclines or even temporary diversions so check out your planned route in advance.

Out on the path

Keep your distance

Avoid congregating on the path. And, if there is space, step aside and make room so that others can pass safely.


Be considerate

Be considerate of other users who you’re sharing the space with, and be prepared to slow down.

You could see commuters, school children, dog walkers and horse riders. As well as people using cycles and wheelchairs out on the Network. 

If walking, wheeling or running, be aware of people on cycles. Avoid using headphones.

If you're walking your dog on a path that's shared with people who cycle, keep it on a short lead.

And please do not leave litter behind and take anything you bring out back home with you.


Be kind

Give priority and be patient with people who may be moving more slowly than you.

This could include older people, people who are less mobile or have visual and hearing impediments, as well as small children.

Be friendly and give plenty of warning when passing.

Remember, if using a cycle, a bell might not always be enough to alert people that you're coming.

Our staff and volunteers are carrying out improvement and maintenance works, so please be respectful if you meet them out on the path.

If you're on a towpath

Take extra care

Take extra care when using canal towpaths which can be narrow and may have people living in moored boats alongside.

If cycling, please be aware of the towpath code, and remember pedestrians have priority.

Be ready to slow down and let people walking go first.