Share, respect and enjoy the National Cycle Network

During the Covid-19 outbreak, we want everyone to be able to use the Network safely, confidently and in line with government guidelines.

Traffic-free paths on the Network can be ideal for daily exercise.

But it’s important that we all take into account measures to curb Covid-19 while we're using them. Now more than ever, we need to:

Share the path

Respect all other users

Enjoy the Network safely and responsibly

To help you do this, we’ve put together some tips that you can do before and during your trip, to stay safe.

Before you go

Plan ahead

Some traffic-free paths may be too narrow to maintain social distancing.

Similarly, some routes may be particularly busy at peak times, weekends, bank holidays or when the weather’s nice.

Stay local

Don’t travel to hotspots and choose nearby places you know will be quiet.

Keep an eye on the time

As more people are joining key workers and cycling to work, some routes may also be busy with commuters.

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

Comply with social distancing. Stay at least two metres apart from anyone not from your household at all times.

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.

Our volunteers are not carrying out routine maintenance of routes, so do not leave litter and take anything you bring out 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.

Now that some of our staff and volunteers are carrying out improvement and maintenance works, please be respectful if you meet them out on the path.

A lot of work was delayed by the Covid-19 outbreak, so please bear with us as we get things up and running again.

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.

Keep at least two metres’ distance from others and moored boats.

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.

If you want to avoid people, you may want to consider using an alternative route from the towpath.