When riding on the Defence Estates training areas it is important to be aware of the byelaws that apply to cyclists and how this might affect you. The following is TAG’s considered advice to everyone using the military land for cycling. Please do not mistake the following as legal advice – it is not.
The byelaws mean that it is legal for any member of the Armed Forces (with military ID and of NCO rank or above) or the MoD land managers (LandMarc) to request that you leave the training area; this is at their discretion. There are no rules for this, so if they say go, you go or face the consequences. So if this does happen then leave with good grace and ride somewhere else that day.
Ultimately, the above officers have the right to seize your treasured bike and take it into custody for subsequent crushing. You have no right of appeal or compensation if this happens so don’t escalate any confrontation forcing them to take this step. Generally, any enforcement patrol will start with a warning and then escalate it only if you continue to offend in the same training area.
Should the worst happen, they are required to provide you with a ‘Warning Off’ notice in writing and confirmation that they have confiscated your bike.
Enforcement patrols for the training areas can occur at any time night or day.
So, if you do meet a patrol or LandMarc agent, please remember:
- They have the right to stop you
- Be polite regardless of provocation
- If asked to leave the area, then do so (don’t just go round the corner as this is likely to provoke them)
- If you have an incident at a specific location then don’t return to that location as repeat offending is most likely to result in confiscation
- If property confiscation occurs then ensure you see their accreditation (military ID or LandMarc ID)
- Notify TAG and your local councillor of any incident as soon as possible
- Remember that everyone including the military read the websites, so think about what you post