The legal framework under which a mountain bike facility is operated is affected by numerous legal frameworks, giving authorities control over land and nature management as well as public safety. Legislation affecting facility management can be found in several fields (list not exclusive)
- Outdoor and trail access
- Health and safety
- Building and planning
- Nature conservation
- Land management
Principles of risk management
- Legislation varies significantly from country to country
- This section seeks to outline some important and common principles as well as their implications for facility management across Europe
- Facility managers must make themselves acquainted with national legislation in the country they operate
- How is legislation affecting legal obligations?
- Which tool kit is available when it comes to actively managing risk in mountain bike facilities?
Trail access laws: Potential limitations to the facility managers toolkit
- The legal basis for riding mountain bikes on trails differs widely across Europe
- The increasing popularity of E-bikes adds an additional element of complexity
- Several countries have different laws applying to E-bikes and regular bikes
- In some countries riders enjoy the right to roam on natural single tracks, given they do so responsibly by respecting nature and other trail users (Scottish Land Reform Act, 2003; Norwegian Outdoor Recreation Act, 1957),
- Riding single tracks is heavily restricted or outright banned in others (German Bundeswaldgesetz, 1975; Slovenia?)
- In some countries trail access will also vary on a regional level (e.g. Germany and Switzerland).
- National access laws determine to what extent it is allowed to impose rules that inflict on free and unhindered trail usage, e.g. by building single use trails, hence excluding certain user groups, as well as putting up signs
- It is outside the scope of the DIRTT project to give a comprehensive overview of each county’s trail access laws and how they affect mountain biking
- It is therefore crucial that the facility managers are well acquainted with the access laws in the countries in which they operate