New EMP Highlights Safe, and Environmentally Responsible Cycling

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SANParks, the Table Mountain Mountain Bike (TMMTB) Forum, the Pedal Power Association and SANBI have over the past year been revising the 2002 Mountain Biking Environmental Management Programme (EMP) for the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP).  An inclusive stakeholder process was undertaken and a draft of the revised EMP was released for public comment in April 2016.

The purpose of revising the EMP was to update the current programme, confirm existing cycling routes and propose additional routes.  The new EMP also emphasizes safety – more eyes and ears on the trails. The EMP will also include an updated Code of Conduct which comprises cycling etiquette and compliance to ensure safe, friendly and environmentally responsible cycling in TMNP.  TMNP and the Forum are now pleased to announce that the final revised EMP and a full list of the additional mountain biking routes are officially open and available for the public as of 1 December 2016.

The additional “trail sharing” routes are now open to the public and introduces an exciting new aspect to recreational activities in the Park.

Some guidelines include staying on dedicated routes, no littering and respecting wildlife. As before, the TMNP level 3 Activity Permit will be required to ride all biking trails in the Park. The permits are available at the SANParks Wildcard Offices in Tokai or at any Cape Town Tourism info centre. The additional biking trails have been identified at a number of different locations and include routes around the iconic Signal Hill and Lions Head, tracks above Camps Bay and the Newlands via Kirstenbosch and Cecilia Plantation transit route to Constantia Nek.

Additional trails will also be available at Deer Park below Tafelberg Road, Groote Schuur Estate (ideal for family and recreational riders) and a Tokai to Silvermine linkage route.
Park Manager, Lesley-Ann Meyer, said the review was long overdue and that the Park has been working with the widely representative TMMTB Forum to produce a robust and practical EMP to guide and manage both mountain biking and road cycling in the Park into the future.
Ms. Meyer is encouraged by the identification of additional cycling routes to complement the existing network and she thanked the Forum and Park staff for the hard work in getting the new routes into the draft EMP for public comment.

For more information visit www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/