Trail Association & Maintenance Groups Guidance

Trail Association & Maintenance Groups (TA) Guidance (Updated 17 May 2021)

As restrictions continue to be eased and Scotland starts to open up again, this may be the time where more organised trail maintenance activity is being planned.  In producing this guidance, we have carefully considered two key requirements – ‘what is best for public health and well being’ and ‘what will keep the cycling community safe’.

If you are not comfortable delivering sessions under the current conditions, for example if you feel social distancing is not possible or you would not like to administer first aid, please do not feel compelled to resume activity at this stage.

Key Considerations

  1. The well being of your members, volunteers and the wider community is paramount. Just because restrictions are easing across the country, it does not mean that your group has to resume if the feeling within your community is that people are not yet ready.
  2. While travel for recreation and exercise remains unrestricted, there may be areas of localised outbreak of COVID-19.  This may mean localised travel restrictions in and/or out of a certain area. Please check in advance of any session.
  3. It is recommended that each TA has a designated Covid-19 Co-Ordinator to monitor the changing situation, guidelines and recommendations. We highly recommend they read and are aware of any changes to the 'Safer Workplaces' guidance and the guidance for the 'Construction Sector'. These sectoral guidelines are the closest to the operating procedures which TAs are operating under. 

General Guidance 

  1.  Please read the DMBinS Guidance for Riders
  2. In advance of any activity please engage directly with facility operators / landowners to confirm that trail maintenance sessions can resume and discuss any additional Covid-19 precautions being taken on each site. 
  3. The Scottish Government have confirmed that TA's are exempt from restrictions on 'gatherings' as the purpose of the gathering is for “work, or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services".
  4. The rules around group sizes have changed and are dependent on the Covid restriction Level of the area you will be operating in.  Scottish Cycling have aligned the group sizes for all outdoor cycling related activities with Scottish Government guidance, which from 17th May is a maximum of 50 from unlimited households. For the purposes of TA’s reputation and minimising the chances of spreading the virus we would recommend that all TA’s take a staggered approach to increasing group sizes at this stage and ensure that all risk management protocols are in place. 
  5. Physical distancing - please be aware of all the societal rules before, during and after the session and ensure effective hygiene before eating and touching your face
  6. TA’s need to devise a sign up process to ensure that all participants can be contacted in the event of a participant testing positive for Covid-19. 
  7. In addition, to each TA having a Covid-19 co-ordinator we would also advise that each team co-ordinator is a Covid-19 Officer and completes the online training for 'organised sport' hosted by sportscotland.
  8. Hand sanitiser should be at least 60% alcohol based and detergent wipes are appropriate for the surface they are being used on. Cleaning products should conform to EN14476 standard or any detergent is followed by chlorine releasing agent

Session Guidance 

  1. Where required, work with the facilities owner/ landowner to ensure that any new Covid-19 restrictions are implemented effectively.
  2. Ensure that any additional PPE (gloves, face coverings) is made available to leaders, co-ordinators and other volunteers.
  3. Ensure that leaders, co-ordinators and other volunteers within a group are suitably physically distanced from one another.
  4. Ensure that different working groups are suitably physically distanced from each other. Session planning, communication and coordination will be key.
  5. All volunteers must be booked into a session ahead of it taking place. They will not be permitted to just turn up at a session and sign-in as you must be able to contact all participants in the event of one testing positive for Covid-19. Simple to use and freely available packages such as Google forms, Microsoft forms, Eventbrite etc, will be perfectly adequate to register your volunteers.
  6. Avoid the sharing of any refreshments.
  7. Review provision of First Aid & emergency procedures for participants.
  8. Ensure that any required equipment disinfectant practices for equipment are implemented.
  9. Ensure there is an area to wash hands pre and post activity. Hand sanitiser may need to be provided for this if there is no running water and soap available. 
  10. Hand sanitiser should be at least 60% alcohol based and detergent wipes are appropriate for the surface they are being used on. Cleaning products should conform to EN14476 standard or any detergent is followed by chlorine releasing agent
  11. Where social distancing cannot be maintained (e.g. moving a large heavy item) face masks should be worn and work delegated so that the minimum number of volunteers are engaged.
  12. Consider how the logistics of sessions will need to change. For example:
  • Registration of riders at each session, including updated key contact and medical information. If leaders, co-ordinators, other volunteers, parents/guardians/carers are showing any symptoms of Covid-19, they should not attend any session and must follow government guidance around self-isolation.
  • Any leaders, co-ordinators and other volunteers that may still be deemed to be “vulnerable”, that should not take part.
  • Provision of safe sign-on within groups - avoid congregation of leaders, co-ordinators, other volunteers and Parents/Guardians/Carers etc.
  • Permitted number of participants (in line with government guidance on group sizes) and whether only participants of a given age should return initially.
  • Session timetable (time, location, frequency and duration of sessions).
  • Review method of communication between co-ordinators to ensure that it minimises the need for social interaction, e. g., are radios required for the volunteers or use of WhatsApp ETC.

 First Aid Guidance

TA Committee Meetings 

We would encourage TA’s to continue to meet virtually for committee meetings, as the size of your committee may exceed the group sizes allowed under the Scottish Government guidance.

Risk Management 

As with all activities these should be risk assessed and a mitigation plan in place. As well as your usual activity risk management plan you should consider and include the specific points below.

  • Ensuring that prior to the resumption of activity all individuals concerned know of the risks and all mitigating steps being taken.
  • Identifying additional actions that need to be taken to enable any individuals with additional needs who need support with any impairments, to interact safely with the activity.
  • Outlining how equipment used for the activity will be suitably cleaned and disinfected to manage the possible transmission of COVID-19
  • Forming an agreement with facilities on what steps need to be taken to ensure social distancing and appropriate hygiene measures are maintained
  • Outlining how any equipment/items that are shared at the session will be cleaned/disinfected between each user and at the start/end of session.
  • Ensuring hygiene protocols and risk mitigation strategies are in place for the use of specific items that may be shared by those participating. These instances of equipment sharing, and interaction points, should be minimised or eliminated wherever possible.
  • Ensuring that appropriate social distancing and high standards of personal hygiene can be maintained.