Plans to limit sportive places in the New Forest to 1,000 riders are criticised by local councillor David Harrison.

Plans to limit the number of cyclists who ride in sportives in the New Forest have been criticised by a local councillor, who says the proposal would not work.

The New Forest National Park Authority will attempt to restrict events such as the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive to 1,000 riders, but Cllr David Harrison does not believe the charter will make it out of draft form.

Cllr Harrison said on his Facebook page: “Can you imagine what a fuss would be kicked up in the New Forest National Park Authority proposed a cap on the number of cars allowed to enter the New Forest area?”

His remarks come just days after the NFNPA had to hand back £1.5m of government money meant for cycling improvement schemes.

Cllr Harrison continued: “By any reasonable assessment, cars are much more of a problem on New Forest roads than cycles, whether you are talking about pollution, animal deaths and injuries, or congestion.

“It is therefore no surprise to me that cycling groups are resisting pressure to sign a revised cycling charter that includes a cap on the numbers of cyclists taking part in organised events.

“[Organisers] have already shown that events can take place and be enjoyed without conflict, without restrictions being artificially imposed by authorities without due cause to do so.”