The Department for Transport reject plans from the New Forest National Park Authority to improve cycling facilities near Rhinefield and Moors Valley Country Park, with fears £1.5m may have to be returned.

The New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) may be forced to hand back £1.5m of government money after two road resurfacing schemes were rejected by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The NFNPA abandoned their original proposal to implement a London-style bike hire scheme due to fears that it would attract too many cyclists to the New Forest.

An alternative solution to improve the existing cycling infrastructure was tabled, but parts of the £2m scheme were rejected by the DfT, which supplied cash on condition it was used for eco-friendly transport initiatives, according to the Daily Echo.

Four schemes totalling £500,000 have been given the green light, but the £1.5m plan to improve facilities in Rhinefield and the Moors Valley Country Park were rejected, with the NFNPA now fearing the money will be distributed elsewhere.

A spokesman for the NFNPA said the authority is working to clarify the situation with the DfT and would issue more details later today.

Source: Daily Echo