Following a proposed charter to limit the number of attendees in any event to 1,000 people, legal advice suggests otherwise

The New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) has been warned that it could not legally force sportive organisers to cap rider numbers at 1,000.

The NFNPA proposed in June its Cycling Charter that all said sportives that go through the National Park should not exceed more than 1,000 riders and all participants should wear rear ID numbers.

Completion of the Charter, which is being worked on by the Cycling Liaison Group in conjunction with several other agencies, has been delayed and it is not expected to be finalised until April 2015.

At the authority’s recent resources, audit and performance committee meeting, a report said that “a key measure of success [of the Charter] will be whether event organisers comply with the cap and numbering even if they do not agree with these parts of the Charter.”

The Wiggle New Forest Sportives attract 2,000 riders and should a cap be enforced then the NFNPA would try and persuade the Government to make a similar law that it is suggesting so local authorities can manage the situation better.

Cllr David Harrison of the NFNPA told the Daily Echo: “The aim [is] to make sure that the large-scale cycling events could take place in the New Forest without conflict.

“I think it’s not practical and not fair. It it can’t be enforced. The point of the Charter is that it’s a volunteer agreement.”

  • Andrew Hatch

    Interestingly the New Forest Park Authority are advertising a Christmas Fair soon in New Milton and are apparently expecting 10,000 visitors in 2 days. Most will be travelling by car and allowing for four per car, which is probably optimistic, that will mean at least an additional 2,500 cars in 2 days on the same Forest Roads where cyclists are said to be a problem. Not sure we are the problem here! Maybe there should be a daily limit on cars attending events in the Forest.