A group of people in the New Forest are demanding that cycling becomes a priority and not a contentious issue.
The New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) frequently attracts national headlines for its disapproval of cycling and only last week was forced to hand back £1.5million of dedicated cycling funding to the Department for Transport.
Citing the need for the sport to be “actively encouraged and promoted within a National Park”, petitioner Mike Stead wants the NFNPA to make cycling a primary focus in the Management Plan for 2015-2020.
Mr Stead says that the “present draft management plan makes no mention of cycling as a sustainable transport option… and existing cycling routes in the Park are frequently disjointed, substandard and unsuitable for all abilities of resident of visitor.”
The NFNPA has agreed to improve sections of road in the Park for cycling and an increase of cycling would reduce internal traffic, cause less harm to wildlife and mean more interest in local businesses and attract more visitors, the petition outlines.
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