Make cycling a priority in the New Forest, requests new petition

Petition says that cycling should be 'actively encouraged and promoted' within the New Forest, not ignored or discouraged

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.

More on the New Forest

New Forest councillor criticises plans to limit participants in sportives

Plans to limit sportive places in the New Forest to 1,000 riders are criticised.

Department for Transport to reallocate £1.5m after rejecting New Forest cycle improvements

New Forest National Park Association will press ahead with four schemes approved by Department for Transport, but must hand back

New Forest may be forced to hand back £1.5m after cycle plans rejected by DfT

The Department for Transport reject plans from the New Forest National Park Authority to improve cycling facilities near Rhinefield and

Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.