New Forest authority wants sportives to change dates

New Forest Safety Advisory Group says it wants to avoid Gridiron 100 and New Forest 100 taking place on same day

New Forest chiefs want a sportive double-header planned for next weekend to change their date or time.

Just a week ago the New Forest National Park Authority backed proposals for £2million to be spent on cycling infrastructure after initially backing plans to deny a Boris-bike scheme in the area.

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But controversy has once again been sparked. Next Weekend (October 11-12) the New Forest 100 Sportive – that has encountered problems before – takes place.

On Sunday, the second day of the event that will attract almost 2,000 riders, the Gridiron 100 randonnée takes place on similar roads but in opposite directions.

The riders will pass the different events on two different stretches of tarmac, one from Fordingbridge to Ringwood and the other in Brockenhurst.

Worries about the event centre round the expected traffic congestion and residents’ attitude to large swathes of cyclists using the National Park at the same time.

James Knight, New Forest Safety Advisory Group, warned: “Due to the representations we have received from members of the group, we can only advise against both events taking place on the same day with the routes and timings as currently advertised.

“The organisers have a responsibility to liaise with each other to resolve the issues and we have strongly encouraged them to do so.”