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Too Many Cyclists in the New Forest....

mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,755
Report in my local paper the New Forest Post, there are concerns over the number of organised events in the New Forest, and increased level of cyclists in the area in general.

I reckon that this year alone there must have been about 6-8 sportives plus a few MTB/Biathlon/Triathlon events. I think this is actually a very conservative estimate. Add to this a very high increase in cyclists on the Forest roads this year.

Far too many little kids cycling with mum and dad on the main roads this year. If this continues there is sure to be a tragedy and the end result will be to restrict cycling in the forest.

It won't be long before the New Forest National Park Authority start to impose restrictions on the number of events.
Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.

Posts

  • cookdncookdn Posts: 410
    They'll be wanting to remove the ponies next, those pesky things can wander into the path of a motorist at any time. :lol:

    It's an accessible National Park in the south of the country, with the increasing popularity of cycling what do they expect. Does the local paper article mention local businesses moaning about the increase in tourism and money going into the local economy? Cycling seems to be actively promoted locally with a number of places providing hire.

    Maybe a cap on the number/frequency of mass participation events is inevitable but I'm not sure how they can realistically restrict the number of visitors that want to cycle otherwise. We have family friends in Wiltshire and my brother lives in Southampton and have cycled with the children on a number of occasions, either driving into the National Park :cry: or using the Hythe Ferry :-).

    Mr Goo, what is your position, sounds like you are local?

    Best regards
    Boardman CX Team
  • I agree with you on the organised events being too many. But otherwise the cyclists should be encouraged and the limitations if any set on the number of cars! Think of how much more peaceful it could be! And the more cylists there are around the better car drivers behave - see CTC campaign on this. Speed limits should be reduced to calm the traffic down.
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,755
    cookdn wrote:
    They'll be wanting to remove the ponies next, those pesky things can wander into the path of a motorist at any time. :lol:

    It's an accessible National Park in the south of the country, with the increasing popularity of cycling what do they expect. Does the local paper article mention local businesses moaning about the increase in tourism and money going into the local economy? Cycling seems to be actively promoted locally with a number of places providing hire.

    Maybe a cap on the number/frequency of mass participation events is inevitable but I'm not sure how they can realistically restrict the number of visitors that want to cycle otherwise. We have family friends in Wiltshire and my brother lives in Southampton and have cycled with the children on a number of occasions, either driving into the National Park :cry: or using the Hythe Ferry :-).

    Mr Goo, what is your position, sounds like you are local?

    Best regards


    I think the New Forest should be enjoyed by all. There is plenty of room to do so, though there are obviously more popular areas like Rhinefield and Bolderwood which puts pressure on the existing infrastructure in the summer.

    You are quite right about the increase in tourism revenue to the area, especially the local bike hire companies. This may also be due to the recession with families holidaying in UK.

    I ride in the New Forest nearly every weekend and regard myself fortunate to have it on my doorstep. I am concerned though by the increase this summer in young families cycling on the busy main roads, especially between Lyndhurst & Brockenhurst & Lymington. There are plenty of off-road routes to use without exposing kids to fast cars and HGVs. I think the camp sites and the hire companies could possibly do more to promote safe cycling and steer the recreational cyclists off the main roads for their own safety.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    cookdn wrote:
    It's an accessible National Park in the south of the country, with the increasing popularity of cycling what do they expect.

    I agree.

    It's everyone's park to enjoy Mr Goo. If people would respect one another and motorists get over-exposed to cyclist then it should be a good thing.

    I was out today in the sun over nice moorlands, apart from the odd idiot driver there were lunatics on motorbikes pulling all sorts of crazy manoeuvres. Some even pimp up the bikes to be louder than a digger, which when flying past you at 60+ mph is ridiculous.

    I think you need to focus on the other dangers than the number of events and increase in cyclists observation of yours.
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,755
    Garz wrote:
    cookdn wrote:
    It's an accessible National Park in the south of the country, with the increasing popularity of cycling what do they expect.

    I agree.

    It's everyone's park to enjoy Mr Goo. If people would respect one another and motorists get over-exposed to cyclist then it should be a good thing.

    I was out today in the sun over nice moorlands, apart from the odd idiot driver there were lunatics on motorbikes pulling all sorts of crazy manoeuvres. Some even pimp up the bikes to be louder than a digger, which when flying past you at 60+ mph is ridiculous.

    I think you need to focus on the other dangers than the number of events and increase in cyclists observation of yours.

    Garz, I think you may have misunderstood my stance. I am pro cycling events in the New Forest. It is probably one of the safest areas to hold such things. My concern is that an accident not relating to some poor child being knocked off their bike and god forbid worse, will have an effect. I can see the local council and park authority acting over the top if the worse case scenario incident happened.

    I think events like the Wiggle series/Rattler and Gridiron are superbly organised with safety in mind. But non cyclists may see it differently.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • petemadocpetemadoc Posts: 2,667
    Why don't you suggest that instead of worrying about all the dangerous cyclists, who are bound to cause an accident sooner or later, they impose restrictions on the cars instead. Lower speed limits and lots of "watch out for cyclists" signs.
  • Mr Goo are you being a little selfish? My New Forest buzz word is "consideration" - other people (and resident animals) have the right to enjoy the forest too!
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    It's too many cars down there that is the problem - not too many cyclists. I remember commenting to the missus that it'd be a nice place to ride a bike if it wasn't so busy.

    I'm assuming these are public roads anyway so how could you restrict cycling events even if you wanted to - if they aren't public roads then maybe look at restricting vehicular traffic first.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Mike67Mike67 Posts: 585
    We spent a weeks holiday in the New Forest this Summer. The place is lovely and I'd go again but...

    I have two young children who are good riders but fairly inexperienced in traffic and not up to riding on the road (especially busy ones) as yet.

    What struck me about the New Forest was the lack of joined up off road routes that we could ride with the kids. Bikes are only allowed on certain tracks (under threat of a fine) but in order to get a longish (>6mile and legal) ride in you inevitably have to ride along a road at some point to go from one block of forest to another. As has been mentioned a lot of those roads were busy.

    Another gripe was the road out of Brockenhurst towards Burley (if memory serves). In some attempt to slow? traffic they have built lots of little islands sticking into the road from each side...effectively narrowing it on a regular basis. I rode along this on my own but was constantly being forced into the road by them...Drivers, being as they are, were regularly trying to squeeze past me....I'm used to road riding on busy roads but I felt pretty vulnerable on that ride.


    Neither of these things spoilt the experince of that beautiful place but I did wonder who thinks these things up. :D
    Mike B

    Cannondale CAAD9
    Kinesis Pro 5 cross bike
    Lots of bits
  • wooodywooody Posts: 1
    New Forest Cycling campaign

    This is a great thread guys! I have just joined Bike Radar to comment as I own a cycle business in the New Forest and have been involved in various committees over the years regarding on and off road cycling access. I won't bore you with the recent history of cycling access policy within the New Forest but back in 1995, the network of some 150 miles was planned to be reduced to 40 miles of insular circular rides of a few miles each. This was in reponse to a local (emotive) concern that mountain biking was about to become rife in the New Forest and put too much pressure on the fabric of the land. Luckily a public consultation showed how much pro cycling support there was in the New Forest and a working group negotiated a final 100 mile network which still stands today. Like some of you have pointed out, there is still an inadequate framework of trails to link certain sections of the network together. A more recent committee has come up with about 7 suggesstions to improve this network to make it safer and more accessible by the local community and visitors alike. However, it looks as though this committee's time has been wasted as there is little hope of the decision makers moving it forward. This article illustrates the opinion of one of the local decision makers and this view hasn't changed in over 10 years.

    http://www.zen84722.zen.co.uk/new_fores ... _oct11.pdf

    What we need to do is raise public awareness of this matter beyond the realms of the New Forest community to put pressure on the decision makers to update their point of reference. I don't think they realise how important cycling in the New Forest is to the enjoyment of the outdoor experience for the general visitor to the Forest. Personally, I feel that an independent study needs to be commissioned within the New Forest to test what threat the New Forest really does face with the onset of cycling activity in the area. Most commentators are basing their viewpoint on emotive anecdotal material and not always fact. This leads me on to some recent comments made within this forum and a local news report which eluded that local bike hire commpanies consciously send customers onto the busy roads. I can whole heartedly deny that my cycle hire business does this. I started the whole business in 1993 on the basis that there was a relatively untapped network of forest tracks for people to safely ride on away from busy roads. When designing routes, this is the most important aspect of the design. We can't always avoid some element of road cycling but it's always the quieter lanes which we use. It would be commercial suicide to base a cycle hire business on anything else but traffic free cycling...most of our customers are family cyclists who certainly don't want to do battle with 4 wheels!

    So, please let me know if you think there is enough support to bring this mater to the public interest. If so, I will provide more details of a campaign group soon so comments and messages can be offered to the policy makers. Beyond that its probably mass trespass with kids on tagalongs trailers and child seats...I reckon an angry army of family cyclists having their safety compromised is a force to be reckoned with!!?? :wink:
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