Going Going Bike

Nov 182011
New Forest Cycling

Increasing numbers of cyclists getting out and using the roads on the weekends for leisure and sportive cycling is a good thing, yes? Well it is good news for most of us, but some residents in the New Forest want to see a crackdown on the number of cyclists using the area’s roads during the weekend.

The Commoners’ Defence Association (CDA), which represents the owners of livestock that roam the area, believe that the Forestry Commission, which owns much of the land in the New Forest, has been lax in regulating cycle use in the Forest both on road and off-road routes.

Danger of violent conflict

The CDA say cyclists pose a real danger to other road users as roads were being “effectively obstructed” at the weekends. Confrontations leading to a breach of the peace were “likely” if action wasn’t taken against cyclists, the CDA’s chairman Graham Ferris has been reportedly quoted as saying.

These comments and the one’s below appear in the Southern Daily Echo newspaper.

Cycling is not tolerated

“Commoners are increasingly concerned about the explosion in cycling, both casual and organised, and the apparent unwillingness of the authorities to take much needed action.

“The situation on the roads, particularly at weekends, is already critical.

“Organised races, time trials and ‘iron man’ competitions result in huge numbers of cyclists travelling silently at speed on narrow country lanes – at great risk to residents and livestock.”

“Off-road cyclists are being encountered far from the established cycling routes at any hour of the day or night.

“This represents a major intrusion into the much vaunted tranquillity of the Forest. Groups of cyclists at night with bright lights, shouting loudly to each other, is a level of disturbance that neither commoners’ livestock nor wildlife can be expected to tolerate.”

Sounds to us as if the CDA don’t quite realise that the New Forest is for everyone’s enjoyment as a National Park, not just their livestock.

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See also

Police patrols at Box Hill after increase in cyclists using area

Biking numbers boost for Liverpool

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