New Forest National Park Authority Meeting
Thursday 28th March 2013
Lymington Town Hall, Lymington, SO41 9ZG
Chairman, Members, Authority lend me your rose coloured spectacles and through them I will see a mosaic of families arriving in the New Forest by train, staying in green accommodation, eating local food and cycling safely around the forest. The Authority tells me that it has no government remit to control cycle events but Iím confident that the Authorityís remit wasnít to create this cycling chaos either. The Environment Act 1995 states the Authority has a duty to seek to foster the social and economic wellbeing of the local community. Now take a look through my† ordinary specs you will see thatís not happening and you will also see cycle event organizers acting within the confines of the law and achieving huge revenue sums from thousands of cyclists with their New Forest events. The New Forest is a soft target due to its stunning scenery and proximity to London. The law in this instance is an ass and this ass is doing nothing to protect its fellow New Forest equines.
6,000 of anything on narrow forest roads or tracks over a weekend is far too many.† I ask the Authority to spearhead an initiative involving all New Forest agencies to ensure safety for everyone and also to consider implementing an online reporting system like the one initiated by Brecon Beacons NPA where the they work successfully with Brecon Police. Itís untenable that the Authority appears to publicly support these uncontrolled cycle events but appears not to seek the general opinion of local people. I note that the Authority has been reactive in terms of its Cycle Event Organisers Charter and I would now ask it to be proactive in the Charterís implementation by controlling numbers, frequency, duration and timing of these events. How for example will the 15 mph speed limit on the gravel tracks be monitored when both the Forestry Commission and Authority are effectively closed at weekends?
I would like the cycle workshop that follows this meeting to please note that mass cycle events in their current thinly guised competitive format are unsafe and unsustainable.
Thank you Chairman.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Speaker: Anita Gresham Hale