Statement to New Forest National Park Authority Meeting

28 March 2013

By Martin Barden from UK Cycling Events.


UK Cycling events is a local company based in Fordingbridge in New Forest.

I would like to the opportunity to highlight some of the benefits of cycling and some reasons why cycling should be encouraged in the New Forest.

Firstly well organised Cycling events are inline with

The NFPA general policies on inclusivity, access to the forest, active lifestyles, carbon reduction.

This is supported by NPA Recreation Management Strategy which has an action to increase cycling within the National Park. 

Also ...ALL national parks have 2 purposes, one of which is to provide opportunities to 'enjoy'. Clearly cycling events do just that.


Further more ...Our cycle event is also inline with the aspiration of the NFPA sustainable transport initiative, for which a grant of £3.8 million has been awarded recently.



‘The package will contribute to the two key policy objectives of supporting the local economy and reducing carbon emissions in the New Forest National Parks. It will achieve this by significantly improving access to and within both national parks, through targeting visitors and encouraging them to travel by sustainable modes. Through cross border working and collective action between parks and across authority boundaries, the package aims to enable sustainable access and movement around the parks, helping to support more tourism-related employment and reducing carbon emissions’.

That leads us on to the Economic benefits We are working with the NPA to provide some robust data on the benefit of our events to the local economy. And we know approximately 35 % of riders stay and spend locally during the events. Recently Local business owners wrote to the Forest Journal to Support the Event. One example from a participant, who has written to the NPA to support our event:

“These events are some of the best organised in the country .... It is National park as other areas of the country and those allow freedom to cycle where you want within defined boundaries.

I urge you to do the right thing and support these events and general cyclists whom bring considerable business in to our region, keeping shops, hotels etc in business during these difficult financial times. At the last event I attended in 2012 in the New Forest I spent approx £200 on food and lodgings in Brockenhurst, money that retailers desperately need to keep them in business.”

The New Forest is a ‘National Park’ as which are funded by the Nation, for the benefit of the Nation. They exist for all to enjoy.

This event has been voted in the UK top 10 Cycling Events in the Country and as the best organised . It portrays cycling in the New Forest in a fantastic light

Misinformation corrections:

In addition to I would like to correct some of the misinformation about our cycling events specifically:


The event is NOT a race but non competitive event.

The start is spread over 2.5 hours and riders are released in small groups.

There are not results or prizes.

Age range from 6-83 years old.

British Cycling / Police have also confirming this fact.


Cyclist will hurt the new forest animals –in 2011 66 Animal where killed by cars in 2011. None killed by cyclists

6000 Riders Per Day – actually there is 5000 in total split over 2 days. There is actually likely to be 2000 riders who actually attend each day. 

Cyclist clog up the Roads: The 2000 participants at our event, represents less than 1% of daily vehicle movements in the National Park. 

I guess the question should be why people arn't people putting the same energy into campaigning against cars/HGV's as they are into trying to stop a activity which is in line with the NPA own set of Policies and Strategies


Thank –you for your time.