The end of the road for pioneering bike scheme in the New Forest

The end of the road for cycling scheme

The end of the road for cycling scheme

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

TO some it was a scheme doomed to failure by financial concerns – but for others it was a chance to show the world what can be done.

Anger and disappointment greeted the New Forest National Park Authority’s decision to throw out the controversial public bike scheme.

There were suggestions that the project might have become an albatross around the neck of the authority, but committee member David Harrison feels it could have shown national parks across Europe what can be done.

There had already been interest in the scheme from national park bosses in the Canary Islands, the Alps, Madrid and Paris.

Members of the authority voted 12 to two against the £2 million plans, which would have seen 250 bikes made available for hire around the Forest.

Against a quiet, rural and leafy backdrop of the Forest the debate has been fierce, and shows no sign of slowing despite the final decision.

And Mr Harrison feels that an opportunity has been missed to put the New Forest on a global stage.

He cites glamorous national parks such as Fontainebleau, near Paris, as areas that would have had their eye on Hampshire had the scheme gone ahead.

Daily Echo: Picture from the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive cycle.

He said: “This was the first national park being asked to trial this and find out whether it would work from a financial point of view and whether there were problems associated with it.

“I believe it would have been very successful and that it would have had important consequences, not just for the New Forest but for the national park in this country and abroad.

“There are not many examples of rural bike-hire schemes anywhere else in the world and we have got major problems with traffic congestion.

“There’s a lot of learning that goes on between national parks.

The concept of the bike-share scheme came to life after the Department for Transport awarded the national park authority £3.57 million in funding to support family cycling.

Plans were drawn up to provide bikes at 20 locations, with initial research showing that 11 out of 12 businesses were positive about the proposals.

Following the scheme being refused, the money remains unspent, despite the Government saying it must be used by March 31, 2015.

And Mr Harrison is concerned that with this deadline only eight months away, it may not see the light of day at all.

He said: “Part of the answer is public transport and I would like to see a park and ride scheme and things that do very little environmental harm.

Daily Echo: Cyclists taking part in a Wiggle cycling event in the New Forest

“It’s very hard to see how this particular project could go ahead, however if there’s any possibility I would be delighted.”

Some members who voted against the scheme cited growing anti-cycling sentiment in the national park.

A community feedback report carried out by the national park authority showed that those surveyed viewed the potential scheme as more beneficial to visitors than businesses or residents.

Support for the scheme was highest outside the New Forest, with Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst responders being the least enthusiastic and other New Forest parishes in between the two.

But residents of Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst suggested that the money could be better spent on the existing infrastructure and voiced concerns over the number of cyclists in the Forest and road safety.

Other New Forest residents said they were worried about how the scheme would work in a rural area and the impact it might have on local businesses.

Speaking after the decision, national park authority chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre said: “This would have been an innovative project that had clear benefits to offer those wishing to use bicycles for recreation and travelling around the Forest, rather than using their cars.

“However as members we have scrutinised it very carefully and concluded that the risks of setting up the scheme now outweigh the benefits.

‘Alternative’ “We felt we could simply not justify spending a considerable amount of Government money on a system that might not be able to survive at this time, and which seems to have insufficient support in the key locations of the Forest where it needs to operate from.”

Suggestions for bike hire points from Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst residents included Lyndhurst car park, Brockenhurst Railway Station and Brockenhurst village hall.

Residents of other New Forest parishes suggested locations including Exbury Gardens, the national park authority’s offices, Hythe Ferry, and the Turfcutters pub in East Boldre.

Andrew Pope, Labour prospective candidate for New Forest East, was unimpressed with the committee’s decision.

He said: “I think that they should be trying harder and encouraging cycling in the New Forest, and this is an example of where they are just retracting back into their shells.

“There are things that could have been done and there still are things that could be done. They need to come up with an alternative.

“Next time we ask for a grant they are going to say ‘no’ because we didn’t spend it as we said we would. It’s embarrassing the New Forest nationally.

“I would like to see some new ideas and innovation to bring new people to the national park and make it more accessible for younger people, but also other people who might go there for different reasons.”

Comments (18)

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5:26pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Solent Soul says...

Well done NFNPA, leading the way on how not to promote a National Park..
Well done NFNPA, leading the way on how not to promote a National Park.. Solent Soul
  • Score: 11

6:32pm Sun 24 Aug 14

keepontriking says...

The three pictures in the article were all of cycle 'challenges' - sporting based events. This cycle hire scheme was for a mix of utility and leisure - a wholly different aspect of cycling, and one that would have helped the Forest's both the local economy and the special environment.

Those who opposed this, and the NFNPA who succumbed to their minority voices, have sown themselves not fit to have a say in the unique values of the Forest.
They should drop their heads in shame any roles they have in determining the future of this area should be removed.
The three pictures in the article were all of cycle 'challenges' - sporting based events. This cycle hire scheme was for a mix of utility and leisure - a wholly different aspect of cycling, and one that would have helped the Forest's both the local economy and the special environment. Those who opposed this, and the NFNPA who succumbed to their minority voices, have sown themselves not fit to have a say in the unique values of the Forest. They should drop their heads in shame any roles they have in determining the future of this area should be removed. keepontriking
  • Score: 15

6:45pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Richard 51 says...

The only reason it failed is due to the stuck up people that live there.
The only reason it failed is due to the stuck up people that live there. Richard 51
  • Score: 5

6:55pm Sun 24 Aug 14

100%HANTSBOY says...

Good, we don't need more cyclists on our roads, they are a pain in the saddle, and the men all wear womens cloths!
Good, we don't need more cyclists on our roads, they are a pain in the saddle, and the men all wear womens cloths! 100%HANTSBOY
  • Score: -15

7:26pm Sun 24 Aug 14

downfader says...

Its hardly "pioneering" Echo when other countries have done this for years... many, many years...
Its hardly "pioneering" Echo when other countries have done this for years... many, many years... downfader
  • Score: 1

7:28pm Sun 24 Aug 14

downfader says...

100%HANTSBOY wrote:
Good, we don't need more cyclists on our roads, they are a pain in the saddle, and the men all wear womens cloths!
..and yet I bet you struggle to climb a hill without getting out of breath

;-)
[quote][p][bold]100%HANTSBOY[/bold] wrote: Good, we don't need more cyclists on our roads, they are a pain in the saddle, and the men all wear womens cloths![/p][/quote]..and yet I bet you struggle to climb a hill without getting out of breath ;-) downfader
  • Score: 0

7:41pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Torchie1 says...

The eleven existing bicycle hire outlets dotted around the forest will have to do their best without the new facility.
The eleven existing bicycle hire outlets dotted around the forest will have to do their best without the new facility. Torchie1
  • Score: -1

9:00pm Sun 24 Aug 14

downfader says...

Torchie1 wrote:
The eleven existing bicycle hire outlets dotted around the forest will have to do their best without the new facility.
It was more than just hiring bikes. It was standardisation, it was route planning. The New Forest is a big place - its like saying "The 11 corner shops are enough"
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: The eleven existing bicycle hire outlets dotted around the forest will have to do their best without the new facility.[/p][/quote]It was more than just hiring bikes. It was standardisation, it was route planning. The New Forest is a big place - its like saying "The 11 corner shops are enough" downfader
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Torchie1 says...

downfader wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
The eleven existing bicycle hire outlets dotted around the forest will have to do their best without the new facility.
It was more than just hiring bikes. It was standardisation, it was route planning. The New Forest is a big place - its like saying "The 11 corner shops are enough"
'Standardisation & route panning' ? You'll be insisting they use lights and obey the Highway Code next.
[quote][p][bold]downfader[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: The eleven existing bicycle hire outlets dotted around the forest will have to do their best without the new facility.[/p][/quote]It was more than just hiring bikes. It was standardisation, it was route planning. The New Forest is a big place - its like saying "The 11 corner shops are enough"[/p][/quote]'Standardisation & route panning' ? You'll be insisting they use lights and obey the Highway Code next. Torchie1
  • Score: 2

10:50pm Sun 24 Aug 14

downfader says...

Torchie1 wrote:
downfader wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
The eleven existing bicycle hire outlets dotted around the forest will have to do their best without the new facility.
It was more than just hiring bikes. It was standardisation, it was route planning. The New Forest is a big place - its like saying "The 11 corner shops are enough"
'Standardisation & route panning' ? You'll be insisting they use lights and obey the Highway Code next.
Actually the bikes selected did have dynamo lights and reflectors.
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]downfader[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: The eleven existing bicycle hire outlets dotted around the forest will have to do their best without the new facility.[/p][/quote]It was more than just hiring bikes. It was standardisation, it was route planning. The New Forest is a big place - its like saying "The 11 corner shops are enough"[/p][/quote]'Standardisation & route panning' ? You'll be insisting they use lights and obey the Highway Code next.[/p][/quote]Actually the bikes selected did have dynamo lights and reflectors. downfader
  • Score: 0

11:18pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Solent Soul says...

Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post..
Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post.. Solent Soul
  • Score: 3

12:03am Mon 25 Aug 14

Torchie1 says...

Solent Soul wrote:
Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post..
When your group only represents 3% of the road transport system, the consensus seems to be that you're well catered for and if groups like Wiggle were a little less demanding and insistent about their 'rights' then a few more people might have been on your side. Why you are all so upset about a ridiculously expensive bicycle scheme when there is already plenty of provision for the few visitors that don't bring a bicycle with them is beyond everyone, including the NPA's comprehension. There are already eleven hire facilities, what's so important about getting another one?
[quote][p][bold]Solent Soul[/bold] wrote: Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post..[/p][/quote]When your group only represents 3% of the road transport system, the consensus seems to be that you're well catered for and if groups like Wiggle were a little less demanding and insistent about their 'rights' then a few more people might have been on your side. Why you are all so upset about a ridiculously expensive bicycle scheme when there is already plenty of provision for the few visitors that don't bring a bicycle with them is beyond everyone, including the NPA's comprehension. There are already eleven hire facilities, what's so important about getting another one? Torchie1
  • Score: -1

12:31am Mon 25 Aug 14

100%HANTSBOY says...

downfader wrote:
100%HANTSBOY wrote:
Good, we don't need more cyclists on our roads, they are a pain in the saddle, and the men all wear womens cloths!
..and yet I bet you struggle to climb a hill without getting out of breath

;-)
No, I use my Range Rover...obviously! ; )
[quote][p][bold]downfader[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]100%HANTSBOY[/bold] wrote: Good, we don't need more cyclists on our roads, they are a pain in the saddle, and the men all wear womens cloths![/p][/quote]..and yet I bet you struggle to climb a hill without getting out of breath ;-)[/p][/quote]No, I use my Range Rover...obviously! ; ) 100%HANTSBOY
  • Score: 5

7:27am Mon 25 Aug 14

Solent Soul says...

Torchie1 wrote:
Solent Soul wrote:
Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post..
When your group only represents 3% of the road transport system, the consensus seems to be that you're well catered for and if groups like Wiggle were a little less demanding and insistent about their 'rights' then a few more people might have been on your side. Why you are all so upset about a ridiculously expensive bicycle scheme when there is already plenty of provision for the few visitors that don't bring a bicycle with them is beyond everyone, including the NPA's comprehension. There are already eleven hire facilities, what's so important about getting another one?
The Wiggle rides are a irrelevance in this topic, its something the NPA have jumped on to use as a poor excuse not to move forward with this scheme.

Existing cycle hire companies were targeting a different market, i.e off road, tag alongs for children etc. These local firms were also due to profit from the Bcycle scheme as they were going to maintain/service the bikes. Also during the special meeting that the NPA held not one of these local cycle hire businesses turned up to object to the scheme?

On the funding, this had been already secured & set aside for sustainable transport so waste isn't a word I would use for something that would be a popular, green, sustainable transport option that would have been utilised by locals & holidaymakers alike!

Nots all lost though as local councillor David Harrison is championing the scheme still, hubs may still be set up on the outskirts of the New Forest.
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Solent Soul[/bold] wrote: Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post..[/p][/quote]When your group only represents 3% of the road transport system, the consensus seems to be that you're well catered for and if groups like Wiggle were a little less demanding and insistent about their 'rights' then a few more people might have been on your side. Why you are all so upset about a ridiculously expensive bicycle scheme when there is already plenty of provision for the few visitors that don't bring a bicycle with them is beyond everyone, including the NPA's comprehension. There are already eleven hire facilities, what's so important about getting another one?[/p][/quote]The Wiggle rides are a irrelevance in this topic, its something the NPA have jumped on to use as a poor excuse not to move forward with this scheme. Existing cycle hire companies were targeting a different market, i.e off road, tag alongs for children etc. These local firms were also due to profit from the Bcycle scheme as they were going to maintain/service the bikes. Also during the special meeting that the NPA held not one of these local cycle hire businesses turned up to object to the scheme? On the funding, this had been already secured & set aside for sustainable transport so waste isn't a word I would use for something that would be a popular, green, sustainable transport option that would have been utilised by locals & holidaymakers alike! Nots all lost though as local councillor David Harrison is championing the scheme still, hubs may still be set up on the outskirts of the New Forest. Solent Soul
  • Score: 4

9:30am Mon 25 Aug 14

downfader says...

Torchie1 wrote:
Solent Soul wrote:
Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post..
When your group only represents 3% of the road transport system, the consensus seems to be that you're well catered for and if groups like Wiggle were a little less demanding and insistent about their 'rights' then a few more people might have been on your side. Why you are all so upset about a ridiculously expensive bicycle scheme when there is already plenty of provision for the few visitors that don't bring a bicycle with them is beyond everyone, including the NPA's comprehension. There are already eleven hire facilities, what's so important about getting another one?
Sportive rides have nothing to do with this. They're not designed as much for stopping and seeing the Forest. They're for testing if you can go the distance.

The hire scheme is for families, in normal clothing who wanted to hear and breath the Forest in.

Can you prove there is bicycle hire facilities in the location the new scheme proposed? That it holds to the standards I mentioned before? Those other 11 hire places are not all in the same place - I'll say it again as you appear to deliberately conflate the irrelevant...
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Solent Soul[/bold] wrote: Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post..[/p][/quote]When your group only represents 3% of the road transport system, the consensus seems to be that you're well catered for and if groups like Wiggle were a little less demanding and insistent about their 'rights' then a few more people might have been on your side. Why you are all so upset about a ridiculously expensive bicycle scheme when there is already plenty of provision for the few visitors that don't bring a bicycle with them is beyond everyone, including the NPA's comprehension. There are already eleven hire facilities, what's so important about getting another one?[/p][/quote]Sportive rides have nothing to do with this. They're not designed as much for stopping and seeing the Forest. They're for testing if you can go the distance. The hire scheme is for families, in normal clothing who wanted to hear and breath the Forest in. Can you prove there is bicycle hire facilities in the location the new scheme proposed? That it holds to the standards I mentioned before? Those other 11 hire places are not all in the same place - I'll say it again as you appear to deliberately conflate the irrelevant... downfader
  • Score: -1

12:09pm Mon 25 Aug 14

Torchie1 says...

downfader wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
Solent Soul wrote:
Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post..
When your group only represents 3% of the road transport system, the consensus seems to be that you're well catered for and if groups like Wiggle were a little less demanding and insistent about their 'rights' then a few more people might have been on your side. Why you are all so upset about a ridiculously expensive bicycle scheme when there is already plenty of provision for the few visitors that don't bring a bicycle with them is beyond everyone, including the NPA's comprehension. There are already eleven hire facilities, what's so important about getting another one?
Sportive rides have nothing to do with this. They're not designed as much for stopping and seeing the Forest. They're for testing if you can go the distance.

The hire scheme is for families, in normal clothing who wanted to hear and breath the Forest in.

Can you prove there is bicycle hire facilities in the location the new scheme proposed? That it holds to the standards I mentioned before? Those other 11 hire places are not all in the same place - I'll say it again as you appear to deliberately conflate the irrelevant...
I looked up 'New Forest Cycle Hire' and wasn't entirely surprised to find that they are mostly located close to the main camp site areas where the largest number of visitors stay. The forest isn't a vast expanse of wilderness and the distance to the nearest hire facility will never be more than a few miles from wherever you are staying in the area. If you consider that it's necessary to roll out of your B&B in to the doorway of the nearest hire shop, I'm afraid disappointment awaits but when you are planning an activity based travel holiday, would you be put off by a short distance to pick up and eventually return a bicycle? You are simply looking for a pain to be experienced when there isn't any and if this is enough to dissuade you from visiting the area, will the 13.5 million (latest annual figure) really notice? The decision has been made, try and move on.
[quote][p][bold]downfader[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Solent Soul[/bold] wrote: Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post..[/p][/quote]When your group only represents 3% of the road transport system, the consensus seems to be that you're well catered for and if groups like Wiggle were a little less demanding and insistent about their 'rights' then a few more people might have been on your side. Why you are all so upset about a ridiculously expensive bicycle scheme when there is already plenty of provision for the few visitors that don't bring a bicycle with them is beyond everyone, including the NPA's comprehension. There are already eleven hire facilities, what's so important about getting another one?[/p][/quote]Sportive rides have nothing to do with this. They're not designed as much for stopping and seeing the Forest. They're for testing if you can go the distance. The hire scheme is for families, in normal clothing who wanted to hear and breath the Forest in. Can you prove there is bicycle hire facilities in the location the new scheme proposed? That it holds to the standards I mentioned before? Those other 11 hire places are not all in the same place - I'll say it again as you appear to deliberately conflate the irrelevant...[/p][/quote]I looked up 'New Forest Cycle Hire' and wasn't entirely surprised to find that they are mostly located close to the main camp site areas where the largest number of visitors stay. The forest isn't a vast expanse of wilderness and the distance to the nearest hire facility will never be more than a few miles from wherever you are staying in the area. If you consider that it's necessary to roll out of your B&B in to the doorway of the nearest hire shop, I'm afraid disappointment awaits but when you are planning an activity based travel holiday, would you be put off by a short distance to pick up and eventually return a bicycle? You are simply looking for a pain to be experienced when there isn't any and if this is enough to dissuade you from visiting the area, will the 13.5 million (latest annual figure) really notice? The decision has been made, try and move on. Torchie1
  • Score: -1

1:41pm Mon 25 Aug 14

Solent Soul says...

Torchie1 wrote:
downfader wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
Solent Soul wrote:
Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post..
When your group only represents 3% of the road transport system, the consensus seems to be that you're well catered for and if groups like Wiggle were a little less demanding and insistent about their 'rights' then a few more people might have been on your side. Why you are all so upset about a ridiculously expensive bicycle scheme when there is already plenty of provision for the few visitors that don't bring a bicycle with them is beyond everyone, including the NPA's comprehension. There are already eleven hire facilities, what's so important about getting another one?
Sportive rides have nothing to do with this. They're not designed as much for stopping and seeing the Forest. They're for testing if you can go the distance.

The hire scheme is for families, in normal clothing who wanted to hear and breath the Forest in.

Can you prove there is bicycle hire facilities in the location the new scheme proposed? That it holds to the standards I mentioned before? Those other 11 hire places are not all in the same place - I'll say it again as you appear to deliberately conflate the irrelevant...
I looked up 'New Forest Cycle Hire' and wasn't entirely surprised to find that they are mostly located close to the main camp site areas where the largest number of visitors stay. The forest isn't a vast expanse of wilderness and the distance to the nearest hire facility will never be more than a few miles from wherever you are staying in the area. If you consider that it's necessary to roll out of your B&B in to the doorway of the nearest hire shop, I'm afraid disappointment awaits but when you are planning an activity based travel holiday, would you be put off by a short distance to pick up and eventually return a bicycle? You are simply looking for a pain to be experienced when there isn't any and if this is enough to dissuade you from visiting the area, will the 13.5 million (latest annual figure) really notice? The decision has been made, try and move on.
As said in previous post, there is a possibility that this may still happen. Better get used to cyclists, bikes in every format filling the roads near you, they ain't going away!
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]downfader[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Solent Soul[/bold] wrote: Clearly the biggest anti cycling sentiment has come from the NPA, the very people who championed the scheme & secured the funding! These individuals have bigoted views & are not fit to be part of the voice of the New Forest National Park which needs to move forward in these modern times. As said above, they should be removed from post..[/p][/quote]When your group only represents 3% of the road transport system, the consensus seems to be that you're well catered for and if groups like Wiggle were a little less demanding and insistent about their 'rights' then a few more people might have been on your side. Why you are all so upset about a ridiculously expensive bicycle scheme when there is already plenty of provision for the few visitors that don't bring a bicycle with them is beyond everyone, including the NPA's comprehension. There are already eleven hire facilities, what's so important about getting another one?[/p][/quote]Sportive rides have nothing to do with this. They're not designed as much for stopping and seeing the Forest. They're for testing if you can go the distance. The hire scheme is for families, in normal clothing who wanted to hear and breath the Forest in. Can you prove there is bicycle hire facilities in the location the new scheme proposed? That it holds to the standards I mentioned before? Those other 11 hire places are not all in the same place - I'll say it again as you appear to deliberately conflate the irrelevant...[/p][/quote]I looked up 'New Forest Cycle Hire' and wasn't entirely surprised to find that they are mostly located close to the main camp site areas where the largest number of visitors stay. The forest isn't a vast expanse of wilderness and the distance to the nearest hire facility will never be more than a few miles from wherever you are staying in the area. If you consider that it's necessary to roll out of your B&B in to the doorway of the nearest hire shop, I'm afraid disappointment awaits but when you are planning an activity based travel holiday, would you be put off by a short distance to pick up and eventually return a bicycle? You are simply looking for a pain to be experienced when there isn't any and if this is enough to dissuade you from visiting the area, will the 13.5 million (latest annual figure) really notice? The decision has been made, try and move on.[/p][/quote]As said in previous post, there is a possibility that this may still happen. Better get used to cyclists, bikes in every format filling the roads near you, they ain't going away! Solent Soul
  • Score: 1

7:33pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Drhysted says...

There are serious ramifications from this decision. First of all they have reduced the chances of obtaining government grants in future. When we were awarded this grant to trial this scheme (it's first in the country) it meant another National Park lost. By not using the grant, it will be returned unless they can get alternative sustainable cycle provisions agreed and paid for before April 2015. Secondly the National backlash from cyclists is that many that holiday here with their families are now planning alternative destinations. You may not think that this is too much of a problem, but a lot of the NF is now dependant upon tourism, and the cycling fraternity is worth millions. One UKCE event last year brought £300,000 to the NF over one weekend. Other National Parks have realised this and are going out of their way to encourage cyclists, the Isle of Wight has it's own website to encourage them there. Yet here we turn free money down, and effectively put up a sign advertising that non-locals are not welcome.
There are serious ramifications from this decision. First of all they have reduced the chances of obtaining government grants in future. When we were awarded this grant to trial this scheme (it's first in the country) it meant another National Park lost. By not using the grant, it will be returned unless they can get alternative sustainable cycle provisions agreed and paid for before April 2015. Secondly the National backlash from cyclists is that many that holiday here with their families are now planning alternative destinations. You may not think that this is too much of a problem, but a lot of the NF is now dependant upon tourism, and the cycling fraternity is worth millions. One UKCE event last year brought £300,000 to the NF over one weekend. Other National Parks have realised this and are going out of their way to encourage cyclists, the Isle of Wight has it's own website to encourage them there. Yet here we turn free money down, and effectively put up a sign advertising that non-locals are not welcome. Drhysted
  • Score: 1
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