Public bike system
The New Forest National Park Authority supports responsible family cycling through a wide range of projects.
These projects aim to deliver clear benefits to those wishing to use bicycles for quiet recreation and travel around the Forest.
One of these projects, a public bike system, has been carefully scrutinised by a task and finish group of Members, who have recommended that the risks of setting up the scheme outweigh the benefits at this time. In particular they were concerned about the scheme's financial sustainability.
A final decision on the public bike system was made at an Extraordinary Authority Meeting on Tuesday 19 August. Members voted not to proceed with the project - you can read a statement about the decision here. The agenda and report for that meeting can be found here.
Minutes from the task and finish group's meetings can be found here.
The National Park Authority commissioned Steer Davies Gleave to conduct a desk based study looking at best practice and determining which area of the National Park would be most suitable for a public bike share system. The report can be found here.
Community feedback report
The results of the community feedback report are available here, and were one of several factors that set the context for the task and finish group’s recommendation. The New Forest has also been the focus of considerable public debate about cycling following concern about large scale cycling events (see here for relevant Authority papers).
Members of the task & finish group noted from the feedback report that local opinion on the project is very divided across the Forest. The group felt that the results showed insufficient support in Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst, two key locations within the proposed system.
The task & finish group were also concerned about the financial sustainability of this project, particularly the prospect of securing significant sponsorship.
When spending a considerable amount of government money it is vital to assess the financial risks associated, as well as the degree of local support.
For more information on cycling in the New Forest visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/cycling