Cycle events organisers’ charter approved by New Forest National Park Authority

Published Thursday 22 January 2015

A charter to guide large scale cycling events in the New Forest has been supported by the New Forest National Park Authority.

All the key statutory organisations (police, highways, councils) and many other organisations in the National Park have backed the charter, which contains 30 clauses setting out best practice on organising cycling events in the New Forest.

Last year the National Park Authority joined with the District Council’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) to set up a Cycling Liaison Group following unacceptable behaviour by a minority of both riders and residents and a rise in complaints about cycling events.

The Cycling Liaison Group agreed all but two clauses, one of which was a cap of 1,000 riders per day.

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre said: ‘The vast majority of cycle events are under this threshold and have been operating without any complaint for many years. The figure of 1,000 has been well received by parish councils and at recent New Forest Consultative Panel meetings - the Panel has 80 local organisations as members. The important thing is that these measures should enable all road users to go about their business as usual even when an event is taking place.

‘We have always said we have no powers to regulate events and the charter is voluntary. With the SAG we jointly set up the Cycling Liaison Group to help explore the common ground between polarised opinions and find ways in which they can be more easily accommodated in the National Park.

‘We hope that all event organisers will follow the Charter’s criteria even if they don’t agree with it all.’

The charter will be sent to all cycle event organisers. Events will also be considered against the charter’s criteria on a case-by-case basis by the SAG. The SAG website register of events has a feedback form for each event which will enable monitoring of the charter.

Mr Crosthwaite-Eyre said: ‘The charter obviously does not supersede the Highway Code but the New Forest is unique in that it is a working forest with forestry, farming and equestrian activity on its narrow roads as well as free-roaming animals. Much greater care than normal is needed when using our Forest roads.

‘Cycling is an important way for people to get around the Forest, whether for work or pleasure, and a great way to enjoy its special qualities.  We welcome responsible cycling and in particular continue to support initiatives that encourage people to swap their cars for sustainable transport.’

The charter can be found on the web page of the New Forest Public Events and Safety Advisory Group: http://www.nfdc.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=28204&p=0

The SAG register of events is at: https://forms.newforest.gov.uk/id/EVENT_REGISTER


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About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

• Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect.
• Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

• Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contacts:
Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608
Email: hilary.makin@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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