Vital cycle link opens up New Forest National Park to Southampton and Waterside communities

Marchwood to Totton cycle path

Published Friday 6 November 2015

Communities on the east of the New Forest can now access the National Park car-free thanks to a missing section of cycle path which has just opened.

The 2km off-road path joining Marchwood to Totton means cyclists no longer have to use the dangerous Bury Road and cope with large number of lorries travelling to and from nearby industrial estates.

The work was paid for with £195,000 from the New Forest National Park Authority’s £2m cycling fund from the Department for Transport, with Marchwood Aggregates Ltd contributing £120,000 for construction and materials.

New Forest District Council gave £25,000 from its ‘section 106 agreement’ planning levies and £10,000 came from an anonymous benefactor. The Barker-Mill Estates provided the land and Hampshire County Council managed the project and connected it to the road.

The smooth surface of the two metre-wide path means cyclists can travel in both directions and the path is suitable for all types of bikes.

New Forest National Park Authority member David Harrison said: ‘Our communities have waited many years for a safe link for walking and cycling and Marchwood Parish Council has worked hard campaigning for this link.

‘This scheme is a fantastic example of organisations, business and the community working together and people are already using this route to leave their cars at home, get fit and enjoy the wonderful New Forest environment.

‘It means people can also cycle safely into Southampton for work and to local schools and colleges.’

Community members gathered on Friday 6 November to officially open the project and celebrated with a mass cycle ride of the route by Applemore College students.

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Notes to Photo Editor:
Celebrating the opening of the Marchwood to Totton cycle path are (left to right) Marchwood Parish Council Chairman Fred White; New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre; Adam Barker-Mill of the Barker-Mill Estates; New Forest District Council Chairman Alison Hoare; New Forest National Park Authority member David Harrison, with children from Applemore College.

Notes to Editor:

The Marchwood Cycle Route project is part of the New Forest Family Cycling Experiences programme managed by the New Forest National Park Authority. It is funded by the Department for Transport’s Cycling Ambition (Cycling in the National Parks) fund. This £1.995 million capital fund aims to improve the quality of the cycling experience in the New Forest National Park.

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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