If you are un-happy with the revised proposals put forward by the New Forest National Park Authority to replace the original, innovative proposal, then please can we encourage you to write to your MP. To make this task a little easier, @forestcyclist and Cycle New-Forest have teamed up to put together a letter that can be used as a template for a letter or email.
Our aim is to get our MP’s to ask the NFNPA to go back to the original proposal and find a way to make it work. The new, revised proposals will, on the whole be a waste of public money and a golden opportunity missed.
Remember, the original proposal had this as the 2020 aim for the New Forest:
To be the UK’s premier family cycling destination, with cycling normalised as the key method of getting between the communities, transport hubs and attractions of the National Park.
This won’t have a chance if the new, completely revised proposals go through.
The letter can be downloaded as a Word Doc, by clicking here.
To find your MP, just click this link.
Finally, if you live in the New Forest, please make sure you send a copy to Julian Lewis MP – his address can be accessed by clicking here.
To send as an email, just copy the letter and paste into your email programme (please copy the complete letter, including the area for your name and address):
Address line 1
Address line 2
Address line 3
Dear [NAME OF MP],
I am writing regarding the ‘Cycling Ambition’ grants awarded by the Department for Transport (DfT) in August 2013, designed to deliver innovative capital projects that would inspire a new generation of cyclists in our national parks. Four national parks were awarded funding through a competitive bidding round, five were unsuccessful.
I wish to draw your attention to the revised plans being submitted to the DfT by the New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) regarding potential funding for promoting cycling within the New Forest. The original proposal featured a raft of innovative and inspiring solutions to develop cycling opportunities in the New Forest, which included a dedicated cycle centre, and a ‘Boris Bike’ style hire system, the first in a rural area.
However, the revised proposal as agreed by the NFNPA on Thursday 25th September appear to be a complete turn around and amount to little more than a waste of £2million of public money. The key reason for the original proposal to be rejected by the NFNPA comes down to ‘anti-cycling’ sentiment that appears to be rife through a majority of the current members, but not the wider public as they have claimed. Two particular areas of the new proposal I’d like to draw your attention to are, A) to spend over £1.2million resurfacing Rhinefield Drive. The end result will mean a road that is better suited for motorists whilst giving no real improvement to cyclists. B) To give £300,000 of the funding to Moors Valley Country Park, which is situated outside of the New Forest National Park. These will be of little or no value in inspiring a new generation of cyclists in the New Forest and amount to a wasted opportunity.
This issue is summed up well in this online article http://road.cc/content/news/131278-new-forest-plans-use-rural-boris-bike-grant-repair-roads-damaged-cars-instead
I would be grateful if you could lobby ministers to reject the revised plans, and instead, encourage the NFNPA to go back to their original proposal that they bid for in the first place.