Hampshire & Isle of Wight

New Forest cycling code agreed

New Forest Sportive
Image caption The New Forest Sportive route takes cyclists up to 58 miles through the New Forest

A new code of practice for cycling in the New Forest has been agreed by a group of 20 organisations.

It was set up following controversy over recent cycling events and includes advice on keeping to a safe speed.

The National Park Authority's Nigel Matthews said the code was a "significant and welcome achievement".

The new code would "facilitate responsible cycling" in keeping with "the special qualities and purposes of the National Park".

It includes specific advice for cyclists on passing horses and keeping at a safe speed.

Earlier this year, the annual Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive was criticised by horse owners and others who raised safety concerns and said it created "no-go zones" for other forest users.

Organiser UK Cycling Events insisted it complied with all safety and planning guidelines and its events benefited local tourist businesses.

The liaison group is also due to finalise a charter for organising cycling events in February.

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