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Numbers at mass cycling event are to be slashed
10:00am Monday 9th December 2013 in News
BOSSES behind a series of cycling events in the New Forest are taking drastic action to ease “tensions” between themselves and locals.
Under new proposals the maximum number of riders allowed to take part in each Wiggle event – normally more than 2,000 – is being slashed by 20 per cent.
It follows complaints that too many cyclists are invading the area.
Event organiser UK Cycling Events is also altering the route to avoid Blissford Hill, near Fordingbridge, and other “hot spots” where problems have occurred.
And roaming motorcycle marshals will be deployed to ensure that cyclists stick to the rules. Any rider behaving badly will face an instant ban.
The company hopes the changes will reduce the hostility to cyclists and help Wiggle find a new home.
New Forest Show bosses have banned the organisers of mass cycling events from using New Park, Brockenhurst, following the controversy surrounding last month’s event, which resulted in a scheduled pony round-up being cancelled.
UK Cycling Events is hoping to use the Gang Warily recreation centre in Newlands Road, Blackfield.
But members of Fawley Parish Council’s policy and resources committee said they needed more information and deferred a decision.
Wiggle boss Martin Barden had earlier handed councillors a statement listing the changes being made.
It said the route would stick to wider roads, avoiding, where possible, narrow single track roads in areas such as Newtown and Minstead.
The number of riders in each event would be reduced by 20 per cent and extra toilets would be provided at rest stops.
This follows complaints that riders with access to facilities have been using the roadside as a makeshift toilet.
Mr Barden added: “The New Forest is a national park.
“It’s there for everyone’s enjoyment and everyone should have the chance to take part in their chosen activity.”
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