Potential revival for bike hire scheme in New Forest

Potential revival for bike hire scheme

Potential revival for bike hire scheme

First published in News

A SCHEME to install Boris-style bikes in the New Forest could be revived.

As reported by the Forest Journal last week, the New Forest National Park Authority controversially voted not to proceed with the £2million scheme, despite already having funding in place.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition urging them to go ahead with the hire project after members expressed concerns over sponsorship and a ‘major anti-cycling sentiment’ in the New Forest. A crunch meeting heard members’ concerns over the lack of time to overcome these issues, leading them to reject the scheme.

But now, despite the National Park’s decision, a county and district councillor has taken it upon himself to try and get the scheme to go ahead.

Cllr David Harrison, who is also a member of the National Park Authority, voted in favour of the bike share at the meeting.

He said: “Essentially what has happened is the NPA have made a unilateral decision to not to proceed. However, it has always been a joint project between Hampshire County Council and the park authority.

“I have looked at the consultant’s report and seen that at least 20 of the docking stations are outside the boundaries of the park authority.”

Cllr Harrison has spoken to B-Cycle director Graham Bright, whose company was chosen to implement the scheme.

He said: “He has got lots of sponsors and we are both of the same mind that it should still go ahead.”

Mr Bright said: “From our point of view we are still committed to delivering the bike share scheme in Hampshire.

“I think having awarded us the contract, we are hoping Cllr Harrison can explore any avenues to keep the project alive.”

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