AN attempt to curb the number of people taking part in mass cycling events in the New Forest looks set to be ignored.

The latest version of a voluntary charter for event organisers says no more than 1,000 riders should be allowed to travel through the Forest on any one day.

The National Park Authority (NPA) claims cycle chiefs should “show respect” for locals by reducing the impact of the sport.

But NPA officers say the Fordingbridge-based company behind the biggest rides, UK Cycling Events, are refusing to support the new limit.

Last night campaigners vowed to push for new legislation if the company continued to stage events for more than 1,000 riders.

NPA member Maureen Holding said: “I’m not anti-cycling but I am against flooding the forest and thus spoiling the quiet enjoyment that’s there for everyone. I’ve always said the cycling charter needs more teeth – it hasn’t got the bite that it needs.”

The document was also under fire from a supporter of mass cycling events – fellow NPA member David Harrison.

He said: “It would have been so much better if the charter had concentrated on things that are necessary and achievable but stubbornness has meant that we’re likely to publish a charter that the cyclists won’t sign up to.”

Other people involved in the long-running debate said the NPA should be given the power to enforce the document.

A report produced by Nigel Matthews, head of recreation management, says: “In June 2014 members resolved that they would only support the charter if it included a cap of 1,000 cyclists.

“UK Cycling Events, run by Martin Barden, organises the only cycle events that have exceeded 1,000 riders.

“Martin has fully engaged with the cycling liaison group and made a number of changes to his events as requested but does not support the cap.”

Outlining the case for a limit, the report says: “It provides a simple, clear way for event organisers to show respect for local people and reduce the impact of large events on other road users.

“Some people have suggested a limit as low as 500, but the figure of 1,000 has been well received by parish councils.”

Many of the rides staged by UK Cycling Events have attracted more than 2,000 entrants.

Mr Barden said he would issue a statement this week.