New Forest District Council's (NFDC) Core Strategy for the District outside the National Park seeks to promote improvements in the quality and sustainability of transport in a number of ways. Cycling is recognised as an important way of improving accessibility by non car modes.
Benefits of Encouraging Cycling (taken from Sustrans Report "Moving forward: A year of delivering smarter travel choices")
A recent Government report reveals that the cumulative cost of the impacts of a transport system dominated by car use is up to £56 billion. With wiser investment in walking, cycling and public transport we could immediately start reducing these costs to our economy.
- In 2009 cycling trips on the National Cycle Network had a total health benefit of £288 million; walking trips a potential health benefit of £96 million and potential carbon savings worth £32 million. These values far exceed the cost of developing walking and cycling paths.
- 55% of total transport emissions, in the UK, comes from personal car use, with more than half of all car journeys under five miles. Only 2% of journeys less than five miles are currently cycled.
- The cost of physical inactivity is estimated at £760 million/year whereas the health value of cycling on the National Cycle Network is estimated at 388 million/year. Enabling people to walk and cycle more is one of the easiest ways of introducing physical activity into our daily lives.
- Traffic, speed and nuisance parking are cited as key community issues and traffic growth causes widespread dissatisfaction, creating strong public support for policies that favour walking, cycling and public transport.
In September 2004, through a Portfolio Holder decision, NFDC agreed a Strategic Cycle Network for the District following extensive consultation. More recently a review of the cycle routes in the main urban areas within the District outside the National Park has taken place. As part of this work further consultations were carried out and additional proposed cycle routes were agreed in February and June 2010, by the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation, to improve connectivity to and through the main urban settlements in the district (outside the National Park). The plans identifying the location of the proposed cycle routes are available below.
Further information regarding cycling in the New Forest area is available in the dedicated cycling section of the New Forest's official visitor website.
Please make sure your bicycle is marked and secured when left unattended. Cycle thefts in the New Forest are not uncommon.