SIR – There is nothing wrong with cycling as a sport, hobby or social family exercise. Unfortunately, there is a small minority who spoil it for the rest of us.

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This has been apparent for some time on our roads with some cyclists ignoring road signs, riding on the pavements, going through red lights, etc.

With the present coronavirus restrictions, this attitude has spread to the New Forest.

The Aldridge Hill campsite, near Brockenhurst, is closed and the barrier just past the car park is also closed with access only for deliveries etc. It seems some people are ignoring government guidelines regarding social distancing and unnecessary travelling for exercising.

The worst offenders are, of course, cyclists – a large proportion of whom travel from far and wide to ride in the Forest, some of them carrying their bikes in their cars.

No one objects to a family enjoying a casual bike ride with their children but there is an element of arrogant self-opinionated riders who seem to have no regard for others, laws of the Forest or common decency.

They ride at excessive speeds on the grass and prohibited footpaths where they can come across cattle, ponies and, of course, decent people out for a walk in the country. They speed past them, and I for one have had to jump out of their way – and, in my mid-80s, do not jump that well. We suffer verbal abuse if we impede their unlawful/unsociable progress.

Last Sunday there was an incident where a cyclist deliberately ripped off a poster by the barrier. This poster was a humorous description of the action of these cyclists and intended to draw public attention to the situation and create awareness of the dangers these irresponsible cyclists are causing.

It is now time for Forestry England to act and act fast. Adequate, proper signs at appropriate places must be erected and some form of supervision, patrols and enforcement must be introduced before the inevitable accident happens.

Sunday’s incident adds weight to the need to stamp out irresponsible users of our wonderful Forest.

I appeal to everyone concerned over this to get in touch with Forestry England as a matter of urgency before the summer sets in and hopefully the easing of restrictions.

Name and address supplied

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Ok, ok – cyclists riding in places they shouldn’t – bad thing. Riding too fast without consideration for walkers – bad thing. I’d welcome more enforcement – dog mess, dogs chasing the animals, the current issue of cars parking on the verges, as well as the cyclists.
    Sorry for not getting the “joke” in the “humorous” sign. There have been a few reported instances of “we don’t want your sort around here” things in some communities going on directed at cyclists – we’re pretty fed up with this nonsense. And a rather nasty buried nail trap on a forest trail – signs like the one described encourage some super-idiot to take it a step further.
    the “riding on the pavement and the running red lights” thing is getting a bit tired now. No car EVER runs a red light; or fails to to stop at a zebra crossing, speeds, overtakes when they can’t see, etc. Write us a letter about all that, please. No car drives on the pavement – EVER – come to my village of an evening and I’ll show you proof of this solid, immutable fact.
    In fact, we now live in an era where you’re not safe on cars, even on a kerbed city pavement – the defining moment for me was in Winchester last year – a van wanted to come up on the pavement I walking along – the driver wanted ME to move out of HIS way.

  2. Not every cyclist is like that! I was born and bred in Lymington and was taught the rights and wrongs of what to do and where to go by my parents! I am now living in sth Yorkshire and we have got similsr problems here!

    • Yes, some cyclists are arrogant, and so are some walkers, and some drivers, and some letter writers, and so are some people who comment on news articles. Arrogance is a human condition, why would any group, in this case humans who cycle, not have the same proportional representation of arrogant people as any other group. Cyclists as a group aren’t arrogant, the same as any other group isn’t wholly made up of arrogant people. I think we should stop with this stupid grouping of cyclists, horse-riders, walkers, drivers etc, and recognise that in each case they are just people doing something they enjoy, and are entitled to do, not some outgroup to be demonised by other people for whatever spurious reason or odd prejudice.

  3. Oh dear what narrow minded thoughts in this letter. “Excessive speeds, tearing up the forest”, “decent people out for a walk”. Come on this is completely ridiculous ‘pitch fork mentality’. I would say the majority of walkers and cyclists are decent, just out enjoying the forest, which they are entitled to like anyone else.
    Yes this post is about cyclists however I think we could quite easily look at this as a whole collective of users. Any negative actions by a groups minority can be over shadowed by another. I have lived in the NF all my life. I am a walker, dog walker, runner, horse rider and cyclist. Some people park cars directly on the forest, drive too fast and kill animals. Some drop littler (inc dog poo bags) and leave forest gates open. Some refuse to keep their animals under control or on a lead if required. Some walk, horse ride, cycle on protected areas of the forest, take over tracks as if they are the only person/group using them. Ultimately its about being logical, having respect for others, the animals and the land/area we live. The New Forest 🌳 is for everyone to enjoy.

  4. one cyclist is on cctv peeing on my property in the new forest. He did it right in front of me. He ****** on & into my property! I said 2 cameras have him on cctv & I will put that on a huge banner to shame him!
    He soon put his genitals back in his pants & cycled off!
    If I though hampshire police would be interested I would had called 999 as this thug may have had covid 19 & just spread it onto & into my property!

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