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Lymington and Pennington councillors show support for ‘London Tube’ style cycle network in Forest

CALLS to introduce a London Tube-style cycling network between New Forest towns has received the “wholehearted” support of Lymington councillors.

More than 200 people responded to the Lymington Transition Survey to show “overwhelming support” for the introduction of a cycling charter and a coast-to-Forest interlink, members were told at a full town council meeting.

Proposed cycling routes for the New Forest drawn in the style of a London Tube map
Proposed cycling routes for the New Forest drawn in the style of a London Tube map

Tabling a motion, Cllr Hannah Phillips, LIb Dem member for Buckland ward, said: “The ‘Tube map’ network seeks to deliver a cycle network, to link Lymington and New Milton with each other, and the surrounding residential settlements.”

She said the “settlements” would include Brockenhurst College and the mainline railway station, coastal and national park recreational amenities, the Isle of Wight ferry terminal, and – for the purpose of in-commute and out-commute journeys – to and from the Southampton and Waterside area, BCP, and the ‘core’ Forest via Brockenhurst.

Cllr Phillips called for her fellow councillors to “wholeheartedly” support the adoption of a Lymington Cycling Charter and the proposed network. She said the authority should work with its partners to make Lymington and Pennington a “cycle-friendly town”.

The network would link Lymington and New Milton, and the surrounding residential settlements.”
The network would link Lymington and New Milton, and the surrounding residential settlements.”

Cllr Ted Jearrad, Lib Dem member for Buckland, said he was “totally in favour” of the project but shared concerns about the potential introduction of more bicycle racks on Lymington High Street, adding “we’ve got enough there already with the parking meters”.

Cllr Martina Humber, independent member for Pennington, disagreed: “I’ve got a red tricycle I still ride around, and I would like to see more cycle racks on the High Street.

“If we had more cycle racks, we would have less cars. We could do with less cars and more cycles in the High Street.”

Cllr Thomas Brindley, Conservative member for Pennington, said he had “no problem” supporting the motion but said the council needed to be “clear about the work we’ll do” and asked for confirmation the council would not be committing funding to the project.

Mayor Jack Davies
Mayor Jack Davies

Chairing the meeting, town mayor Jack Davies reassured Cllr Brindley the authority would not be providing funds and was asked only to show support for the proposed scheme.

Cllr Sara Frost, Conservative member for Lymington, said the cycling charter is a “great idea” but routes should provide enough room both for mobility scooter users and cyclists.

Cllr Jacqui England, Independent member for Lymington Town, asked where the county council stands on creating a cycle network, pointing out the work would be “highways related”.

She said: “We want to know how the vision will be taken forward. Bicycle racks will need to go into sensitive areas of the town and we do have a High Street already cluttered with meters. We want to enhance the environment, not detract from it.”

Cllr Hannah Phillips
Cllr Hannah Phillips

Cllr Alan Penson, Conservative member for Lymington, pointed out the proposed cycling charter is not technically a charter because it does not establish or uphold any new rights to movement. He described it as a “vision” for the town and expressed support for it.

Cllr Humber added the proposed charter is a “wishlist”.

Nine out of 10 councillors voted in favour of supporting the adoption of a cycling charter, with abstention from Cllr Jearrad.

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