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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:49 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 2965
Location: Al Carter Turned Me into A Newt
Hi Guys.

Is this is the right area to discuss cycle access in the New Forest?

I'm a local, and have been riding the new forest since the early 90s. Recently I've had more and more hostile behaviour from people whilst cycling.

I'd love to have some honest conversation from other locals about the challenges of linking up 'Legal' routes.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:11 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:25 pm
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I'm not really local but I have ridden there a couple of times. As I understand it you're only allowed to ride on the main gravel tracks, I think the forestry commission do produce a map of all the legal routes, anything off of that is forbidden.

I did make up a route once joining as many bits as I could, not really the most exciting ride I've ever done but it was quite long.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:39 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:33 pm
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Location: Al Carter Turned Me into A Newt
indeed. The forest has bylaws, and they are somewhat outdated - there have been a number of reports produced by, among others, Hampshire County Council, that have pinpointed significant access issues that need to be addressed (and I'm talking horses and walkers, not just cyclists). Specifically the need to drive to spots where you're allowed to cycle, or the inability to easily link offroad routes.

The issue is highlighted by things like what you've put - you're not 'Allowed' on many of the gravel tracks as they're not part of the allowed list. the situation is not as simple as you're allowed on bridleways the same way you are in much of the rest of the country.

The result is that many riders, either knowingly or unknowingly, ride routes that are technically not allowed.

For those of you that aren't local, I mean tracks that may be 10 feet wide and hardpacked gravel. Some may be smaller, but all are very well worn walking/horserider trails and essentially weatherproof. (I can't condone using paths that can't cope during winter months).

For years I did my best to stick to the rules, but finding I increasingly use established tracks that I shouldn't be using to link sections of forest. Not proud of this, hence I want to get other opinions from locals.


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