Support cycling in the New Forest petition
Response from Hampshire County Council, January 2014
Hampshire County Council works closely with the New Forest National Park Authority on cycling initiatives and is keen to see a safe and coherent network of routes linking villages and other key destinations across the Forest. Our policy is to provide sustainable transport options that will help to reduce carbon emissions as well as support the local economy and environment. This policy seeks to improve the situation for residents as well as visitors.
As you are aware, funding has been secured in partnership with the New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA), which is being used to support cycling in and around the National Park. Making improvements to infrastructure and creating better links between communities is a key aim. The National Park has been working with Hampshire County Council to identify routes to prioritise for improvements. The desire is to ‘provide a coherent network of routes for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders’. This has been given a working title of “New Forest Community Routes”. The project is being delivered in partnership between the New Forest National Park Authority and Hampshire County Council’. A public consultation was carried out on these community routes, and I understand that Minstead Parish Council responded to this.
In light of the current petition, it would be useful to us if Minstead Parish Council could identify and prioritise missing links or routes that they would like to see improved or opened in and around Minstead, which relate directly to the reason behind your petition, and which are not included in the proposed set of community routes. I understand that colleagues at the National Park have offered to attend a Parish Council Meeting in March to discuss these issues. I will arrange that officers here at the County Council engage with colleagues at the National Park as early as possible after this meeting to see what the County Council can do to support any actions arising from that discussion.
Councillor Seán D T Woodward
Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment