Boris Bike-style hire bikes coming to the New Forest

But locals unhappy despite prospect of job creation and reduced car use

by John Stevenson   March 11, 2014  

Boris Bike (creative commons license by Jack999:Flickr)

 

In what’s believed the be the first such scheme outside a metropolitan area, electronically-controlled hire bikes — like Paris’ Velibs and London’s Boris Bikes — are set to be operated in the New Forest.

The forest bikes are part of a £3.7 million plan to make cycling in the area more family-friendly, funded by the Department for Transport. It’s part of a £17 million initiative to encourage cycling in national parks.

The bike hire system is due to launch in April 2015 with an initial roll-out of around 20 docking stations and 250 bikes, according to TransportXtra.

Docking stations will be located close to public transport links, tourist attractions and accommodation in the south-east of the New Forest National Park.

The national park authority says the hire scheme is expected to create more than 30 new jobs and generate income for local businesses. It is estimated that bike use will replace 127,000 car journeys every year.

The New Forest National Park Authority is working with consultant Atkins to develop a procurement strategy and specification for the scheme. James Datson, senior consultant at Atkins, says: “The project will support existing cycle hire providers and offer further opportunities to increase cycling among the 13.5m visitors to the New Forest each year.”

Given the historical antipathy toward cycling of some New Forest residents, it’s perhaps unsurprising that some aspects of the scheme have not gone down well with some New Forest residents.

The plans include a family cycling centre at Brockenhurst, the former base of the sportive rides that are now run from outside the Forest thanks to local opposition.

At a National Park Authority meeting, parish council chairman Russell Horne claimed the potential influx of new riders was likely to increase the dangers faced by enthusiasts, according to the Daily Echo.

He added: “We had no advance knowledge of this announcement and had not been included in any part of the consultation process, even though much of the proposed activity will centre on Brockenhurst.

“The lack of consultation has led to a lack of support for the plans.

“The proposals would lead to a significant increase in the number of cyclists being channelled onto routes that are already inadequate and potentially dangerous.”

And National Park Authority member Maureen Holding, who is also a Brockenhurst parish councillor, said: “Brockenhurst was not informed that it was going to be the cycling centre of the New Forest.

We’re almost swamped with visitors in the summer. This will bring many more visitors to the area.”

27 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Someone on the New Forest National Park Authority has a wicked sense of humour... Rolling On The Floor

posted by pwake [271 posts]
11th March 2014 - 17:42

like this
Like (54)

I told you about this lot last week. They bought second homes in a National Park, they like the Park, the scenery, the open spaces, and the freedom to roam. The one thing they don't want is visitors coming to a National Park and sharing it. They want it to themselves.

I was born in the Forest. My brother still lives there. There are vocal newcomers who want to pull up the barricades. They even moan about the scouts using the Forest and the scouts have been using it for over 100 years.

Most locals want to earn a living. A lot of them do that in the tourism industry in around the forest. Hotels, pubs, shop visitor attractions, even petrol stations. They do want more visitors. The already wealthy and retired people that make up a very vocal group could not care less that their fellow residents often have to leave the Forest to make a living.

If you don't want visitors don't buy a second home in National Park designed for people to visit and enjoy the countryside.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [505 posts]
11th March 2014 - 17:43

like this
Like (82)

No lid and she appears to be wearing earplugs/headphones... #justsaying

"It's my way, or the wrong way" - Mark Cavendish

SirCav's picture

posted by SirCav [25 posts]
11th March 2014 - 18:12

like this
Like (12)

SirCav wrote:
No lid and she appears to be wearing earplugs/headphones... #justsaying

Seriously, I mean seriously. Are you just out to pick a fight? Wind your neck back in.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1036 posts]
11th March 2014 - 18:37

like this
Like (39)

Nice to see that the NFA are doing their bit to encourage people to explore the forest by bike rather than cars. Would be great to get to a point where cars are actively limited from entering the park and especially at peak times. I know many countries operate this system at weekends on certain roads in their national parks to encourage use of mass transit, cycling and walking in safety.

jaunty angle: bikes and communications
http://ragtag.wordpress.com

ragtag's picture

posted by ragtag [154 posts]
11th March 2014 - 18:46

like this
Like (34)

A complete waste of time and will only make money for those that invest in this if nothing is done about motor vehicle usage levels.

posted by northstar [1083 posts]
11th March 2014 - 19:06

like this
Like (12)

From now till September, we actively avoid the NF unless we are there before 10am. 11am tops. The queues through the towns are just horrific. You'd think locals would be all in favour of people parking on the edges and cycling in, spending, then cycling out.

Well, some are.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [436 posts]
11th March 2014 - 19:09

like this
Like (20)

It would be great if they brought this scheme to the Dales as it would put some bikes on the road which wouldn't drop me like a stone on every hill and if all the riders looked like the one in the photo I think there'd be very little opposition

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [115 posts]
11th March 2014 - 19:12

like this
Like (20)

Can we get this backed up by a Scottish style Right to Roam in National Parks and Forestry Commission land, greatly restricted access for cars by way of residential and business permits and congestion zone style charges (Keilder and Hamsterly kind of do this), maximum 40mph limit on anything but M roads (New Forest does this iirc). Give cyclists, horses, pedestrians etc... priority over motor vehicles on designated 'quiet routes' with a 20mph limit. Enforce speed limits with un-obtrusive Cat's Eye cameras using average speed measurement as this works better than 'at a point' measurements. Don't issue points, simply thank the motorist for contributing to the upkeep of our national treasures.

posted by Initialised [104 posts]
11th March 2014 - 19:42

like this
Like (24)

Initialised wrote:
Enforce speed limits with un-obtrusive Cat's Eye cameras using average speed measurement as this works better than 'at a point' measurements. Don't issue points, simply thank the motorist for contributing to the upkeep of our national treasures.

That would work quite well! If that was legal, I'd be for that Big Grin

posted by jacknorell [260 posts]
11th March 2014 - 20:09

like this
Like (12)

It would be great to see a local body propose a weekend ban on vehicles along some of the major scenic routes - say Bolderwood Ornamental or Rhinefield Ornamental drives.

That way I can personally guarantee ***ZERO*** ponies will be hurt or killed on those roads, at those times.

"But what about the disabled and obese who can only see the ponies/trees from a car" the people cry?

Simple: HORSE AND TRAP RIDES from either end.

The less-abled get to enjoy a day out with nature, horsey-types get to make money / not have horseys killed, cycling-types get not to die/be passed stupidly by motorists.

Everyone wins. Right?

Oh. Except the Verderers - you know, the pathological shits who like to see hundreds of children and the elderly ride/walk amongst 60MPH traffic on a mile of road with no verge, rather than allow footpath access to an enclosure 10 yards away - will never go for it. It's enshrined in Forest Law that "Ye who holdeth tytle o'oer earth shalle be righteously entitl'd to lunge thy '12-plate Range Rover Vogue 4.4HSE whereabouts ye lyke"

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [436 posts]
11th March 2014 - 20:14

like this
Like (38)

I may have to save that picture for next time I hear someone complaining about a cyclist dressed all in black.

posted by bikebot [405 posts]
11th March 2014 - 20:41

like this
Like (13)

oozaveared wrote:
If you don't want visitors don't buy a second home in National Park designed for people to visit and enjoy the countryside.

Any chance we could persuade your brother and a few mates to set up a New Forest Sons of Glyndwr type group?

posted by farrell [1277 posts]
11th March 2014 - 21:06

like this
Like (12)

Is it a prerequisite to to live in the New Forest you have to be a miserable nimby.
Roll em out, its a great idea.

posted by Guyz2010 [280 posts]
11th March 2014 - 21:35

like this
Like (9)

giff77 wrote:
SirCav wrote:
No lid and she appears to be wearing earplugs/headphones... #justsaying

Seriously, I mean seriously. Are you just out to pick a fight? Wind your neck back in.

You give the impression you are looking for a fight? Calm yourself. I was happy to read SirCav's words as a light hearted comment...

posted by fatty [69 posts]
11th March 2014 - 21:50

like this
Like (12)

Maureen Holding wrote:
We’re almost swamped with visitors in the summer. This will bring many more visitors to the area.

And this is a bad thing why?

oozaveared has this spot on. The New Forest is a tourist destination, and the many actual locals who make their living from tourism would only welcome more visitors.

Sadly, a very vocal group of affluent retired sorts who have moved into the Forest over the years seem to be doing everything they can to actually discourage people from visiting, cyclists or otherwise.

posted by parksey [175 posts]
11th March 2014 - 22:14

like this
Like (10)

fatty wrote:
giff77 wrote:
SirCav wrote:
No lid and she appears to be wearing earplugs/headphones... #justsaying

Seriously, I mean seriously. Are you just out to pick a fight? Wind your neck back in.

You give the impression you are looking for a fight? Calm yourself. I was happy to read SirCav's words as a light hearted comment...

Not looking a fight. Just cannot figure out why a post in regards to a bike hire scheme in the New Forest requires a comment about the lack of a helmet etc. And anyway my pain relief for a broken ankle isn't due yet so maybe I'm a bit grumpier than normal.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1036 posts]
11th March 2014 - 22:29

like this
Like (8)

Masters of stereotypical humour.
Playing the part to perfection ............

posted by simon.thornton [13 posts]
11th March 2014 - 22:39

like this
Like (13)

I cycle in the forest every day and the roads around Brock are not cycle friendly, also the gravel tracks available to cyclists are very limited. The infrastructure needs improving as part of the package. Ironically, horse riders can go where they like and are determined to keep it that way, and it seems to be commoners who oppose access to the more remote forest most vocally. if you cycle alone, most horse riders are fine. It is a complex issue, and heavy Boris bikes may not be the answer.

New Forester

posted by Forester [82 posts]
12th March 2014 - 6:40

like this
Like (6)

If people in the New Forest don't want cyclists then how about using the money elsewhere?

posted by Dan Braddock [1 posts]
12th March 2014 - 9:30

like this
Like (5)

I wonder if the 'residents' of the new forest are ever happy about anything?

I'm almost tempted to round up a few mates and all drive down there and drive round and around causing rolling congestion with our cars, because obiously they like cars and would be happy to see a collection of such lovely cars causing/worsening traffic. I would say that i won't go back to brokenhurst (a couple of nice hotels that i've stayed at with the mrs) but i don't think the people who that would disadvantage would be the moaning whining prats that are complaining about visitors when they live in a 'tourist' destination...its a bit like people who buy a house near an airport complaining about flight noise...

posted by md6 [154 posts]
12th March 2014 - 9:32

like this
Like (4)

Quote:
We’re almost swamped with visitors in the summer. This will bring many more visitors to the area.

I know living in a tourist area must suck at times, but it's good for the life of an area for the entire year. Businesses are probably more than happy at more visitors who spend their pounds, so clearly they don't speak for everyone there.

posted by nicholassmith [52 posts]
12th March 2014 - 10:48

like this
Like (6)

md6 wrote:
I wonder if the 'residents' of the new forest are ever happy about anything?

I'm almost tempted to round up a few mates and all drive down there and drive round and around causing rolling congestion with our cars, because obiously they like cars and would be happy to see a collection of such lovely cars causing/worsening traffic.

Be sure to have your bicycles on the car rack while you're at it, so you can show how considerate you're being by using the car instead of cycling.

posted by JeevesBath [103 posts]
12th March 2014 - 11:43

like this
Like (7)

oozaveared wrote:
I told you about this lot last week. They bought second homes in a National Park, they like the Park, the scenery, the open spaces, and the freedom to roam. The one thing they don't want is visitors coming to a National Park and sharing it. They want it to themselves.

I was born in the Forest. My brother still lives there. There are vocal newcomers who want to pull up the barricades. They even moan about the scouts using the Forest and the scouts have been using it for over 100 years.

Most locals want to earn a living. A lot of them do that in the tourism industry in around the forest. Hotels, pubs, shop visitor attractions, even petrol stations. They do want more visitors. The already wealthy and retired people that make up a very vocal group could not care less that their fellow residents often have to leave the Forest to make a living.

If you don't want visitors don't buy a second home in National Park designed for people to visit and enjoy the countryside.

That of course in a general sense is the curse of all pretty rural settings. Chocolate-box villages become dormitories for commuters or even worse they become weekender villages, local people are priced out of the market. The incomers shop in Waitrose on their drive down from Fulham so the local Spar goes out of business. The village school dies, soon to be followed by the village pub. As soon as someone suggests that new homes are needed to accommodate all the indigenous folk who can no longer afford the prices of the traditional properties, the incomers scream blue murder about traffic and congestion and loss of amenity or character.

The notion that local people's jobs, businesses and livelihoods could be enhanced by a scheme like this will cut no ice with the incomers. The prospect of being slightly slowed down on their journey back to the smoke or the run to the supermarket or worse still being able to access their house on foot only for a couple of hours whips them up into a lather.

It is high time the real foresters told these people to stick their objections where the sun don't shine.

posted by Paul M [306 posts]
12th March 2014 - 12:11

like this
Like (11)

Having thought about this a little more and discussed it with the soigneuse...

What about the existing businesses providing cycle hire in the Forest? In Brock especially.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [738 posts]
12th March 2014 - 15:29

like this
Like (6)

Gizmo_ beat me to it. I have no truck with the New Forest NITBYTWIVRM*s but the National Park has loads of bike hire companies. I'm not sure why it needs a Boris Bike-style scheme.

What would really be a boost would be an actual sensible off-road network that actually goes places, rather than random unconnected circles.

*Not In The Back Yard To Which I Very Recently Moved

posted by David Portland [88 posts]
12th March 2014 - 16:49

like this
Like (5)

David Portland wrote:
Gizmo_ beat me to it. I have no truck with the New Forest NITBYTWIVRM*s but the National Park has loads of bike hire companies. I'm not sure why it needs a Boris Bike-style scheme.

What would really be a boost would be an actual sensible off-road network that actually goes places, rather than random unconnected circles.

*Not In The Back Yard To Which I Very Recently Moved

There is a sensible off road network. The Forest has been there for nearly a millenium. The off road tracks were not created to go nowhere. The person that first walked them was going somewhere and the people that came later and made the track with their usage were going to the same place. But the places they used to go may not still be useful or aparrent. But actually you can use the tracks and paths to navigate about quite easily.

It's better if you know where you are going because some of the cycle maps are designed to give you a circular family ride from a convenient car park. But go exploring and just take a compass. You'll pretty quickly find a path going your way.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [505 posts]
13th March 2014 - 15:06

like this
Like (4)