PLANS for a £2million bike rental system in the New Forest have been rejected to the dismay of thousands of supporters.
The New Forest National Park Authority tweeted: “Members have voted not to proceed with the public bike system at this time. We will release a statement on this later today.”
The crunch meeting today was held to decide whether plans for a 'Boris-bike'-style share scheme would go ahead.
Despite a mass of support for the scheme, which came about as a result of £2million funding from the Department for Transport, the New Forest National Park Authority members were recommended to reject the project.
Members have voted not to proceed with the public bike system at this time. We will release a statement on this later today.— New Forest NPA (@NewForestNPA) August 19, 2014
“@NewForestNPA: Members have voted not to proceed with the public bike system at this time" please inform members this is not over at all ;)— New Forest Cyclist (@forestcyclist) August 19, 2014
Concerns over 'major anti-cycling sentiment' caused by mass cycling events and sponsorship were cited as the main reasons for the unpopular recommendation.
Hundreds of people, including Olympian Chris Boardman, took to social media urging the scheme to go ahead.
Two thousand people signed a petition willing National Park bosses to back it.
And Graham Bright of B-Cycle, who has been awarded the contract to run the hire scheme, said the scheme was not the same as mass cycling events, and the bikes would only be travelling up to 7mph.
Around 250 bikes were planned for implementation around 20 different locations around the New Forest.
The contract was due to be signed in June, but postponed as a result of the concerns.