TWO New Forest MPs have vowed to fight for new laws governing the size of mass cycling events.

New Forest East MP Julian Lewis and fellow Tory Desmond Swayne, who represents New Forest West, spoke out after New Forest National Park Authority members approved a voluntary charter that aims to ‘guide’ cycle event organisers.

Contentious clauses including a cap of 1,000 cyclists taking part in events and rear identification numbers for riders were opposed by major cycling bodies, who called on members of the New Forest National Park Authority to amend the voluntary code.

But the calls from British Cycling, CTC and Sustrans, as well as the Cycling Liaison Group appointed to consult on the charter, fell on deaf ears.

Cllr Maureen Holding told fellow NPA members: “If this doesn’t work we should call in the MPs and go for rules and regulations that are enforceable.

“We want safety in our forest.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Swayne said that he and Dr Lewis would continue to press for new regulations governing the size of cycle events.

He added: “The charter is a step in the right direction, but it’s voluntary.

“A limit on numbers is an important element.

“That is why we will continue to try to get enforceable regulations.”

However, county councillor David Harrison told fellow NPA members there was “zero chance” of the Government introducing new laws to regulate mass cycle rides.

He added: “Let's stop victimising cyclists.

“To paint them all as anti-social menaces just plays into the hands of a small minority of local people who have developed a visceral hatred of anyone wearing Lycra.”

Cllr Harrison said the NPA risked becoming a “laughing stock” by publishing a charter that cyclists refused to support.

He added: “Recent large-scale cycling events have taken place with barely a problem.

“They involved hundreds of people visiting the area, enjoying themselves, benefiting the economy and raising thousands of pounds for charitable causes.

“I want the organisers to be around the table when events are planned. I want co-operation, not confront-ation.”

The document was approved by 14 votes to two but members agreed to review the situation in 12 months’ time.