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9 October 2014, 06:33
Safety campaigners say steps have been taken to make sure two major cycling events in the New Forest this Sunday won't clash.
The New Forest Safety Advisory Group (SAG) had voiced its concerns amid fears that cyclists participating in the Gridiron 100 and Wiggle New Forest 100 Sportive would end up clashing in opposite directions at the same time on the Gorley road from Fordingbridge to Ringwood, and on Ornamental Drive in Brockenhurst to Roger Penny Way in Bramshaw.
Acting on advice from two SAG members - Hampshire Police and Hampshire County Council Highways - the SAG alerted the event organisers to concerns over the safety of participants and possibility of people being involved in accidents, as well as traffic congestion on single track or minor country roads.
Following advice from the SAG, organisers of the Gridiron 100 have changed the direction of their route so that cyclists will travel in the same direction as the New Forest 100 route. Cyclists will also now arrive at different times along the majority of points where the two routes meet.
Chairman of the New Forest Safety Advisory Group, James Knight, said:
"We're pleased that the organisers have acted on our recommendations to ensure that their events can take place as safely as possible. The SAG has an important role in advising event organisers regarding the safety of their event in the interest of everyone taking part, as well as the local community. Our concerns have been lessened although the public should still be aware that congestion may occur and should take extra care when travelling in the area."