A CYCLIST felt like he had been wrongly targeted after cycling was banned at Swinley Forest when it wasn't elsewhere.

Last week, the Crown Estate said cycling was banned but on Friday, May 22 it was announced that cycling is now allowed on the trail paths. 

Dave Cumming says he was confused as to why cycling was not permitted in Swinley Forest but it is allowed in Windsor Great Park, which are both owned by the Crown Estate.

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Swinley Forest's website states: "The Crown Estate has confirmed pedestrian access to the surrounding Swinley Forest will be allowed for the time being but no cycling is permitted until further notice."

However, the website hadn't been updated since the new lockdown restrictions which allow parks to reopen and people to exercise more than 'once a day'.

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In a letter sent by Dave to Swinley Forest, he said: "Since the coronavirus outbreak you have banned cycling in Swinley Forest. You have given no explanation as to why you have banned cycling in Swinley Forest but not in Windsor Great Park. You have done nothing to enforce the ban in Swinley Forest so lots of people are cycling there anyway and you managed to ban cycling in one day by putting up no cycling notices, can I suggest that you could reinstate cycling quite simply by removing the notices.

"Social distancing is not a problem in Swinley Forest, there is plenty of room for everyone."

A response from the Crown Estate to his letter says: "It was very clear at the beginning of the Covid 19 national crisis that mountain biking in Swinley Forest was stopped to reduce the number of accidents which happen there on a regular basis. The NHS had quite enough on their plate dealing with the crisis and our intention, which was clearly posted on our website and on social media channels, was to reduce the number of accidents. Mountain biking creates far more the road cycling which explains why Windsor Great Park cycling was not stopped. This was accepted by most."

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Mr Cumming said the impact of Swinley Forest being shut to cyclists means he's having to risk cycling on the roads.

He added: "I ended up on main roads which I would suggest are more dangerous than the forest tracks, though not the trails."

However, the Crown Estate has said the measures are in force to prevent cyclists from having accidents therefore "putting pressure on the NHS".

A spokesman said: "At the current time, we’re asking people not to cycle in Swinley Forest, to help minimise the risk of accidents and ensure our staff and visitors can maintain proper social distancing.

"We are looking to re-open the trails as soon as we can and will continue to keep visitors and members up to date through our website and social media."