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D-Day veteran returns to New Forest after 70 years

An American D-Day veteran returned to a former airfield in the New Forest today - 70 years after he was stationed there. Herb Simmons, 92, from North Carolina, unveiled a new information panel by the New Forest Remembers World War II Project, at Newtown Park in Lymington.

Mr Simmons was stationed at Lymington Advanced Landing Ground in the build up to D-Day and is believed to be the last surviving member of the 50th Fighter Squadron. The airfield was one of five advanced landing grounds built in the New Forest to support the Normandy landings.

The 70th anniversary event included a display of several World War II fighter planes including two Spitfires, a Hurricane, a collection of military vehicles and the Red Arrows. Mr Simmons spoke to Meridian about his return.

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£77m to promote cycling in cities

A big cash injection has been announced to promote cycling throughout our region.

A total of £77m will be divided between chosen areas nationwide, which include Oxford, Cambridge, New Forest and South Downs.

Alongside local contributions, the total new funding for cycling is £148m between now and 2015.

The Government have commitment to encourage changes to the way roads are built and altered.

Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary, said: "We have seen significant growth in the number of cyclists in London over the last few years. But cycling shouldn't be confined to the capital."

Following our success in the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Tour de France, British cycling is riding high - now we want to see cycling soar.

This Government wants to make it easier and safer for people who already cycle as well as encouraging far more people to take it up and business, local government, developers, road users and the transport sector all have a role to play in helping to achieve this."

– David Cameron

New Forest cycling get £3.6m boost

The new scheme will encourage families to cycle in the New Forest Credit: New Forest National Park authority

A family cycling scheme in the New Forest National Park has been awarded £3.6m by the government.

The money will help to create more than 30 jobs and boost the local economy.

The New Forest National Park will benefit from a share of the Department for Transport's £17m funding.

The government's money will be matched with £2.2m from the private sector and local authorities.

The proposed projects for the park will promote active family lifestyles, respect the character of the New Forest

The Department for Transport said the New Forest National Park Authority was given funding because its proposal was innovative, creative and achievable by March 2015.

Barry Rickman, leader of New Forest District Council, said: "Cycling already provides support to the New Forest’s economy and with it the creation of associated employment. Cycling already provides support to the New Forest’s economy and with it the creation of associated employment.

"We are pleased that this economic growth opportunity is recognised within the scheme and that plans are in place throughout the towns and villages that make up the forest’s local community."

Oxford and New Forest to get funding

Cycling has grown in popularity in recent years Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

The initiative includes plans to make roads safer for those on two wheels and means a number of English cities will get Government money for cycling schemes. A total of £77 million will be divided between Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich.

Also, the New Forest, Peak District, South Downs and Dartmoor areas will each share a slice of £17 million funding for national parks. With local contributions, the total new funding for cycling is £148 million between now and 2015.

The announcement includes a commitment from the Government to cut red tape that can stifle cycle-friendly road design and to encourage changes to the way roads are built or altered.