Cycle Hayling wants to improve cycling on Hayling Island, for example:

Our beautiful Island should be a great place to cycle:

  • Good weather
  • No hills
  • No through traffic
  • The South Downs national park on our doorstep

But it could be much, much better. Provision for cyclists is limited or flawed, but there is plenty scope for improvement to encourage people to cycle more.

See below for more details on our current projects and our other activities.

Cycle Hayling is a volunteer community group campaigning to make Hayling Island more cycle-friendly.

Please support our efforts and register your support – it’s free and we will keep you up-to-date with progress.

Home Page: Safe Cycle Routes

Safe cycle routes to schools

All of the 5 Hayling Island schools lie on the main road (Havant Road, Church Road & Elm Grove) which serves the Mengham shopping area, and the entire large residential area at the south of the island. This road is very busy during the rush hour with queueing at peak times.

The proportion of pupils and staff who cycle to school is very low. Figures provided by the Hampshire County Council Travel Team show that 79% of pupils are driven to the two Mill Rythe schools. The national average is 34%. Most schools’ walking rates hover around 50%. Currently at the Infant school, only 4.5% of pupils walk and barely 18% walk to the Junior school. A questionnaire conducted at Hayling College showed that 10% cycled against 50% using a car. Those that do cycle are often seen using the pavements around Hayling College.

Since the Travel Team survey, the Cinder Track has been upgraded by Hampshire County Council. Mill Rythe Junior School has conducted a new survey of travel behaviour which found that car use has fallen to 68%, 16% walk, 12% cycle or use a scooter, and 4% use the bus. That suggests a significant improvement.

More safe cycling routes to the schools would allow more students to cycle to school and college, and help keep them off the pavements. They would also encourage school and college staff to cycle to work.

Find out more

If you want to support our efforts, please register your support; registration is free and we will keep you up-to-date with progress.

Home Page: North-South route

Haylink: North-South traffic-free cycle link

For everyday cycling, the south of Hayling is completely cut off from the north of Hayling Island and the bridge.

People in the south need to cycle north to the Yew Tree or Maypole, or further to Northney or Havant. How can we expect our kids to cycle to Havant College?

People in the north or off the island need to cycle south to schools, shops, the community centre, the beach, and all the other wonderful amenities on the island.

The main A3023 Havant Road between Yew Tree Road and Kings Road is too narrow, too busy, and intimidating for all but the most hardened cyclists. So very few bike riders attempt it and even fewer cycle-commute off the Island.

Any cyclists daring it causes traffic tailbacks and frustration for motorists. If they use pavements illegally, they risk colliding with pedestrians and hedges growing out over narrow pavements.

That’s why Cycle Hayling is calling for Haylink: a North-South cycle link, separating cyclists from motorists and acting as a vital stepping stone for developing cycling routes around the rest of the Island.

It won’t be easy. There’s no simple option, so we applied for council funding in 2018 for a professional feasibility study. Although this didn’t make the cut, the council have incorporated the need into the new Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, being developed during 2019. Watch this space!

Find out more

If you want to support our efforts, please register your support; registration is free and we will keep you up-to-date with progress.

Home Page: Hayling Billy trail restoration

Hayling Billy trail restoration

The Hayling Billy trail runs all the way up the west side of the island starting in West Town and ending near the bridge. It is open to walkers, cyclists and horse riders (although not technically a bridleway).

It continues on the mainland, but with a much better sealed surface, crossing the main road at Langstone, past the Spring Centre in Havant and ends at Havant railway station.

Since its creation from the old railway line in the 1980’s, following a campaign by a group of cyclists inspired by Sustrans, its condition has deteriorated badly. Nowadays, you need a pretty tough bike and a pretty tough rider, and in the wet you’ll get plastered.

Worse, a section of the trail collapsed into the sea in 2015. That was repaired (leaving a very poor surface) but the repair was only temporary, and it remains vulnerable to the sea. Amazingly, the official sea defence policy is currently to ‘do nothing’. Hampshire County Council is committing in principle to replace any trail lost by moving it inland, but until its future is guaranteed, justifying investment will be hard.

These issues don’t just affect cyclists, but also walkers, push chairs, prams, mobility scooters and wheelchairs. Cycle Hayling is therefore campaigning to defend and restore the trail with a properly drained, all-weather surface. The mainland section of the trail shows what is possible.

At the north end, an orange, sacrificial, self-binding gravel has been tried. The jury is still out on whether it’s a good enough surface in all weathers, and on how long it will last, but in any event, it couldn’t be used in more exposed sections – it will just wash away.

So we’re still looking for a surface that is acceptable to all users and to all stakeholders, and for the money to do it.

However, we are actively working to upgrade the Saltmarsh Lane footpath to cycling, which links the Billy Trail to West Lane, thanks to council funding. And we’re planning a new Smooth the Path surface that will be better, not just for cycling, but also for pushchairs, disabled buggies and child scooters. We hope this will give us good evidence of what works and what can become acceptable in such a sensitive area.

Find out more

If you want to support our efforts, please register your support; registration is free and we will keep you up-to-date with progress.

Home Page: Other activities

Other activities

As well as our main campaign projects, we:

We also spend time with councillors and officers of both Hampshire County Council and Havant Borough Council and liaise with land-owners and funding agencies.

If you would like to help us, please register your support. It doesn’t cost you anything. In return we will send you occasional emails to let you know what’s happening – including any events we organise.

If you would like to get more involved, please contact Joy Forrow.