Brilliant, but embarrassing …

Brilliant to see so many bikes out on Hayling! I don’t know about you, but I’m staggered by the number of riders I’m seeing (and I’m in lockdown, so hardly ever out!).

I met Gary and family yesterday, who cycled all the way round from Portsmouth, with two kids. Impressive! And they had some great riding on the way. The Eastern Rd has a really good cycle path most of the way down the side of Langstone Harbour, and some beautiful cycling along Farlington Marshes. Even down through Langstone and over the bridge has got a lot better.

But then they got to our beloved Hayling.

I was just embarrassed to show them. The main road from Yew Tree Inn to Mill Rythe is totally unacceptable, now the traffic has got back to normal after those beautiful lockdown empty roads.

And even worse, the cinder track, our very first ‘cycle route to school’ is STILL blocked off and has been wrecked by contractors. It’s full of builder’s rubble and broken glass. Puncture city, and dangerous. We’re working with the council to find out who did it and fix it. It looks as if it wasn’t authorised – if it had been, it would have proper signs and detour directions.

And Gary and family would never have found the detour, or the lovely quiet cycle route to the beach that I showed them, because it’s got virtually no cycle signs.

It’s time we were able to welcome cyclists like Gary and family to Hayling with proper, safe cycle paths, that you can ride in any weather, and find without half an hour’s googling. It’s time to get people healthy, to cut traffic and air pollution.

The government has promised us a greener future, and it’s putting big money into cycling. We’ve got to get that money to Hayling. Now’s the time. If not now, when? Who’s with us?

2 Replies to “Brilliant, but embarrassing …”

  1. I have to confess even as a resident of the island I find it confusing and often get lost. I recently cycled to Havant and back I’ve no idea which side of the road I’m supposed to be on the signs appear then disappear, it’s not clear if you should be on the pavement or road in many places.

    Id love to cycle more especially to the school and Farm Shop but I worry that I’m not on the right bit, who has right of way and so on.

    We definitely need much better signage and information to make me feel confident enough to make cycling my first choice of transport for small local journeys.

    1. You’re not alone. Many people tell us they don’t feel confident to cycle. Signing is a problem, much of it dictated by obsolete national regulations.

      But when cycle paths are done properly, as in Holland, it’s obvious where to go, and they have a really good national system of signs and routes to make it easy.

      The government needs to bring cycling law into the 21st century, on better signs, on giving cyclists the benefit of the doubt in accidents, and minimum passing space from cars, as in France. And it needs to put its money where its mouth is, and create a country where everyone can cycle safely.

      But there’s plenty we can do locally. We need our councils and our landowners to step up to the plate and deliver safe, smooth, all-weather traffic-free cycle paths that anyone can use – kids, mums & dads, grand-parents, not just the brave.

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