Council plans for the next 10 years of cycling

Hampshire County Council has just published it’s 10 year plan for cycling, the LCWIPLocal Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, covering Hayling Island and the whole Borough of Havant.

And Cycle Hayling’s verdict?

  • It’s not good enough, or ambitious enough for Hayling.
  • Hayling is still cut off from Havant.
  • They’ve completely ignored our 10-point response to last year’s consultation, which you can see here, which still stands, apart from references to CommonPlace.
  • And they’ve completely ignored Havant Borough Council’s own ‘Aspirational cycle map’.

They say the focus is on ‘urban areas’, where car trips are often shorter and easier to convert to cycling, and ‘where more people live, work and visit’.

We say nearly a fifth of Havant’s population live and work on Hayling, and many more visit! And most of our jobs and shops are on the mainland, only 3 miles away for most of us, which should be easy cycling, especially for an e-bike. And yet there’s STILL no plan for a practical cycle route off the island that might tempt average car drivers to switch.

On the 2021 consultation, using CommonPlace, Hayling had more ‘comments’ than the rest of the Borough put together. And yet they’ve virtually ignored them all.

They say future versions will ‘balance up more rural areas, with closer links to our Public Rights of Way network’. But the plan is only revised every five years, so in practice, we’re looking at ten years before anything might start to happen. We don’t have that long. Hayling Island will be first under water as sea levels rise, especially under the new Coastal ‘No-Management’ Strategy.

We welcome many of the plan’s very well thought out detailed comments to improve cycling, but most are very unlikely to get funding in the foreseeable future. And the walking plans don’t even mention Hayling.

But one item is potentially self-funding! It includes 54 separate recommendations for 20mph speed limits in residential streets, to improve walking and cycling. Wales is doing exactly that, and expects to save £100m from fewer deaths and injuries in year one alone. And yet shockingly, Hampshire currently BANS future 20mph zones, and still appears to be resisting it during the current policy review.

The brutal truth

Hampshire talks the talk about fixing the climate crisis, but it does NOT walk the walk, or more to the point, cycle the cycle. Frankly, for Hayling, they’re just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. 🙁



3 Replies to “Council plans for the next 10 years of cycling”

  1. It is vital that proper infrastructure for cycling, walking etc is provided for Havant and Hayling Island. Both areas have pockets of deprivation and Hayling also has a higher proportion of people with multiple health issues. To enable the population to improve health through cycling/walking etc provision needs to be easy and joined up (including to the Hayling ferry) encouraging everyone to be outside and active. This needs to cater for commuting for work as well as for leisure and health. Any surfaces need to be all ‘all weather’ and not disintegrate in poor weather. For example in the winter the Billy trail is often impassable on anything other than a mountain bike or with expensive hiking footwear. Thus, just at the time when the greatest motivation is needed there is the biggest disincentive. Any healthy habits that may have started fall by the wayside and are difficult to re-start. Any paths need to link up with the other areas eg Hayling to Havant and Southsea, Havant to towns east and west as well as to the train stations. This enables transport other than with a car (which the most needy people can often ill afford) to be a proper, viable alternative. A comprehensive vision would not only help with the health of people in the area due to increased exercise and access to the outdoors but would also reduce the pressure on our already over crowded roads. I hope that our elected members have the vision and determination to provide a proper network rather than a piecemeal hodgepodge that does not meet the needs of anyone.

  2. One of the biggest barriers to developing a good, all weather, cycling network on Hayling Island (and in the rest of Havant Borough) lies within Hampshire County Council. The only reason that the new East-West cycle path is not all-weather is because HCC Countryside Access service who are responsible for all footpaths, bridleways and other types of Rights of Way, refuse to even contemplate installing any type of all-weather surfaces. This means, that unless this HCC policy is changed, none of the many possible cycle routes, created by upgrading already existing Rights of Way will ever be made good useable cycle paths. Perversely, often the only tarmac surfaces for use by cyclists are on-road cycle lanes (none on Hayling!) or shared pavements and these are mostly narrow and very intimidating to cycle with motorised traffic only inches away.
    Over to you HCC, because if you don’t change this ridiculous ‘No all-weather surface on Rights of Way’, then your much vaunted LCWIP will be nothing but Greenwash!

Comments are closed.