Hampshire County Council has just published it’s 10 year plan for cycling, the LCWIP – Local 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. 🙁