Hayling Herald article April 2020

Sorry for the delay – it was overtaken by the Coronavirus lockdown.
This is the article we submitted for the April 2020 edition of the Hayling Herald, including the part article
delayed from March We have formatted this version for the website with extra photos and links.

In this edition:

  • Get fit to beat the corona virus!
  • Saving the Billy Trail
  • We are being let down over cycle paths

Get fit to beat the corona virus!

The corona virus has disrupted everything, including shutting down Portsmouth CTC’s riding program, and particularly the Cathedral Challenge that I mentioned last month.

But cycling individually or in small groups of two to four is still fine, so long as you maintain your distance. Unfortunately, that eliminates our traditional coffee and cake stops.

Evidence suggests that the fitter you are, the better your immune system will fight off the virus, so cycling for fitness still makes sense.

You don’t even need to leave the house these days! Good indoor exercise bikes run from less than a hundred pounds (this is mine), if you can get one.

And if you don’t mind spending more (quite a lot more), the virtual reality bike trainers let you pretend you’re cycling anywhere in the world and against the world’s best cyclists.

Saving the Billy Trail

The Billy Trail may be our last possible hope for a good traffic-free cycle path off the island.

Social distancing on the Billy Trail!

But recent storms have come closer to destroying it than ever, and no-one will spend money on the surface while its at risk.

ESCP is the council owned body charged with coming up with a coastline strategy for the next 100 years.

The current focus has been on the drastic erosion at the West Beach, but we also need to protect the Billy Trail.

We are being let down over cycle paths

With HS2 going ahead, there were a few crumbs for cycle travel. But precious few – 250 miles of cycle path is nothing. We could use 10% of that on Hayling alone. Manchester is planning to build 1800 miles.

There’s painfully slow progress on improving Hayling’s cycling, I’m sorry to say. And as stakeholders in Havant’s developing LCWIP (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan), we have been disappointed that we’re not even allowed to see it, let alone contribute.

Hampshire County Council seems to be the cause of much of the problem, despite saying it wants to encourage cycling. So cycle campaign groups all across Hampshire are uniting to form Cycle Hampshire, to step up the pressure.

Keep cycling, stay fit!

Lots more help and advice at cyclehayling.org. If you have any comments or ideas, please tell us on our contact page!