Hayling Herald article for April 2022

Here’s what we submitted for our Hayling Herald April 2022 column, with online links and more pictures …

What’s YOUR vision for Cycling and Walking on Hayling?

Cycle Hayling is trying an experiment this month. Our County Councillor, Lance Quantrill, had some ideas for the Billy Trail and reducing traffic, and asked to base them on our well-known Cycle Hayling cycle map, to trigger discussion. We’re always up for ideas, so of course we said yes.

Councillor Lance Quantrill's cycling and walking ideas mapAnd trigger discussion he certainly did – and we disagreed with some of it. But he’s now moved onto version 2, which you can see here. It doesn’t cover everything we’re asking for, and it’s not really for Cycle Hayling to comment on boating and woodland walks, although of course, we support the idea of getting people outside.

But I think we’d all love a bridge that’s safe enough for young children to cycle over, an improved Billy Trail that cyclists and pedestrians can share in harmony, and encouraging visitors to park up and cut the island’s traffic.

Cycle Hayling has handed out thousands of our cycle maps over the years, but we’re running out. So now’s the perfect time to update it with some of these ideas, plus our own vision for cycling, which you can see at cyclehayling.org/vision. And we’d like to include the ‘Round Langstone Harbour Ride’ for the first time. So please tell us what cycling YOU think should be on it.

And now over to Councillor Lance Quantrill :

Councillor Lance Quantrill’s CYCLING AND WALKING 10-YEAR VISION

Councillor Lance Quantrill's cycling and walking ideas map

Although using all modes of transport I am primarily a cyclist. Thus, last Autumn, when asked to submit ideas to Hampshire County Council to promote Cycling and Walking I used my remit as County Councillor to look much wider than just when we are on 2-wheels.

After talking with Cycle Hayling, and other groups, I submitted several ideas to provide a wide range of facilities for both sports and social cyclists as well as those using vehicles to “Park and Ride.”

Look at the map for my Top-12 proposals.

You see The Billy Trail offering up huge potential to draw cyclists away from the Havant Road; relieving traffic delays and reducing the dangers when 2-wheels and 4-wheels fight for the same strip of tarmac. New seasonal car parks will save Visitors driving all the way south to Beachlands when many will happily enjoy a shoreline stroll or cycle along Langstone Harbour.

A second bridge, dedicated for cyclists and walkers, will make existing car parks in Brockhampton and Farlington become “Park and Ride” too – which again means less cars on Hayling Island’s roads.

Creating a dedicated cycleway to connect the bridge with West Lane, by bringing into use the disused, overgrown right of way between West Lane Corner and The Billy Trail, will allow faster sports cyclists not only to avoid motor vehicles but also to avoid conflict with slower, social cyclists and walkers too. These faster cyclists will then continue down West Lane whilst slower, social cyclists can travel south down the country path in harmony with walkers.

My wider vision allows me to propose changes to promote activities on the water as well as on the land. Increased facilities to access Langstone Harbour can be created for quiet watersports, such as swimming and inflatables in a lagoon having constant water along with infilling a small part of the harbour to create a shoreline picnic area and a “soft bottom” launch and recovery ramp, offering increased tide times, for canoes, stand-up paddleboards and windsurfers.

Harbour dues will generate much needed income for the Langstone Harbour Board. Payment for the infill area will fund resurfacing of the unregistered road from Havant Road to the harbour along with toilets, showers, changing rooms and secure boat storage. Protecting the shoreline comes as a by-product too.

Non-cycling Visitors could also be encouraged to stop at the top of the Island to take a land train running down a resurfaced Billy Trail to link with the Inn on The Beach, Funland and the Beachlands Railway. Similarly, an open-top holiday bus service along the main road could also join up with the Ferry. Technology exists today to offer combined tickets for the railway, ferry and the bus into Southsea.

By now you may be thinking these ideas are hopeless dreams – or, totally unacceptable. Before you make up your mind then, if you are interested in hearing more, please contact me for a fuller explanation along with funding proposals. I can guarantee that not all these ideas will be implemented, and some will be discontinued because of objections – but, maybe just one or two dreams will come true.

Tip of the month

Now’s the time to get bikes out and serviced. Summer’s on the way! See our maintenance tips here

More. Lots more, including our previous Herald articles, at cyclehayling.org.