Hayling Herald article for October 2022

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

This month

  • Thank you!
  • The key to more cycling
  • 20mph limits where we live
  • On your bike!

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who helped Hayling’s Bikes for Ukraine, either by donating over fifty bikes or reviving them. Ladies and kids bikes are especially welcome, as are spare tyres and inner tubes, pumps, tools and bike locks. Our local bike shop, Hayling Cycles (no relation to Cycle Hayling) and Portsmouth’s Community Cycle Centre have been brilliant.

And on Ukraine National Day, it was very moving to see them being put to good use on the Bike Ride for Ukraine along the sea front.

The key to more cycling

Several people have asked why we changed the key on our new Cycle & Walking Map of Hayling. When we ask people why they don’t cycle, the two biggest deterrents are TRAFFIC (safety) and ROUGH SURFACES (slow, skid-prone, dirty when wet). Especially less confident cyclists and families with young children, who are the ones we should be encouraging most. And rough surfaces stop wheelchairs and child buggies too.

So we made a big effort to show them more clearly. We gave top priority to CAR—FREE, SMOOTH surfaces, which everybody loves. Sadly, we have very few on Hayling – our Councils MUST do better.

We show rough surfaces with diamonds – diamonds are stones, after all. And we show traffic with circles for cars, with gaps between for bikes! We also show how cycle-friendly each road is – RED for for busy cycle-angry roads to avoid, PINK for ’take-care’, and WHITE for quiet streets (usually).

I hope they’ll help you plan your best cycle route – it might not be the one you would drive. But most of all, I hope they’ll challenge our councils to make SMOOTH, CAR-FREE or QUIET routes everywhere. See cyclehayling.org.uk/map.

20mph limits where we live

Cars are wonderful, and another key to modern society. But, like chainsaws, they’re double-edged (see what I did there). Vehicles kill over 1500 people a year in the UK alone, and maim tens of thousands more, too many of them pedestrians or cyclists. So they deter people from walking and cycling, adding to traffic and poor health.

Britain, and the whole world, is moving towards a safer speed limit of 20mph, not on main transit roads, just on the side streets where we live, work, shop and play. The UK has signed up to that, in the UN’s Stockholm Declaration on Road Safety. And twenty-six million Brits live in councils which have declared that policy. Including Portsmouth and Southampton. Responsible drivers don’t get much above 20mph on these roads anyway. And modern technology makes it easier to enforce.

And yet, unaccountably, Hampshire County Council currently bans all new 20mph zones, even where residents demand them. They’re reviewing it, but the signs are not good. They’ve just finished a public consultation, but gave no background information, so many people misunderstood it to mean 20mph on Hayling’s main road, which is manifestly not true.

A default of 20mph in villages and side streets where we live, work, shop and play would make Hayling’s neighbourhoods safer, healthier and friendlier, and encourage more cycling, walking and talking. Let’s hope Hampshire sees the light and agrees.

On your bike!

The first week of October is Cycle to School Week, but everyone can join in, even if you don’t go to school! Anyone can choose one of four pledges:

  • Cycle to school everyday
  • Swap one car journey for cycling
  • Cycle with your family
  • Discover somewhere new on a cycle ride

Join in, at bikeability.org.uk/cycletoschoolweek

And Cycle Hayling’s new Starter Rides are the third Wednesday of every month, 10-12, from the Community Centre.

More on Facebook at facebook.com/CycleHaylingPage and our website at cyclehayling.org