Haylink: a North-South Hayling Cycle Link

Cyclists wanting to travel from the north of Hayling Island to the south have no easy route. All of the schools and shops and other amenities of south Hayling can only be reached by using the main A3023 Havant Road between Yew Tree Road and Kings Road. This section of the A3023 is very busy, especially during peak hours, and therefore intimidating to all but the most experienced and confident cyclists. As a consequence very few bike riders attempt this journey. The result is that many of the cyclist community in the Northney area are virtually cut off from South Hayling. Additionally any cyclists using this part of this main thoroughfare cause traffic tailbacks, as a result:

  • Motorists crawl at the cyclist’s speed until they can pass safely
  • Motorists attempt to pass unsafely, risking a collision with the cyclist or on-coming traffic
  • Cyclists resort to using pavements illegally, risking collisions with pedestrians

Hayling needs Haylink, a North-South Cycle Link separating cyclists from motorists and acting as a vital stepping stone for developing cycling routes around the rest of the Island.

The links below explore the benefits and issues of a North-South off-road cycle link.

If you would like to know more, please contact Robert Sebley at robert@cyclehayling.org or Wilf Forrow at Wilf@cyclehayling.org.


Segregating vulnerable road users from the rest means they are kept out of harm’s way. Motorists won’t be so frustrated by slow-moving traffic and will be less tempted to try dangerous overtaking manoeuvres. More residents and island visitors will use bicycles and traffic congestion, road noise and exhaust fumes pollution would all be reduced.

The consequences of a collision between a cyclist and a vehicle can be extremely serious for the cyclist and traumatic for the motorist.

Many cyclists are worried about cycling on the road, especially one with heavy traffic volumes such as the A2023, and so they resort – illegally – to cycling on the pavement.

Some pedestrians are intimidated by pavement-cycling and some of their comments echo cyclists feelings about motorists. It is therefore important to do what we can to reduce pressures to cycle on pavements. A North-South off-road cycle link would help a great deal.

A better North-South cycle link would encourage more people to cycle to work. That will mean less cars on the road at busy times.

That’s particularly welcome as new house building on the island increases pressure on the already busy North-South roads.

Current Council policy is to restrict parking at work to encourage alternate means of travel, including cycling. As a result, there is a lot of parking in side streets around offices such as Langstone Technology Park and Penner Road.

A North-South cycle route would encourage more people to cycle to work resulting in less side street parking.


Cycle Hayling have been investigating alternative off road routes to bypass this section of the main road as described below. The three possible schemes which could provide an off-road cycle link between Yew Tree Road and Kings Road, avoiding the A3023 main road are:

  • Convert an existing footpath to dual use. This footpath runs to the west of the A3023 from just south of the Maypole Pub down to the A3023 near the junction withChurch Road. There would be a need to then link up this cycle route to the junction of Daw Lane/Yew Tree Road. This could be along a dual use pavement or by creating a cycleway around the back of the Maypole Pub and up to Daw Lane. A crossing would be required at the south end of this route for cyclists to cross the A3023 and link up with Kings Road (perhaps a Toucan crossing?)
  • Widen and convert to dual use the pavements which run up the east side of the A3023 betweenYew Tree Road and Kings Road.
  • A private Registered Riders path has been created for horse riders which goes from the field entrance just north of the Mill Rythe Campus and ends at the Fleet Farm Camping and Caravan site off Yew Tree Road. There is a possibility that the Registered Riders and landowners could be persuaded to have a durable surface installed to allow dual use.

The conversion of footpaths to dual use is generally a much lower cost than road schemes. The reported cost, at £855K, of the recent (Autumn 2012) resurfacing the main road (A2023), when compared to around £100K for an equivalent length of cycle track illustrates the relative costs.

Most cycling infrastructure is funded from developer contributions.

It’s commonly said that cyclists don’t use the existing cycle lanes, so why should we build them?

In fact, cyclists do use the cycle lanes but those that don’t are highly visible because of the effect they have on traffic.

It’s unrealistic to expect all cyclists to use the cycle lanes – especially when there is no legal requirement – but a well-designed and constructed route will be popular with most types of cyclist. We accept that groups like ours should encourage all cyclists to use the available facilities.

Both Havant and Hampshire councils have objectives to reduce road traffic by encouraging sustainable forms of travel – including cycling. Public health concerns (obesity) and carbon reduction targets are all part of the pressure on governments and local authorities to get the general public to adopt ‘Active Travel’ options.

Compared to other road developments, cycle lanes are relatively inexpensive. Groups like Cycle Hayling can make a real difference when it comes to negotiating with landowners – removing a significant obstacle from the process.

Inevitably, councils face many demands on available time and money. Sustained encouragement from groups like Cycle Hayling is needed to ensure cycling infrastructure developments get done but there are plenty of examples of recent successes:

  • Extensions of the cycle route North of the Hayling bridge
  • The Broadmarsh cycle route linking Langstone and Eastern Road
  • New school-oriented routes in Emsworth
  • Park Lane Cycle track between Waterlooville and Leigh Park.

If you want to support our efforts, please subscribe to the supporters’ newsletter.

Progress to date

Our 2020 vision

Posted on: June 20, 2020 by: Wilf

What’s our vision for cycling on Hayling?

Below is what we wrote back in 2020, but time has moved on. We’re working on a new vision for 2022, and to focus on actual infrastructure we need.

So please tell us now what YOU think should be our new vision for cycling on Hayling!

Our vision for a cycle-friendly Hayling

Let’s not beat about the bush. We can’t say that Hayling is a cycle-friendly island until we’ve hit all these targets:

  • Safe and pleasant to cycle anywhere on the island and into Havant
  • Safe for parents to cycle with children of 3 and up
  • Safe cycling for unescorted children of 12 and up
  • All-weather, smooth cycling to anywhere
  • Traffic-free cycle or shared paths everywhere there is fast-moving traffic
  • Quick and safe crossing at junctions
  • Direct routes suitable for commuting, not huge diversions
  • Routes to all schools, shops, health centres, leisure and community areas
  • Safe places for children and adults to learn and practice
  • Good signs and maps to show people where to go
  • Plenty of secure bike parking where people want to stop
  • Most school-children walk or cycle to school most of the time

And those things probably mean:

  • 30 mph maximum speed limit everywhere on the island
  • 20 mph speed limits in all residential roads
  • Automated enforcement of speed limits
  • Traffic calming, to discourage speeding
  • Home Zones to claim the streets back for people, not cars

Are these achievable?

Yes, they’re being achieved all over Britain, and all over the world.

  • In Holland, trips up to 5 miles are just as likely to be by bike as by car, and about half of Dutch school-children ride to school every day. The Dutch average lifespan is believed to be half a year longer because of it, and their health-span, when they’re healthy enough to enjoy life, is 2 years longer.
  • Many British cities are following Holland – London and Manchester leading the charge. Some London boroughs are now becoming mini-Hollands for cycling.
  • 94% of Portsmouth roads have had 20 mph residential speed limits since 2008, and saw 22% fall in accidents.

What do we need?

  • Permission from landowners and councils
  • Community backing
  • Plans
  • Money, possibly lots, but not all at once
  • Patience 🙁

If you agree with all that, sign up at cyclehayling.org/signup.
Even better, join our campaign committee.

Now is the time! If not now, when?

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Cycle Hayling update – October 2019

Posted on: October 29, 2019 by: Andy Henderson

In this update:

  • Open meeting: the future of cycling on Hayling
  • Saltmarsh Lane cycle path
  • New cycle-commuting article
  • Hayling Herald article for November
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The politics of cycle infrastructure

Posted on: August 9, 2019 by: Wilf

Why is building cycle paths so hard? Why does it take so long? Is it the councils? Money? Lack of will? Too much regulation?

After 9 years of Cycle Hayling, we’re finally building our own cycle path at Denhill Close (with council money), and we’re finding out the problems for ourselves.

So who is responsible for building cycle paths? Everyone, and no-one. And that’s the problem.

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Cycle Hayling update – March 2019

Posted on: March 9, 2019 by: Wilf

Since 2016, we’ve been publishing a monthly Cycle Hayling column in the Hayling Islander to keep everyone up to date with what’s going on (which we now publish on our website for anyone who doesn’t get the Islander).

However, as that’s aimed at the general public, we can’t always speak as freely as we’d like, and so we haven’t kept our supporters or our web site updated as much as we should have.

So here’s a summary of what’s been going on, to save you reading the whole website (which you’ll see we’re gradually updating). A lot has happened, so you can click any heading below to see it in bite-sized chunks ….

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Havant’s new Cycling and Walking Plan!

Posted on: January 23, 2019 by: Wilf

Havant Borough Council has announced that it will be starting work on a formal Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan shortly.

[UPDATE JUNE 2021: We’re still waiting!!!]

This is REALLY important because :

  • A formal plan unlocks much more future government funding
  • Implementing it becomes a formal policy of the whole council, not just the cycling team
  • It forces developers to show how their housing plans fit into OUR bigger plan
  • It forces all of us to plan for the best long term solution, rather than just for quick wins
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Cycle Hayling update July 2018

Posted on: July 26, 2018 by: AdminWilf

Thank you for supporting Cycle Hayling in our efforts to make Hayling more cycle-friendly. When you read on, you’ll realise we will need your support more than ever.

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New signage for the Mill Rythe path

Posted on: May 22, 2016 by: Andy Henderson

We’ve now installed permanent signage at the north and south ends of the new section of shared cycle path going north from the Mill Rythe roundabout.

Our thanks are due to Wilf Forrow who contributed his time, effort and money to install the new signs (I stood around and offered the all-important encouraging words).

You’ll also see that, compared to how the path was last year, it is much improved through the efforts of our supporters, the Registered Riders Scheme and Andrea and Simon Walter (the land owners). The track along the middle of the path is encouraging evidence that the path is being used.

North end of the path

South end of the path

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Proposal to reduce the speed limit on the Northney route

Posted on: February 21, 2016 by: Sue Underwood

Consultation is now open on the council proposal to reduce the speed limit from 40 mph to 30 mph on the section of road between the Stoke end of Copse Lane and Northney village. Details of the proposal, ref. number AS/TRO/298, can be found at www.havant.gov.uk/tro

This is a route used by many cyclists to get on and off the island, so Cycle Hayling supporters may like to submit their views to the consultation, which is open until Friday 11th March 2016. Formal comments can be made via one of the following methods:

  • Using the online response form at the above web address
  • By email to tro@havant.gov.uk
  • In writing to the acting solicitor to the council :
    Sara Bryan
    Acting Solicitor to the Council
    Public Service Plaza
    Civic Centre Road
    Havant PO9 2AX
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New section of path is cycle-able

Posted on: July 10, 2015 by: Andy Henderson

After a fantastic effort from supporters yesterday, the new section of path on the east side of the main road going north from the Mill Rythe roundabout can now be cycled. I know because this is me riding it!

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Cycle survey results

Posted on: July 3, 2015 by: Sue Underwood

Summary of cycle surveys carried out in Spring 2015

Sunday 17th May Monday 1st June
Total number of cyclists northbound on bridge 304 81
Total number of cyclists southbound on bridge 367 97
Total number of cyclists E to W
(not crossing bridge)
41 9
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