Repairs on the Billy Trail

We understand that work on repairing the section of the trail that eroded away last year is due to start in early November.

This will seek to restore the trail to the state it was in before the storms. It’s not a permanent fix, however. We can expect erosion to continue until a longer-term solution can be implemented.

The work will involve some lorries on the trail and, therefore, some closures. We’ll let you know if we hear more.


Another Billy Trail closure – more improvement

See below for an update from the Havant Transport and Implementation Team.  We don’t yet have dates for the closure but will post them here when we do.

It’s good to see more improvement.  It’s early days, but the new section seems much better than the southern section, so we’re hoping it will set the standard for future improvements.

The update provides interesting insights into the planning that’s going in to the development.  I hadn’t considered that the work might also help protect other sections of the trail.

Having completed the 250m long rebuild of the north end of the Trail, the granular material for which is presently behaving as expected, we have been able to commission a further length of rebuilding. This will be from the west end of the section recently rebuilt, southwards down the trail along the railway route, towards the Oysterbeds north access, along a length that whilst firm underfoot is poorly drained and has a poor surface which traps water in wet weather. Funding is from the Hayling Billy 50 (‘HB50’) project.

The construction will be different from that used on the initial 250m section, since the railway solum is wider. We plan to excavate a 2m wide shallow trench (100mm or so deep) down the west side of the Trail and use this shallow trench for the construction of the new path. In this way we hope to avoid the use of edging timbers and so as a result be able to rebuild a longer section of path using the money ‘saved’. The untouched east side of the path will remain suitable for equestrians and it is planned to erect small notices suggesting pedestrians and cyclists use the west side and equestrians the east side. This all hinges on how well we can excavate the shallow trench for the new material, and also achieving correct drainage which may require some work to the east side. We’re taking levels today just to confirm matters, but I thought you would appreciate a ‘heads up’ regarding this extra work which will require, as before, a 3 week closure of the Trail. In this way we should be clear by the school holiday.

Excess material coming off the Trail from the excavation of the west side, will be used to supplement shoreline defences alongside the Trail in this location. You may have seen we have already been doing this at the north end of the Trail, using surplus materials from the ‘main job’.

Billy Trail re-opens following upgrade

The section at the north of the island is now open again, although all users are being asked to treat the new surface with respect while it is bedding in.

There’s also some more work to do that will not require the path to be closed, so please watch out for people working.

Peter Drury’s blog has some photos of the new section and some taken while it was under construction.

We are all hoping that this will prove to be an excellent development that will show the way for future Billy Trail improvements.  We’ll be keeping an eye on it as time goes on.

Thanks – once again – are due to Peter Drury who has done so much to bring this about through his Hayling Billy 50 work.  I’m sure he’d be the first to point out that it’s been a team effort involving Havant, Hampshire, National Lottery and a bunch of others.

Work about to start at the North end of the Hayling Billy Trail?

The latest progress report on the bridge works (Works Progress 7: 16th April 2014 on this page) says…

We’ll then move off the road and work on the ‘Hayling Billly 50’ Trail rebuilding, completing everything by mid June.

That’s a reference to Lottery-funded project initiated by Peter Drury as part of the Hayling Billy 50 years commemoration.

It looks like something is definitely going to happen.  We understand that the project will:

  • Use the same surface as recently laid at the south end of the Billy Trail
  • Resurface a limited section of the trail (and not, as hoped, as far as the Esso Garage)

We are concerned over the quality of recent cycle path development by both Havant and Hampshire so – at Peter’s request – I have documented our concerns with an offer to help.  Peter has passed them to the project board.

Hayling Billy Trail Lottery Cash Award

As reported in today’s Portsmouth News (see the Peter Drury HB50 project to mark the 50 years since the last Hayling Billy steam train, has now been successful in gaining Lottery funds of nearly £90k. Well Done Peter and we look forward to seeing the improvements on the island part of the Billy Trail.

More cycle path improvements coming soon

The updated Hayling Cycle map published by Havant at reveals a number of developments planned to complete by Spring 2014:

  • Completion of the links between the Langstone section of the Billy Trail and the Hayling section making it possible to use off-road cycle paths to travel between West Town and Havant – with just a few road crossings.
  • Signposting of a cycle route to the west of Beachlands taking people onto Ferry Road to the East of the Golf Club.

We understand that there might be other developments taking place at the same time and that some work could be completed well before next Spring.

You can find the full list of Havant’s published cycle maps here.