Hayling Herald article August 2020

Here’s our article in the August 2020 edition of the Hayling Herald, for those that didn’t get to see it.

 

Cast your vote now for a chance to improve Island’s cycle routes

By Wilf Forrow

Hants Covid Travel Map is a campaign to help people stay safe and help communities thrive during Covid-19.

Hampshire County Council is able to access £3.6m of government money to put in place temporary measures which could make a positive difference to our communities.

Every Hampshire resident gets to vote on where to improve cycling during lockdown. The trouble is that lots of places like Winchester are mas- sively out-voting Hayling at the moment, so that’s where the money will go.

Our councillors and MP will need to fight tooth and nail to bring the funding to Hayling – help us to help them.

Please cast your votes for Hayling today – Cycle Hayling’s website makes it easy, at cyclehayling.org.uk/vision.

 

Most people tell us our main roads are too busy and dangerous to cycle, so we’re re-starting the search for ‘Haylink’, our traffic-free cycle route to link south Hayling at the Mill Rythe roundabout to north Hayling and the bridge. Let’s not wait for another accident. Now is the time!

The cycling habit

We’ve seen two or three times the number of bikes out since lockdown started. That is fantastic to see, and great for physical and mental health.

Once you get your bike sorted, it can often be the quickest way to travel for journeys of up to three miles. No parking space to find, no stopping for petrol. Compared to walking, you can cycle about four times faster, four times further, and carry four times the load. And a car or bus will cost you far more than four times as much. Not to mention gym fees.

Cycling is safer than gardening or DIY, and 20 times more likely to help than harm you. And it’s great exercise for the lungs, the heart, the circulation, the legs and core strength, which will help protect you against Covid-19, and many other diseases.

The biggest killer in this country is inactivity, around 80,000 deaths a year – far more than Covid-19. So develop that cycling habit while it’s summer, and it will keep you fit all year.

 

The ABCD checklist

Keeping you in shape is most important. But keeping your bike in good shape is good too. The Bikeability ABCD checklist is pretty easy:

  • Air in tyres
  • Brakes working, bars straight and tight
  • Chain oiled, gears working
  • Dangerous and dangly bits sorted

There are lots of maintenance hints on Cycle Hayling website or on You- Tube. Or pop it in to the bike shop – you’ll still save a fortune in fuel, etc. And getting fit could save your life.

Let’s be polite

With all the extra people out on bikes and walking, shared paths like the Billy Trail can be quite busy at times.

Our Cycle Hayling website (cyclehayling.org.uk) has some great advice on this from Sustrans, the Sustainable Transport organisation – responsible for the National Cycle Network, which includes the Billy trail.

  • Say please and thank you!
  • Slow down and give way to pedestrians and horses.
  • Ring your bell, or say ‘Hi’ or ‘bike on your left / right’, to warn people you’re about to pass.

Please leave gaps to cross

Smart motorists slow down to leave a gap for cyclists (and pedestrians) to cross roads. Because smart motorists know that if we’re crossing a road, we’re not riding on it and blocking it. And they also know there’s no point rushing to the next queue.

We always smile and wave a thank you – and we usually get one back. Now THAT’S what makes our Island special! If you’re driving, please leave us gaps to cross.

Please sign up

at CycleHayling.org.uk/signup. Even better, join our campaign committee.

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