This is Cycle Hayling’s June 2020 newsletter email to supporters. We don’t usually put this on the website, but this one is special.
- Cycle Hayling is 10 years old!
- Revive-A-Bike’s revived 15 dead bikes!
- Brilliant, but embarrassing
- Our 2020 vision for a cycle-friendly Hayling
Cycle Hayling is 10 years old!
Cycle Hayling is 10 years old! No cake, but we’ll treat ourselves to a 10 year celebration wheelie!
I wish we could say ‘Our work here is done’, but we’re only just starting. And we need your support more than ever. If you’re not getting our monthly emails, you’re not on our supporter list – please sign up now. And ask your friends to join up too!
Councillors need to know they have the public behind them when they invest public money. We’re currently at 349 supporters – get us to 400!
Revive-A-Bike’s revived 15 dead bikes!
Brilliant, but embarrassing
Brilliant to see so many bikes out on Hayling! I don’t know about you, but I’m staggered by the number of riders I’m seeing (and I’m in lockdown, so hardly ever out!).
I met Gary and family the other day, who cycled all the way round from Portsmouth, with two young kids. Impressive! And they had some great riding on the way. The Eastern Rd has a really good cycle path most of the way down the side of Langstone Harbour, and some beautiful cycling along Farlington Marshes. Even down through Langstone and over the bridge has got a lot better.
And then they got to Hayling, and got lost. And I was embarrassed.
Our 2020 vision for a cycle-friendly Hayling Island
So Cycle Hayling is 10 years old – and what a year to start our next 10 years.
If the Covid-19 lockdown has taught us one-thing, it’s that plenty of people on Hayling want to cycle, and stay healthy doing it. And when the roads were empty of cars, and everyone could cycle safely, we filled them up with bikes. It was a dream!
Now the roads are filling up with cars again, that dream has turned back to the old nightmare. The main A3023 is back to a cycling war zone. We have some of the most congested school entrances in Hampshire. People tell us cycling is too scary again.
The shocking truth is that in 2020, Hayling Islanders do not have safe, smooth, traffic-free, all-weather cycle paths to go anywhere useful :
- Not directly to the bridge and off the island.
- Not to shops.
- Not to schools.
Our very few useful cycle paths are rough, muddy in the rain, and often too narrow to pass anyone at all, let alone with social distancing and safety. And most people don’t know they’re there. Even our treasured Billy Trail is deteriorating.
But get over the bridge, and the Billy Trail from Langstone into Havant is up with the best cycle paths in Hampshire. We think Hayling deserves paths like that.
We’re not blaming anyone – it’s hard. But now we have the perfect opportunity to put it right. Covid-19 has changed the world. Cities and towns all over the UK and the world are rushing to make safer space for cycling. Even Portsmouth. People have seen what traffic-free cycling is like, and they’re not going back. Protected cycle lanes are being created. Traffic rat-runs are being blocked off. School entrances made traffic-free. Streets are being claimed back for people, not for cars.
Air pollution kills more than Covid-19, every single year. And air pollution has plummeted without all that traffic. Cycling and e-bikes are the only way to keep it down.
The government has announced a £2 billion investment in cycling and walking. Cycle Hayling wants some of that to come to Hayling, to build the cycle infrastructure we deserve. And we have to find the space to build it in. If we’ve got room for 1200 plus houses, surely we’ve got room for a mile or two of 3 metre wide cycle paths? And with all those extra houses, we’re going to need them.
Help us now to build our 2020 vision of what cycling should be like on Hayling. Tell us what is needed, and where. Help us set priorities. Our councillors and MP will need to fight tooth and nail for the funding – help us help them.