Havant Borough Council has installed a new shared cycle path along the promenade. The new path is intended to improve access to the beaches and is shared with pedestrians, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. This will help Hayling satisfy the conditions needed to retain its two Blue Flag beaches.
The new path starts at Eastoke corner, where it meets the existing shared cycle path to Sandy Point.
The path runs along the promenade to the end of the car park. Unfortunately, though, there is a ‘missing link’ between the end of this section and the next. People using the path either have to cross pebbles, or come off the path and go through the car park. Not a big problem for bikes (we can push over the missing section), but it’s more of an issue for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. We are trying to find out what’s planned for this section.
The path then continues to the Coastguard station.
There is then an additional section, unconnected to the rest that runs alongside the COPP memorial.
This part of the path has caused some controversy with some people seeing it as detracting from the monument and others approving improved accessibility to it.
We understand more work is to be done at the start and end of this section because, as it stands, it is not easy to get onto or off it.
The new surface is suitable for most bikes, but we don’t expect to see many bikes with skinny tyres using it. We consider the new path to be an improvement for leisure cyclists and we welcome it. It seems clear, however, that some consultation – Cycle Hayling was not involved in this project – might have avoided some issues raised by the new path.