Safe cycle routes to schools

All of the 5 Hayling Island schools lie on the main road (Havant Road, Church Road & Elm Grove) which serves the Mengham shopping area, and the entire large residential area at the south of the island.  This road is very busy during the rush hour with queueing at peak times.

The proportion of pupils and staff who cycle to school is very low. Figures provided by the Hampshire County Council Travel Team show that 79% of pupils are driven to the two Mill Rythe schools. The national average is 34%. Most schools’ walking rates hover around 50%. Currently at the Infant school, only 4.5% of pupils walk and barely 18% walk to the Junior school.  A questionnaire conducted at Hayling College showed that 10% cycled against 50% using a car. Those that do cycle are often seen using the pavements around Hayling College.

Since the Travel Team survey, the Cinder Track has been upgraded by Hampshire County Council.  Mill Rythe Junior School has conducted a new survey of travel behaviour which found that car use has fallen to 68%, 16% walk, 12% cycle or use a scooter, and 4% use the bus.  That suggests a significant improvement that we expect to continue over time.

More safe cycling routes to the schools would allow more students to cycle to school and college, and help keep them off the pavements. They would also encourage school and college staff to cycle to work.

The links below explore the benefits and issues of school cycle routes and describe the main routes we are working on.

If you would like to know more, please contact Dave Mowatt at


Cycling gives children exercise in the open air, increasing fitness and encouraging an active lifestyle.  It also gives them independence from the “Mum and Dad taxi company”.  Training schemes – notably Bikeability - help children learn how to cycle safely, manage risk and to take responsibility for their actions.

They say “You never forget how to ride a bike”.  It’s true, many adults getting back into cycling first started as children.  Equally, people that never learned to ride a bike as children can see learning in later years as difficult.

We’ve all seen children:

  • Cycling without proper care and attention
  • Cycling without lights
  • Taking unnecessary risks
  • Reacting unpredictably to traffic conditions

It is a major concern for parents – and for other road users.  In many cases that results in:

  • Children not being allowed to cycle to school
  • Children riding on the pavement and intimidating pedestrians

Safe cycle routes to school which avoids roads would reduce risk not only for the children but also for pedestrians and other road users.

It’s immediately noticeable when schools are on holiday.  Our roads are much quieter immediately before and after school times.  Safe cycle routes to school means fewer children being driven to and from school by car – for most parents cutting out four car trips a day!  The congestion of parked cars around school gates is reduced and the short, fuel inefficient, jouney to school is avoided.

The main routes we’re working on:

New surface on Footpath 88



Mill Rythe to Eastwood Close – Footpath 88 (also known as the cinder track) was upgraded in 2013.  It now has an all-weather surface and is officially available to cyclists.

The footpath borders the Hayling College playing fields with a spur footpath running along the southern border with entrances onto the college grounds.

A new path extending the upgraded Cinder Track into the Mill Rythe Junior and Infant schools so that children no longer have to navigate through parked cars and cars dropping other children off to school.

£10K funding is potentially available from Living Streets.

This project is a candidate for inclusion in the 2014 Hampshire Minor Works Programme.

Conversion of the footpath to dual use.  This project is a candidate for inclusion in the 2014 Hampshire Minor Works Programme.

The northern section of footpath 102 is approximately 420 metres overall with a spur to the west (approximately 290 mtres) to a side entrance to Mengham Junior School. Mengham Infant School is directly across the road (Elm Grove) to the west.

The first northern part of this footpath (approximately 310 metres) is wide and already cycleable. The last section (approximately 110 metres) is narrower (1.5 to 1.2 metres), and requires a flatter, all weather surface.

The spur foot path to Mengham Junior school requires similar work with boarding shrubs and hedges being cut back to maximise the width.  The conversion of this spur (Footpath 101) to dual use could be considered as phase 2 of the proposed scheme, with the alternative use of Hawthorn Grove as a safe cycle route to the already existing side gate of Mengam Junior School.

The photo shows the last 110 metre section running parallel to My Lord’s Lane.

A narrow section of Footpath 102 is deemed by Hampshire County Council as unsuitable for shared used by cyclists and pedestrians.  As a result we have not yet been able to include Footpath 102 as a candidate for the Minor Works Programme.

The southern section of footpath 102 is a wide, cycleable path of approximately 300 metres.  It just needs an all weather finish.

A narrow section of Footpath 102 is deemed by Hampshire County Council as unsuitable for shared used by cyclists and pedestrians.  As a result we have not yet been able to include Footpath 102 as a candidate for the Minor Works Programme.

We are running this as a separate project in its own right because it would provide a major route for all types of cyclist including those looking for a traffic-free route onto and off the island.

This map shows all the above routes and how they link the schools together.  Click the image to see more detail.

Map showing proposed safe cycle routes


There’s good reason to believe so:

  • Pressure/encouragement from parents and teachers
  • Peer pressure once use is established
  • Benefits to parents and children

The upgraded Cinder Track Is already popular and there is evidence it has reduced car use.

We don’t believe so.  We’ve spent time looking at the routes with Havant Borough Council, Hampshire County Council and the land-owners, and most of the cost will be upgrading the current surface.  Compared to road improvements, the cost will be low.

Throughout the progressing of this scheme Cycle Hayling has discussed the proposal with representatives from all the Hayling schools and kept them informed of progress. They have been very supportive and keen to see these routes implemented.

Yes.  Safe cycle routes to school are a high priority – for obvious reasons.  There is funding set aside specifically for creating safe routes to schools.  Cycle Hayling first proposed this scheme in 2010 and Hampshire County Council and Havant Borough Council have been supportive ever since.

Hampshire County Council has already upgraded the Cinder Track and are keen to do more as funding becomes available.

If you want to support our efforts, please register your support.

Future Schemes

Cycle Hayling is investigating other possible additions to the Safe Routes to School scheme.  If you have any suggestions, please let us know.

Progress to date

One school’s bike revolution

Posted on: September 17, 2017 by: Wilf

Do watch this inspiring little video from Sustrans, showing one Primary School’s bike revolution.  Turns out kids can have fun and get free and healthy exercise at the same time.  And reduce congestion and parking problems at school.

Hayling’s schools support cycling, and our cycle routes to school are (slowly) getting better. Cycle Hayling wants to see kids on Hayling having fun and cycling to school.  Wouldn’t it be great if by 2018 we could say that this video could have been made on Hayling!

Sustrans is the Sustainable Transport charity that created the National Cycle Network, which includes the Hayling Billy Trail.  Many Cycle Hayling supporters are also supporters of Sustrans.

Sustrans video

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

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
  • 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


Online speed limit survey

Posted on: November 10, 2015 by: Sue Underwood

A Hayling resident who is opposed to the new 30mph speed limit on the main Havant Road (see letters in November edition of The Hayling Islander) has set up an online poll regarding the speed limit.

It is a very quick two-question poll, which can be accessed at:

It simply asks whether or not you are in favour of the new speed limit and whether or not you were properly informed about the change.

New section of cycle path on Hayling

Posted on: June 19, 2015 by: Andy Henderson

We are pleased to announce a new section of cycle path alongside the main road out of Hayling.

It goes from the Mill Rythe roundabout to a little over half-way to the boat yard…

Continue reading

Footpath 101 closed for up to a year

Posted on: February 23, 2015 by: Andy Henderson

Footpath 101 runs behind Mengham Junior School. The closure starts 28th February 2015.

You can see more detail including a map and suggested alternative route at: