This is the article we submitted for the July edition of the Hayling Islander. The published article was subject to editing by the Islander. It comes after news that the July edition of the Islander will be the last.
Is this goodbye?
Let’s hope this isn’t our last Hayling Islander!
Whether you’re a cyclist, motorist, pedestrian, parent, or a potential future cyclist, you’re affected by what the council does with traffic over the coming few years!
So don’t lose contact with Cycle Hayling – sign up now to stay in touch.
It’s easy and free, just go to CycleHayling.org.uk/signup. You won’t get mail-bombed – promise.
And we’re also on Facebook, if that’s your thing.
Like everyone, we were shocked the Islander is at risk, but determined to support the efforts to keep it alive.
Has Hayling hit peak traffic?
Last month’s water main burst caused complete gridlock, and proved that Northney can’t cope as a backup to main road.
Gridlocks into and around Havant are getting more and more common, often for no apparent reason.
One thing’s for sure. More houses or not, Hayling is at peak traffic.
We have to find a better way to free up our roads and communities, by leaving some of our cars at home.
A better Hayling
So if you want to see a better Hayling, please help us!
Cycle Hayling’s main goal is to make it more cycle-friendly, but that also means making it healthier, less traffic-congested and greener.
This summer, we’ll be helping the council to build Havant’s new Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), that will plan our next 15 years.
Tell us what should be in it! We’ll be asking our supporters over the next few weeks.
If you haven’t signed up yet, do it now!
Let’s go Dutch
I’ve just been cycling in the Netherlands, and it’s striking how thin and fit they look, and how few cars there are in town centres.
That could be because a third of all journeys under 5 miles are by bike, and another third by walking or public transport.
And that’s because they invest in smooth, traffic-free cycle paths, that are a pleasure to use by people of all ages and abilities.
I have to tell you that Hayling does not have a single inch of cycle track that would be tolerated there.
But we will have when we’ve finished our Saltmarsh Lane cycle path.
Only a start, at 200 metres, but we hope it will set the new standard for all Hayling’s cycle paths.
Cycling to school
Of course, most Dutch learn to ride as kids, and keep going.
That’s why we’re especially delighted that Mengham Junior School is making great use of their new bike shelter and racks, with about 30 pupils cycling every day.
A few cycle with parents, and even more come on scooters.
And to make sure they’re safe, another 27 have passed their Bikeability training.
All Hayling schools have massive problems with traffic and parking.
But that’s not the worst part.
We’re now finding out that air pollution, mostly from traffic, is killing 100,000 people every year, almost as many as smoking.
That’s a Chernobyl every week!
That’s on top of our obesity epidemic.
We wouldn’t dream of handing out fags in the playground, but we’re inadvertently doing as much damage by driving them to school.
So persuading our kids to exercise by walking, scooting or cycling to school could be the best lesson we can give them.
Talking of exercise, why no join us on our next Cycle Hayling ride, a family ride down the Billy Trail, on Sunday August 11th?
Everyone welcome, from 1 to 100 years old!
You don’t have to have signed up (but why not do that as well).
Put it in your calendar now! Details will appear here nearer the time.
It’s not too late to contribute to our cycle commuting survey, at: CycleHayling.org.uk/CSurvey.
As Albert Einstein said
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving forward.