New Havant cycle routes allow pupils to pedal to school safely

CYCLE David Willetts MP opens the new part of the Hayling Billy Cycle path and Langstone.      Picture: Steve Reid (100639-03)
CYCLE David Willetts MP opens the new part of the Hayling Billy Cycle path and Langstone. Picture: Steve Reid (100639-03)

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TEN miles of new cycle routes have been officially opened, allowing children to ride to school safely.

Around £1.5m has been spent improving children’s access to schools in Havant in a bid to cut congestion, increase exercise and allow children more independence.

Six cycle routes have been created over the past year and the last one to be completed, the Hermitage Stream route, was officially opened by keen cyclist, Havant MP David Willetts, and Havant Mayor Councillor Ken Smith.

Half the money came from developer contributions saved up over several years by Havant Borough Council and Hampshire County Council while the rest was matched by the transport charity, Sustrans.

Simon Pratt, the regional director of Sustrans, said: ‘It’s been planned for a couple of years now and this is another link in the chain.

‘There are obvious health benefits and cost benefits to parents – it’s a very cheap way of travelling.

‘But, more importantly, it gives children independence and mobility which means if they’re safe to cycle to school, they’re safe to visit friends, go shopping and get around town.

‘In a place like Havant there is no reason why the vast majority of journeys to school and work should not be done by bike.

’The nature of networks is that they are never complete and we always work with local authorities looking for new opportunities.’

Schools and colleges, including Park Community School, Warblington School and Havant College, worked with Sustrans to decide where the routes should go.

Stuart Wood, transport and implementation team leader at Havant Borough Council, said: ‘We are very pleased. It’s been very successful.’