MOVES to make an island more cycle friendly are being celebrated as plans to improve routes and conditions for cyclists and pedestrians progress.
Havant Borough Council has worked with Cycle Hayling to identify areas on the south of Hayling Island that need improving, as part of its goal to provide a comprehensive network of cycle routes away from main roads.
Cycle Hayling is hosting a leisurely ride to show cyclists the authority’s planned works, funded by the developer of the island’s Halyards housing development, as part of its contribution to the community.
Councillor Tim Pike, deputy leader of the council and cabinet lead for finance and regeneration, said: ‘We are committed to making it easier for residents and visitors to cycle and walk on Hayling Island – and across the borough.
‘The improvements being made on Hayling Island are part of our plan to create a first-class network of user-friendly routes in the area.
‘When completed these routes will provide new ways for residents and visitors to enjoy the island and will enable them to do this in a more active way and hopefully make it easier to live healthier lifestyles.’
The separate projects include: Improving the Tournerbury Lane junction to make crossing the road for pedestrians easier, upgrading the southern zebra crossing on Elm Grove in Mengham Village Centre, upgrading the east-west path from St Mary’s Church to Manor Road as part of an aspiration for a longer route to the Hayling Billy Trail, upgrading the north-south path from Beech Grove to Rails Lane and upgrading paths in Hayling Park.
The council said this is all part of a plan to create a ‘golden thread’ of safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists.
Wilf Forrow, campaign organiser for Cycle Hayling and a cyclist himself, said the group has been working with the council for some time to identify what changes need to be made.
The 68-year-old added: ‘These improvements, once all done, will make a big difference and will hopefully make those who aren’t confident cyclists, more confident.
‘Hayling has got a lot of roads that are busy which makes it difficult to get across the island.
‘The council is upgrading footpaths to make them cycle paths as well, which will be really useful.
‘We’re also working on other projects to make conditions safer for cyclists on the island.
‘The ride is a chance to meet supporters, celebrate the improvement and encouraging more cycling.
We’ll walk through the bits we can’t cycle through.’
The ride will start at 6pm at the Yew Tree Inn, Havant Road, next Friday, July 27.
Cyclists will pass a number of areas including the Halyards development where a new footpath in Legion Field and into the development will improve access to Mengham Junior School. It finishes at 8.30pm.