Councillors to consider spending £70,000 on study into potential second bridge linking Havant and Hayling Island

COUNCILLORS will consider spending £70,000 to assess the feasibility of rebuilding a bridge between Havant and Hayling Island.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 7:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 9:39 pm
Langstone Bridge, which is currently the only route linking Havant and Hayling Island. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (1434-13)

Piers of the old Hayling Billy Bridge currently sit in Langstone Harbour, unused since the Hayling Island branch line was stopped in November 1963.

But the structure could be revived to give pedestrians, cyclists and 'autonomous’ and electric vehicles an alternative route to Havant town centre.

It comes as Havant Borough Council continues to face calls for new island infrastructure to relieve pressure on the A3023 and support more than 1,000 new homes.

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The Hayling Billy Bridge in action more than four decades ago. Its piers, pictured bottom, still sit in the harbour today.

Councillor Tim Pike, the authority’s deputy leader and cabinet chief for planning, regeneration and communities, said the vision was ‘not for current road vehicles'.

‘What we need to do now is make a case so we can put forward funding bids to government and other organisations,’ he said.

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'This work will allow us to understand what the outline costs might be and what potential the idea has.

‘The foundations there now are many decades old and we need to look at those before we can decide what the future might hold.’

The funding for the feasibility study would come from the Community Infrastructure Levy, paid into by developers when they build new homes.

Councillors will be asked on February 26 to vote on what borough projects the £1,651,894 cash pot should be spent on.

Another bid of £70,000 is earmarked for a feasibility study on the future of the Hayling Billy Trail – the walking spot and former railway track the Billy Bridge takes its name from.

Of that bid, Cllr Pike added: ‘It’s looking at what the purpose is of the Hayling Billy Trail and what surface it should have.

‘It’s owned by the county council and is treated as a countryside asset, so the surface is maintained as a countryside path.

‘I think many people feel it could be more than that, whether it's for cycle commuting or other purposes.’

Cllr Pike said an updated Hayling Island Infrastructure Study, assessing the island’s needs, will be published ‘shortly’.

It comes after residents previously raised concerns over the A3023’s future capacity.