Council proposes second bridge for Hayling Island as part of regeneration plan

Langstone Bridge between Hayling island and Langstone
Langstone Bridge between Hayling island and Langstone

THERE could finally be an answer for an island which has been plagued by traffic woes for years because of its single road on and off.

In its Regeneration Strategy which looks ahead to what should be aimed for in 2036, Havant Borough Council has suggested building a second bridge for Hayling Island.

This would mean Langstone Road – the A3023 – would no longer be the island’s only way in and out.

Park and ride services on the island have been proposed.

The bridge would be for public transport or self-driving cars.

The island’s residents’ association said the idea is a great one – but has questions about where the car park for the park and ride would go.

Anne Skennerton, chair of the association, said: ‘In theory it sounds like a great idea – we welcome the idea of an alternative route on to the island – I can’t see anyone objecting, but it really depends where it would go.

‘My question to councillors is where will the parking be for the park and ride?

‘It could be in the area where the existing small car park to the west of the bridge is, but does that mean the mature, beautiful pine trees will be cut down?

‘I wonder how many cars councillors imagine will use this new facility and if we will then have the eyesore of a very large car park?’

The strategy, released by the council on Wednesday, states: ‘Development interest in the island prompted by the enhanced visitor offer has made the construction of a second public transport/autonomous vehicle bridge linking the island with Havant Rail Station economically viable.’

It goes on to say an area just on the island developed as Hayling Gate would provide facilities and up-to-date visitor information for people coming on to the island.

Parking and public transport links to the rest of the island, with a park and ride service easing congestion in the summer months, is also mentioned.

Dave Parham, spokesman for Hayling’s Save Our Island action group, said: ‘I have personally recommended a second access to the island in the past, and options, however I think they have the detail wrong.

‘In order to limit the amount of traffic on the A3023 it would be appropriate to have the services for the park and ride north of the bridge, on the mainland, so the bridge isn’t used for all of the traffic for the park and ride.

‘If that could be done the process would be worth looking at.

‘The overall regeneration strategy for Havant I think is a reasonable starting point because there is at long-last going to be a mechanism for the council to fund infrastructure, which is key.’

The strategy, for 2018-2036, sets out the economic case and opportunities for regeneration across Havant. 

Cllr Michael Wilson, leader of Havant Borough Council, said: ‘As part of the Regeneration Strategy, a centre piece of the new Corporate Strategy, we have put together a regeneration team who have created a long term vision for the future.

‘A second bridge for Hayling Island is part of the aspirations for 2036 and will be desirable if we are able to develop Hayling, creating a watersports destination with top class sporting facilities.

‘We are in the process of formulating a vision for the whole borough and Hayling Island is an important aspect.’