Campaign report February 2022

Here are the campaign updates for February from Mike and Wilf:

Mike Ashton reports:

  • Centurion Way 5k extension: SDNPA issued a stakeholder update on 4th February, which we've published to the PCTC member’s area. A large proportion of our members are stakeholders in this project. I would add that the statement is very welcome and the project is moving ahead faster than anticipated. Members should be reminded that on 10th March there is a Portsmouth CTC Zoom meeting with Alister Linton Crook of SDNPA as the guest speaker. Alister is well placed to respond to questions on this project.
  • Havant Thicket Reservoir Project: Portsmouth CTC has representation on the stakeholders & access groups. Most elements of the planning permission have been granted. Most accesses & routes for cycling & walking through the site have been defined. Funding has been identified for the site access from Middle Park Way via Staunton County Park. Work is being undertaken to remove trees from the reservoir area & the access routes. The northern access route is being designed. For the first time PWC have raised the issue of the possibility of a cycling access route from the north. Papers on local authority planning web sites provide many of the details.
  • Havant Railway Station: The issues of security & weather proofing of cycle storage at the station and of the condition of the footbridge to the west of the station were raised with East Hampshire Community Rail Partnership. EHCPR included these issues in an outstanding audit that has now been conducted. They agreed with the views I expressed. The problems have been forwarded to the railway companies.
  • Park Lane Bridleway between Cowplain & Leigh Park has been allowed to decay into a very poor state of repair. Based on the considerable numbers of cyclists & walkers that used the route when it was in a good state it could be one of the best used non-motorised routes in the borough. Large populations reside at each end but it still seems to be low priority for improvement.
  • Access from Cott Street to Meon Valley Trail in Soberton. British Horse Society are campaigning for an access to MVT at this location. I’ve made HCC Countryside Service aware of the advantages of including cycle access at this location especially for those from the Waterlooville area who might be interested in including part of MVT in a ride.

Wilf Forrow reports:

  • Petersfield Rd / Leigh Rd improvements look to be going ahead, as Hampshire has just announced £650,000 has been approved. We submitted this feedback to the consultation via Sustrans, on top of all our comments on the online map. Thank you to everyone that contributed.
  • As does the Havant College to Station cycle route to the very latest LTN 1/20 specifications. The full cycle route into the town centre, by replacing the old railway footbridge didn't get approved in the original scheme, but the bridge is now rusting away and only being held up by scaffolding, so we hope the negotiations will continue between the councils and National Rail.
  • LTP4 draft is now viewable - Hampshire County Council's draft Local Transport Plan version 4, which will radically change transport in Hampshire over the next 30 years. It's a massive rush to decarbonise transport and make it sustainable, so not surprisingly, cycling and active travel get a huge part. It's huge and complex, and if the 14th Feb meeting approves it, it will be put out for a 12 week consultation. You can see the draft here, scroll down to page 15.
  • Hayling Island's two new cycle paths appear to be as completed as they're going to be - the East-West path from St Mary's Church to Manor Rd, and Mengham Lane to Selsmore Lane, but both with disappointing surfaces and signage. Also, slightly wider paths in Hayling Park, but still no signage or removal of barriers. All very underwhelming and unlikely to encourage everyday cycling. We're chasing.
  • Barriers and signage are now recognised as hindrances to wider cycling, so Hampshire County Council consulted to set future policy in removing barriers to cycling and improving signage across the whole county. You can see the submission I sent in here. Thanks again to everyone that contributed.
  • Sustrans is doing a nationwide barrier audit, and actively removing all physical barriers from the NCN. Joy is using their very impressive barrier audit app on her phone to help out. It's currently only NCN barriers, but it begs the question of whether we can use it to highlight barriers elsewhere too.
  • Hampshire's 20 mph zone policy to refuse future zones was widely condemned, and the council has now set up a working group to review it over the next 6 months. We're trying to make sure we get input.
  • The Highway Code changes have attracted some media controversy, but Cycling UK, Sustrans, Andy and many others have used the publicity to calm and re-educate drivers, hopefully quashing some of the myths, and resulting in more respectful road use.
  • Secure parking in Havant centre - Havant Borough Council have asked us about a secure parking initiative, so thank you for all your thoughts.
  • Gary Hughes is quite influential as a County and Havant Borough Councillor, and is on the HCC Economy, Transport and Environment Select Committee, so when The Portsmouth News reports his objection to Hampshire's proposed £10m budget for cycling, Tim Pickering and I wrote to him and got our own letter published. He thinks cycling is only for leisure and shouldn't be subsidised, whereas we say utility cycling would pay for itself in reducing other traffic and health benefits. But of course, leisure cycling, which makes our lives more pleasant, will get the benefits for free, too.

About Wilf Forrow

I'm a retired IT consultant, and a touring and utility cyclist. I'm particularly interested in campaigning for better cycle infrastructure, and a member of Sustrans and Cycle Hayling, amongst others. I am fascinated by cycle technology, and especially folders.