Local Cycling UK campaigner Mike Ashton explains how a number of dedicated Cycling UK campaigners in Hampshire, local authority officers and cyclists successfully worked together to introduce a new cycle route between Horndean and Havant town centre.
A new cycle route was built between Horndean and Havant town centre following a campaign that started in 2003. The purpose of this paper is to outline the stages and describe the process followed.
The need for the route and options available
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The indication that a new cycle route was needed included:
- By 2003 the numbers cycling from Horndean to local towns had reduced. This was mainly due to heavy traffic and a lack of cycle provision.
- The sixth form at Horndean had closed with most students attending college in Havant with only an indirect bus service for transport.
- Of the two roads into Havant, the B2148 is narrow with a constant flow of fast traffic and Hulbert Road is a primary link onto the A3(M) from both east and west with several recorded serious accidents involving cyclists. Neither road was suitable for cycle lanes;
- The A3(M), divides Horndean, Cowplain and Waterlooville from Havant Town. The option was to use Park Lane Bridleway from Cowplain into Leigh Park. The drainage channel on this bridleway was blocked for most of its length. The bridleway was frequently a stream and consequently the surface had washed away. Renovation would give a direct route to Havant Town away from busy roads for a population of around 40,000 people. The view was that this route would attract both leisure and commuting cyclists.
Process followed to establish a new route
- The local authority officers who would assist with such a development were identified.
- To obtain local government support the route was included in the East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) cycle plan. Most of the route was already in the Havant Borough Council plan. Several Cycling UK members attended public meetings to support additions to the new plan and also the East Hampshire Community Committee meeting in March 2004 when the Portsmouth Cycling UK District Association President gave Cycling UK’s support to the new cycle plan. The Plan was approved by the EHDC's Cabinet in October 2005 with this route included as a priority.
- In 2004 the Park Lane Bridleway Bridge was modified for use as a cycle route.
- Tasks involving local authority officers included: surveying and costing the proposed route; identifying and documenting the advantages and opportunities of the route; establishing the cycle accident statistics on existing routes; identifying how the route met the policies of all 3 authorities; establishing the ownership of the off road sections and obtaining owners agreement; Havant Borough Council obtained permission for Hermitage Stream footpath to have permissive cycle use.
- To obtain political and public support presentations were given to the EHDC community committee, Havant Borough Council's Traffic and Transport Panel and Horndean Parish Council and several emails were sent to councillors. There was also publicity from local authorities and in the local press.
- The route from Horndean to Leigh Park (5.5km) was completed in three stages. The bridleway north of the A3(M) in January 2009, the on road sections in spring 2009 and the bridleway south of the A3(M) in September 2009. The cost was about £58k.
- Sustrans, at Havant Borough Council's request, reviewed the work on Park Lane Bridleway. Havant Borough Council then bid for and obtained £675k funding from Sustrans to use on safe routes to schools throughout the borough and a similar amount of developer contribution from Hampshire County Council and Havant Borough Council. £520k was put towards the remainder of the route into Havant Centre, and for 7 cycle routes to schools.
- The 2.1km long section to 200m from Havant College and 350m from the Town Centre was completed in 2011. Havant Borough Council plans to complete the link into the town centre when funds become available. Links have been built from the core route to: several schools, to Cowplain Centre and Bridleway 120 has been rebuilt for cycling linking in Staunton Country Park
- In 2010 and 2011 Havant Borough Council published a good cycle map of the borough.
Current position and way ahead
Both cycling and walking on Park Lane bridleway have increased substantially. Hampshire County Council reported that feedback from local residents indicated that most were very pleased with the development. Use of the remainder of the route has increased more slowly partly because Hermitage Stream path still had loose gravel, the problem has now been corrected. To increase the use there are plans to: improve publicity, promote cycling at the Havant Goes Greener week, try to increase the numbers cycling to work and make cycle training more easily available.
Extension of the route north to Queen Elizabeth Country Park is in the EHDC Cycle Plan. There is a gap between this route and the link from Queen Elizabeth Country Park built by the Highways Agency. To the south the link in Havant will connect to Hayling Billy Route and NCR2.
- A Cycle Plan for East Hampshire 2005.
- Countryside Access Plan for the Forest of Bere 2008-2013. Hampshire County Council.
- Green Infrastructure Strategy for the Partnership for South Hampshire June 2010.
- Local Transport Note 2/08. Cycle Infrastructure Design. Department of Transport Oct 2008.
- Local Transport Plan for Hampshire LTP2 2006-2011.
- Havant Borough Council Cycle Map 2011.
- Havant Active Travel Strategy.
With thanks to:
The campaign was supported by several Cycling UK members and 2 or 3 other cyclists.
The Cycling UK members including:Phil Nelson then President of Cycling UK Portsmouth DA, Cycling UK local campaigners Jim Weeks, Virginia Mason and later Robert Sebley;
The local authority officers with long associations with this route were: Gwil Williams of East Hampshire District Council; Stuart Wood of Havant Borough Council; Emma Kemp of Hampshire County Council and Caroline Richardson of Hampshire Highways
For more information about campaigning for a cycle route in your area please contact the Volunteer Support Officer email@example.com 
24 April 2012