…Two wheels better?

One consequence of the Coronavirus lockdown has been a big increase in both cycling and cycle sales.

For now, this is mostly for exercise, but as businesses and factories re-open, we can expect an increase in people cycling to work or school, either because they find they prefer it to the car for shortish journeys or because of limits on the capacity of trains and buses .

The Government has announced funding to make more safe cycling routes available, and many councils are already proceeding with plans. We hope Fareham in partnership with Hampshbire County Council will follow suit.

In the meantime, we request cyclists to respect the rights of other road users. Most people cycle safely and considerately, but a thoughtless minority don’t give pedestrians enough space to practice social distancing on pavements or share use pathways,, or fail to give warning of their approach.

No safe cycling option – a rutted track, a pedestrian promenade, or a busy, winding road

This can be a particular problem on the Salterns promenade in Hill Head, where Fareham Council has been unable to complete the gravel cycle track from Seafarers Sailing Club to Monks Hill because of land ownership issues.

Our photo (from archive, before social distancing) shows the rutted track cyclists have to use for the final stretch to avoid straying onto the footway – a sad feature on what is part of a nationally recognised cycle route.

Perhaps when the Stubbington bypass is complete the County Council should consider closing Salterns Road as a through route for vehicles, making it safe for cyclists. At present many drivers use it as a rat-run between Gosport and the A27, but if the bypass does the job it’s supposed to, there should be no need for that any more.

Taking vehicles off that road would also make it much safer for families walking to the beach through Seafield Park to cross Salterns Lane safely.

5 thoughts on “…Two wheels better?

  1. Carole Stone says:

    As a nervous cyclist I hate having to cycle in the road and as a Driver I get very frustrated when cyclists fail to use cycle paths preferring the road, though I wonder if perhaps that is to do with many being combined pedestrian/cycle paths,? More cycle paths can only be welcomed, not simply for our health but also for the environment. I think many of us have truly enjoyed the cleaner air that the pause in our usual hectic, traffic heavy lives has brought despite the sacrifices the majority of us made

  2. Yes so many families out together on bikes keeping fit and keeping the air clean by leaving cars at home. Let’s hold on to that habit for the future and make our roads more cycle friendly and our air less polluted.

  3. Barrie Webb says:

    A video on https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/developers/travelplans case study shows a cyclist using that ‘rutted track’ and also riding on the promenade at the Haven (after negotiating the steps at the western end)! The case study states ‘We worked with the Daedalus Enterprise Zone in Fareham as the Travel Plan co-ordinators. We wrote a travel plan and are providing measures to support its delivery The delivery of the travel plan will allow Fareham Borough Council to meet their legal requirements.’ Not sure whether to laugh or cry.

  4. Robert seymour says:

    The contrast between the numbers out cycling at present and the number of truly joined up or fit for purpose cycle ways on the map of cycle routes on the Fareham borough website could not be sharper. See https://www.fareham.gov.uk/pdf/planning/cyclemap.pdf

    Now perhaps is the time to start identifying how we can improve the number of dedicated routes particularly between key points, eg Stubbington and Titchfield, Fareham and Segensworth. And not by painting a few lines onto the margin of a busy road but starting the process of making cycle safe routes at the expense of the car. Closing Crofton Lane, putting a height limit on the Meon road/Posbrooke Lane, replacing one side of a roads pavements with a cycle way. All such options should be explored in a joined up study with the aim of generating a long term cycle friendly environment that starts the process of keeping people out of their cars for the short trips around the borough. We can start with a look at Hill Head/Crofton/Stubbington and Titchfield, just put the ideas together then start identifying how practical from a costs and car journey reduction perspective?
    Two wheels will always be better for most of us and now is exactly the time to try and secure the benefits seen from quieter roads and the investment opportunity available.

    • Steven John says:

      Totally agree with making more safe routes for cyclists. I’m a cyclist and driver so I see both sides of the arguments. While there are very considerate drivers and cyclists (hope I’m firmly in that category), sadly there are far too many irresponsible Road /cycle path users.
      Many cycle paths are comply unsafe to use and that need to be urgently addressed before we miss this unique chance to come out of the pandemic in s more thoughtful and considerate way to each other and the environment.
      Also, education! Only today, in a 2 mile stretch of road along the seafront I was asked at by 3 different people in cars to get off the road onto a cycle path… That was actually a shared cycle and pedestrian route. I on fact one of the ‘gentlemen’ advised me today he would kill me if I didn’t get on the cycle path…. Well, those were the words I can repeat here. Typically though, when I gave him the opportunity to stop and talk about it, he offered the expected tirade of abuse and sped off yelling obscenities. The other two encounters weren’t quite as viscous but similar in nature. With that attitude it’s no wonder people are nervous to be cycling. Read the damned Highway code!

      Anyway, rant over… Back to the point. Anything that can encourage people to use cycling walking, running etc has got to be given the highest priority. Let’s give pedestrians and cyclists (probably responsible e scooters too when the law issues are resolved) priority over motorists in towns, villages and seaside areas. More park and ride facilities might help, especially at weekends… More revenue opportunities for schools to be used as car parks? Who knows? There has to be more creative thinking to use what we already have to promote more responsible use of existing resources to benefit everyone without further damaging the environment.

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