Worthy Road cyclepath improvements: public workshops 21-22 February

Worth Road

Tuesday 21 February: Winchester Rugby Club, 3pm-7pm. Drop in any time.
Wednesday 22 February: Jubilee Hall, London Road, Kings Worthy, 3pm-7pm. Drop in any time.

Worthy Road

Hampshire County Council have been working on plans to upgrade the shared-use cyclepath along Worthy Road (and maybe extend it further to London Road). They’re running a couple of drop-in workshops on 21 and 22 February for local residents to come and see the draft plans and comment on them.

They plan to put in a bid for government money (from something called the Active Travel Fund) to fund these proposals, so for once there’s a real chance this might happen.

Besides the cycle route improvements the plan covers new crossings on Worthy Road to make it easier and safer to walk or cycle to River Park, St Bede school and the city centre from Abbots Barton.

We’d like to see as many people as possible go along to these events. We think the Worthy Road cycle path could be a really important one, but it’s very little-used at the moment because parts of it are so narrow and dangerous.

The council says:

“If you have any questions about the event or if you can’t attend and want to share with us your views on these two questions, then email implementation@hants.gov.uk
 “This route has been prioritised in Winchester City Council’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, which forms part of our work on the Winchester Movement Strategy.  More information can be found on our webpage: hants.gov.uk/Winchester-movement-strategy  but the aim of the proposals is to provide more space for people to walk and cycle, improve air quality and make it easier for people to travel to local shops and services.”

We’ve seen an earlier draft of the council’s plans and we’re looking forward to seeing the latest version. We’ve encouraged them to be ambitious with their proposals – there’s no point in being half-hearted about it, as that’s what got us the existing inadequate cyclepath in the first place. A few token improvements will be worthless if they don’t tackle the biggest problem areas.

We want to see something that people will want to use – something that will encourage more of the 6,000 residents of Kings Worthy and Abbots Worthy to cycle into Winchester more and drive less, and something that will enable the people of Winchester (and tourists) to cycle out to the Worthies, the National Park, the Itchen Valley and the country lanes of mid-Hampshire instead of getting in their cars and adding to the traffic.

The council is focusing on residents of the Worthies and Abbots Barton, but this matters to anyone who would like to be able to ride more safely along that road, wherever they live, and the sessions are open to all.

Please go along, look at the plans and give the council your views. Let us know what you think too!

4 thoughts on “Worthy Road cyclepath improvements: public workshops 21-22 February

  1. I wonder if this has been thought through. I only use it for going into Winchester. Even then it is pretty useless because of the pedestrians.
    I always use the road when leaving Winchester but it is a road I hate because of the close passes.
    If you “improve” the cycle path I expect to get abuse as to why I am not using said path.
    Improving air quality. On that road, don’t make me laugh.

    1. This is why we’re pressing the council to go all-out for major improvements, or not do it at all. (“Go big or go home”, as they say in American football.) We’ve all suffered the close passes. If they just make minor tweaks it could easily make things worse for cycling rather than better. We encourage you to go along to one of the sessions, see what they’re proposing to do, and make your own mind up whether it would make the route good enough for people to use regularly. If you don’t think it will, then tell them.

  2. It needs to be made safe for both cyclists and pedestrians, at the moment there isn’t room for both and walking along Worthy Road into Winchester from the Worthies is unpleasant at best and dangerous at worst with the closeness of cars passing at speed. Worthy Road is too dangerous to walk after dark as there is no street lighting and cars do not see people on the narrow footpath.

    1. Exactly, Annette. As it is now, it’s worse than useless. We encourage you to go along to one of the drop-in sessions if you can, see what HCC have come up with, and let them know whether you think their proposals will make it safe enough to use or not.

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