Hampshire County Council confirms go-ahead for improvements to popular Hayling Billy Trial

Walkers, cyclists, mobility scooter users and horse riders will benefit from plans to revamp a section of the Hayling Billy Trail in South Hampshire

Jan 16 2024

The upgrade work, which is expected to start in March, will provide a 2.5-3 metre ‘all weather’ surface on the northern part of the route.

The project will be funded through the Government’s Active Travel Fund following a successful bid from the County Council for £600,000.  

Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, the County Council’s Cabinet Lead for Countryside said: “I am delighted to confirm the start of work to upgrade a 1.3-kilometre section of the Hayling Billy Trail. The route provides an important link from Hayling Island to shops, services and jobs in Havant. It is also connected to national walking and cycling networks. This makes it a popular destination not only for residents but also for visitors from further afield. These improvements will make the route easier to use all year around, attracting more people to the area, which we hope will provide a boost to the local economy. The new longer lasting surface is also designed to provide more protection from erosion and storm damage and has been made possible thanks to widespread local support and national funding ringfenced for schemes that make walking and cycling an easier option.”

The Hayling Billy Trail is a disused rail line which forms part of the long-distance Shipwrights Way from Farnham to Portsmouth and the National Cycle Network 2 (NCN2), which will eventually link Dover to Cornwall along the south coast.  

Approval to progress the upgrade project was given by Councillor Oppenheimer at his Decision Day on Monday 15 January.

The scheme work stretching from the Trail’s northern end starting from the car park opposite the ‘Applegreen’ garage, southwards to the car park on the shore behind the ‘Esso’ garage, is expected to complete this summer.