Category Archives: Footpaths

Treading carefully!

I’m heartily fed up with dodging dog poo on the canal path. It’s also very unpleasant to see the tree ornaments left by – presumably – (let’s be charitable here) forgetful dog-walkers.

You don’t need a lecture from me as I’m sure everyone knows that dog poo/plastic bags present health and environmental hazards.

Before there’s the kind of outcry which resulted re cycling; yes I do like dogs and yes I do know most dog owners/walkers are very responsible people so the issue is what to do to encourage the minority who are creating the problem.

Karen Postle

Cyclists on the Canal Path – topic closing


Recently there has been a lot of healthy debate regarding the canal path  – comments both for and against the use of the canal path by cyclists. Thanks to all who contributed.

The Forum will have no say on whether cyclists use the footpath or not. What the Forum will do is to seek funding to improve what is a valuable resource for everyone in Titchfield. Any proposal will then be put to the public for approval.

We are closing this topic now but will keep you all informed if anything significant crops up.


Cycling and Scooting on the pavement

Titchfield Neighbourhood Forum is working with the local school around issues of safer cycling, cycling on footpaths and the use of scooters on the road and on the pavement. The school has said they will ask families to ensure that they, and their children, are respectful and considerate to others e.g. dismount if there are other pedestrians and ring their bells etc. We have also been in touch with Helen Harris  – School Travel Planning Manager.

Cycling on the pavement is illegal, unless a designated or shared cycle path is provided. This is highlighted in the highway code (Rule 64)                                                                       However, there are examples across the country where the police do not enforce the law unless there is good reason to e.g. dangerous behaviour towards pedestrians. Paula Weaver, from the Forum has been in touch with our local police and has been told that ‘This is a grey area and we are unlikely to take any action unless the person is over 18 years or cycling in a dangerous manner.’ There is some interesting reading around this subject online:

Hampshire County Council does bid for funding from the Department for Transport to deliver cycle training (Bikeability) to children aged 10 and upwards, which seeks to provide appropriate guidance and skills as to how to cycle safely. In addition, it delivers further road safety initiatives to enable pupils to become road safety ambassadors and improve attentiveness traveling to and from school.

Regarding scooting, it is legal for children and adults to scooter on the pavements. However, this should be done in a safe and respectful way. The County Council does offer support to schools through scooter training and does promote key messages around pavement etiquette

Ross Underwood responds to Councillor Hockley re the canal path and cyclists

Dear Cllr Hockley

Thank you for your interest in the Titchfield News article and for the efforts that you have made to enhance the canal.

The website article resulted from the Neighbourhood Forum, Footpaths and Cycle Paths sub group, which I chair, exploring the condition of local footpaths with the view to calling for maintenance as needed. We are interested in identifying circular routes from the village and publicising them so that local people and visitors have more things to do in Titchfield. This in turn would contribute to the goal of bringing more trade to the local businesses and securing the the village’s long term economic viability. 

contacted Dr Dent of Titchfield Haven to find out more about ownership and maintenance of the canal. We had a wide ranging discussion, which resulted in the plan to open up the canal path for wheelchair users, so there is now a RADAR lock on the gate at the Bridge Street end. 

I said how the top section had been improved by the resurfacing and we both held the aspiration that this work should be continued right through to Meon Shore. When we considered how such a venture might be financed, it was clear that potential funders would need to see substantially increased access and usage before agreeing to contribute to the work. Dual use as a footpath and cycle path would be a logical way forward and it was felt that this would not adversely affect the wildlife. This would however bring additional requirements in terms of the width of the path, the surface and the cost, so is not an easy solution. Such a project would be complicated by the northern section having been completed already in narrow format and due consideration of the water voles and other wildlife.

The Titchfield Neighbourhood Forum objective is to influence current and future developments concerning the village. Its proposals will be subject to community consultation and approval. It has broached the subject of dual usage of the canal on the website and in the Parish Magazine and the response has been very interesting. There is some opposition, but the desire for a safe cycle route to the sea has been articulated and seems a reasonable aspiration. I trust the debate will be respectful and bring out all the views. 

I note that Chris, in opposition to cycling on the canal path, recognised the issue of cycling on Posbrook Lane. The other part of the sub group’s work is to examine facilities and safety for cyclists. Posbrook Lane is much used by cyclists for both commuting and leisure. The Lane is very narrow and hectic especially at rush hour, so we are looking at what measures there might be to make the road safer for cyclists. We are also identifying circular cycle routes, of different lengths, from the village  and intend to publicise them as with the footpaths. Safe walking and cycling routes for the children to school is also under consideration with personnel from the school and HCC.

I trust you will support the Neighbourhood Plan when it is completed.

Thanking you.

Kind regards

Ross Underwood

Councillor Hockley – The Canal and Cyclists

Over the years I have made my thoughts about the Titchfield canal AND  path
very clear and have sp;ent a considerable amount of time ensuring that A/.
The Canal is cleaned out and B/ that sufficient money was made available
from HCC in order to substantially improve the canal path.  I managed to
obtain much assistance from Messrs Amey who on one day alone provided 45
volunteers who I spent the entire day cleaning out the canal and allowing
the water proper flow.  At a latter date we spent a further day cleaning out
the canal from under the A27 Road to the bridge at East Street.  This
exercise much improved the water flow and for the first time in many years
homes whose gardens ran down to the canal were not flooded.  The Canal path
which had been little more than a muddy track was totally replaced and is
now a very satisfactory path way  that allows walkers, children and family
groups to enjoy the canal.  Equally important is the fact that some 500
Water Voles now live in and around the canal and I am advised that many have
created homes under the new path.

Within the news and views paper, TITCHFIELD MATTERS I have read with
interest the views of people I respect within the village, residents such as
Chris Walker,  Tim. Mason, Clive, Fil Bower and indeed others.  The canal is
indeed a  path,  a place too walk, not to ride bikes at silly speeds I have
also read the views of those who who would open up the path to cyclists and
I wont go into the damage they could and do cause.  I am delighted that we
have sensible thinking from the Chris Walkers of this world.  Good on you

As a final thought let me say that I will fight tooth and nail the
suggestion that bikes be allowed on the canal path,  The Titchfield Forum
really should consider the sense of some of their more outrageous
suggestions and the damage they could  cause.   Thy might simply prefer to
take note of the sign’ s that ban bikes

Best regards

Geoff Hockley
County Councillor

A quiet walk on the canal path…

Bank Holiday Monday, enjoying a quiet walk along canal only to be greeted by two adult male cyclists steaming along the path. When I pointed out the path was for Walkers Only I was greeted with a sarcastic remark and they just continued on their way. Ignorance certainly is bliss in the cycling world and those that really do not care just put all cyclists in a bad light.


Cycling the canal path is safer than using the road.

Note this is a re-post because the notification system was not fully operational when it was originally posted.

As a mother of a junior school child learning to cycle and a keen walker of the canal who has only ever experienced polite, thoughtful behaviour from both cyclists and walkers, I am surprised at some of the posts here. As a walker I do not mind stepping sideways occasionally to let a jogger or cyclist past. I would certainly prefer to share such a valuable learning and environmental experience with children and other locals and visitors (whether they cycle, run or walk) than know that I am sending children and adult cyclists down a dangerous road with blind bends and cars driving fast (risking God knows what!) when there is such a wonderful resource that we can all share.


Cyclists on canal path

I have feet in all camps .. though not enough feet!  As a horsey, bike owning dog walker I’m firmly in the walkers only camp. The cyclists that I regularly see riding the path (even at night in groups) are almost exclusively riding mountain bikes. The canal path is far from being mountainous and is far more akin to pavement. I thought that the purpose of this type of bike was to test your ability on testing terrain , which the footpath is certainly not. Re: the safety element of bikes and pedestrians and the warning of approaching bikes , I can’t remember the last time I heard a rider ring a bell to alert others of their arrival. Perhaps it’s not “cool” to have a bell.
As regards putting the equestrians into the mix that would be totally ridiculous. Horses and dogs have minds of their own and despite the best efforts of riders /owners they do at times do their own thing. In addition horses would destroy the walkability of the pathway . The only answer would be to provide a seperate way for both styles of rider- the practicalities and cost of providing this would be beyond limited budgets which may be available.
At present the canal walk is just a foot path, and a very nice one where dogs can run free in safety I would hate to see this change. There are signs that ban cyclists at present , but they are ignored and who is going to “police” this path anyway?

Fil Bower

Cyclists on canal path – April 14th 2017

I walked the Canal Path this afternoon, and in about an hour there were over 50 other people there, including children.  It actually seemed congested!  I can imagine that even 2 or 3 cyclists would have caused significant problems for people.

There would no little possibility of widening the path, because when I spoke to the people surfacing the upper area, and they said they could not make it wider, or put in edges because of the water vole tunnels that run under the path.

Note that despite the walkers only and no cycling signs on the entrances, some cyclists persist in using the path.

Lyndon Hatfield

Please do not allow cyclists on the canal path.

Please do not allow cyclists on the canal path, which is currently a footpath and therefore prohibits cycling. I am a regular walker and find that the majority of cyclists on bridleways (where they are allowed) cycle fast with no regard for walkers, often giving no warning when they are approaching from behind you. Bridleways also allow horse riders and I am unclear how you can have cyclists without horse riders too. Cyclists have Brownwich Lane as an alternative.


Cyclists on canal path

Without wanting to get into an online argument with ‘Tim’ (suspect he may well be a cyclist).

A) his ‘argument’ Re bad car drivers etc is bordering on ridiculous.

B) having cyclists would not necessarily mean then having to open up path to horse riders

I have not come across any cyclist using the track who has shown consideration for walkers by slowing down or dismounting. Cyclists do use it as a ‘rat run’ from the Haven (check it out early in the morning); children go down ‘without a care in the World’ for others and MAMILs use it possibly to test their endurance skills! I was informed by a cyclist that the “Walkers Only” sign meant no horses and it was okay for cyclists to use – they apply this rule when they are seen weaving in and out of the public in pedestrianised areas around Fareham.

The cliff top from the Haven to the caravan site was always walkers only but then the sign was kicked over some years ago and now cyclists use this regularly. Ever met a cyclist coming down the very narrow stretch of path which runs alongside the houses just before the Haven/beach hut area, it’s not pleasant and involves getting over friendly with the gorse or being run down. Cyclists also create huge ruts in the path which fill with water in the winter months.

I will not be responding to any further comments by ‘Tim’ as I believe we are all entitled to our opinions.

Cyclists on Canal Path

It is as irrational to ban all cyclists from the canal footpath as a result of the discourteous actions of a minority, as it would be to ban all cars from our roads for a similar reason.

What I am uncertain of however, is whether opening up the route to cyclists would necessitate converting the footpath to a bridleway. If it were, then that would open it up to horse riders. Whilst I have no objection to horse riders in principle, I fear that it would be virtually impossible to provide a satisfactory path surface that would be resistant to the challenge of horses’ hooves.


Cyclists on footpath along canal.

Cyclists on footpath along canal.

Please, don’t go along with Sue Dents idea for this. I regularly walk along the path and have riders coming along far too fast and with no consideration for those walking with children/dogs/walking sticks.  

I understand cyclists need safe routes, they have the use of Bronwich Lane to access the beach/Haven. Cyclists also need to learn how to behave in pedestrian areas and that they do not have the right to go wherever they please.


Pavements around the village


Lesley Blackburn who is on our footpaths and cycle path group has come up with the following suggestions. Please tell us what you think? Would it work?

Local residents could adopt their section of footpath (pavement) by keeping it clear of over-hanging vegetation. This would also prevent the build-up of weeds, debris and moss which tends to make footpaths slippery especially in wet weather. – I know some very public spirited residents already do this so we don’t want to preach to the converted.

Local organisations and businesses could adopt particular parts of a footpath. It would be up to the organisation in question how they would do this. It could be a clear up which would be great, but on-going maintenance would be better, whether that is to remove litter or chewing gum stains or the timely reporting of footpath faults to the relevant authorities.

We could include the youth organisations and the school which would be a way of showing young people that we all need to do a little to keep our village looking at its best.

There could also be an environmental angle perhaps to appeal to younger minds as if looking after a footpath becomes a chore it’s never going to be a success.