One of the best routes in and out of Winchester for cyclists is Easton Lane and the subway system at Junction 9 of the M3/A34. Cyclists have been using this route continuously since the mid 1980s when the M3 Popham to Bar End section was built. Cyclists’ use of these subways is now under threat and your help is needed to prevent that threat becoming a reality.
Highways Agency (it manages the motorway network)) was approached about signing the National Cycle Network from Easton to Winchester through the subway system. Highways Agency has rejected this request and also indicated that it considers use by cyclists of the subway system to be illegal. It is also reported that Highways Agency is actively considering improvements to the junction that could stop us accessing the subways.
We need to demonstrate that cyclists have been using the subway system for years and then can claim a right of way for cyclists through it. This is a legal process done through Hampshire County Council, i.e. we must show that cyclists have had uninterrupted and unobstructed use of the subway system and that the landowner (Highways Agency) has never attempted to stop that use. The route is or was shown on some OS and cycle maps and although indicative this is not sufficient in law.
If you have used the subways, please can you print out the form and map, complete and sign them and post back to
7 Ruffield Close
I am collating the evidence and will submit on block to Hampshire County Council. It does not matter how long you have been using the subways, whether on your own or with a group. It is weight of evidence that counts rather than length of use.
If we can establish a right of way in law, it will be more difficult for Highways Agency to close the route and if the junction were to be reconfigured, the existence of a legal right of way would make it easier for us to campaign for an alternative and acceptable route for cyclists.
This is really important. Please help to maintain this route for current and future cyclists.
Thanks very much.