The Old Shoreham Road cycle lane in Hove was officially opened this morning (Monday 18 June).
Transport Minister Norman Baker came to see the scheme for himself in a ceremony held in the Brighton, Hove and Sussex VI Form College (BHASVIC) playing fields.
Mr Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes, was joined by Brighton and Hove City Council leader Jason Kitcat and the council’s transport committee chairman Ian Davey.
The minister praised the council’s approach to sustainable transport and said that his department – the Department for Transport – wanted to reward innovation and success.
He cited the example of another project in Brighton, in Lewes Road, which would be part paid for with £4 million from the government’s sustainable transport fund.
Mr Baker also singled out bus boss Roger French and his company, Brighton and Hove Buses, for praise.
Councillor Kitcat said that the Old Shoreham Road scheme had cut the average of speed of traffic along the road. Before work started, he said, the average speed was 45mph despite the 30mph limit.
Councillor Davey said that the scheme would help encourage more children to cycle to school, with more than 4,000 youngsters attending three schools along the route.
The improved pedestrian crossings and a zebra crossing would make it safer for people on foot too.
He said: “This is a key facility in our overall programme to make Brighton and Hove a city fit for cycling.
“With more people cycling in the city each year and, in order to encourage children and young people to walk or cycle to school, we must do all we can to make sustainable and active travel a viable choice for people.
“The Old Shoreham Road forms a crucial east-west route across the city and will benefit people of all ages who will be able to use it for work and leisure as well as for getting to school.”
The cycle lane runs for 750 metres each way along Old Shoreham Road between Dyke Road in the east and the crossroads with The Drive and Shirley Drive in the west.
The scheme cost about £700,000, with £330,000 coming from the sustainable transport charity Sustrans through its Links to Schools fund. Legal and General was among the local companies to have contributed towards the overall cost.
The council spent £310,000 from its local transport fund over two financial years.