New figures show solid support for "scrapped" cycle lane

Posted On 22 Mar 2010 at 2:29 pm

Two in three people who responded to a £96,000 consultation agreed with now-defunct plans for a cycle lane along Old Shoreham Road, new figures reveal.

In February, Brighton and Hove News revealed that the Tories were considering scrapping the plans before the consultation results were published.

The city’s Labour party has now published the figures after a Freedom of Information investigation, saying abandoning the plans is an appalling waste of tax money.

But the Tories say that, while a majority were in favour, the consultation also highlighted “many safety aspects”, and so the scheme is now on hold until a transport model for the city is completed.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, leader of the opposition Labour group, said: “It is outrageous that the Conservative administration has hidden the true results of the public consultation for so long, simply because the views of the local residents do not reflect their own prejudice against cycling.

“The Conservatives were never committed to this scheme in the first place, which begs the question as to why they ever embarked upon it, wasting nearly £100,000 of taxpayers’ money in the process.”

Coun Mary Mears said: “A significant proportion of the work carried out will be used to inform other new safety schemes in Old Shoreham Road recently agreed in the budget.

“While the results of this consultation appear to show a majority in favour of the scheme, I am very concerned about many safety aspects of  it and until the transport model I have commissioned for the city has been completed, no further work will be carried out.”

The figures published by Labour show 66% (1,930) of the 3,000 (20%) respondents supporting the introduction of the scheme and 62% (1,377) of drivers agreeing with its implementation.

The Old Shoreham Road cycle lane scheme was proposed to have been delivered in two phases: Phase 1, a continuous route from the BHASVIC junction to Nevill Road, Hove, and Phase 2 onwards to Applesham Way, Portslade.

The proposal had undergone independent safety audits as well as safety advice from Cycling England’s Professional Support Team and the council’s own highway engineers.

However, critics said that it would be “next to useless” because of gaps and the difficulty of stopping motorists parking in the lane.

The scheme, which was supported by all the schools questioned, was intended to encourage pupils and commuters to cycle to school and work.

It would have been paid for using money from the Cycling Demonstration Town grant and the council’s own Local Transport Plan funding.

  1. Anonymous Reply

    i liked the cycle lane as it was i now like the cycle lane along Lewes road too but the trafic lights seem to be ignored by cyclists .. WHY not have a crack down policing them ?

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