Greens organise protest ride against plans to scrap Hove cycle lane

Posted On 20 Feb 2011 at 11:57 pm

Green Party councillors and activists organised a protest to try to save a cycle lane in Hove yesterday (Saturday 19 February).

The protest in The Drive and Grand Avenue was against plans to remove the cycle lane running up and down both roads between Hove seafront and Old Shoreham Road.

Councillor Alex Phillips, who represents Goldsmid on Brighton and Hove City Council, and Councillor Ian Davey, who represents St Peter’s and North Laine, organised the protest.

A video of the protest can be seen here.

Green protest against removal of Hove cycle lane

Councillor Davey, the Greens’ transport spokesman, said: “It is only three years since this same Conservative administration spent over half a million pounds of public money on installing the cycle lanes.

“Now they plan to spend more than twice as much taking it out.

“To make matters worse, they may well have to give back the £300,000 that they were given by the government to pay for the lane in the first place.

“How mad is that?”

“At the same time they are planning to spend £4.5 million on doing up car parks.

“In good times such expenditure would be questionable. In times of austerity this proposal is grossly irresponsible.

“The Tories clearly do not have a coherent vision for transport in this city.

“Their ill thought out proposals, combined with their cuts to staff numbers including those in road safety, will only worsen the problems of traffic congestion, air pollution and road safety that blight this city.

“They are shifting transport policy firmly into reverse.”

Gill Mitchell, leader of the opposition Labour group of councillors, said: “I am appalled at this terrible waste of taxpayers’ money, at a time of unprecedented cuts, all because the Tories have a pathetic prejudice against cycling.”

Councillor Mitchell added: “They’ve spent over a million axing other cycle lanes across the city.

“Just why are the Tories so against cycling?

“These decisions seem to be based on prejudice not policy.”

She said that the other cycle lanes to have been axed were those proposed along the A270 Old Shoreham Road and the seafront cycle lane extension from the Palace Pier to Rottingdean.

The CTC – the Cyclists’ Touring Club – and Bricycles, the local campaign group, have both come out against the scarpping of the cycle lane.

The plans to scrap the cycle lane and spend money on car parks in the area are contained in the council’s draft budget.

The details can be found in the agenda for the council’s cabinet meeting last Thursday (17 February) by clicking here.

The budget will be debated by the full council on Thursday 3 March.

  1. Valerie Paynter, saveHOVE Reply

    Why did Labour plan stupidly when it came to cycle lanes and what input was there from the Greens at that stage? Why did the Conservatives not question the previous administration’s plans when officers presented them for further work/actioning?

    It is absolutely impossible for this £1m to be approved at Budget Council because the opposition parties voting en bloc outgun the Conservative Administration; so it was daft to even bring it forward and take the humiliation of an opposition drubbing!

    You couldn’t make it all up for anything other than a slapstick telly sitcom really. All a bit like the Mad Hatter’s tea party in fact!

    Cyclists soon learn what to avoid and cyclists avoid using the cycle lane in The Drive – that is my analaysis of why the accident figures have reduced since it was installed.

    Similarly, motorists soon learned to avoid the tangle of sequenced traffic lights as between Sackville Road, Portland Road and Blatchington Road. Result? Less traffic altogether in Sackville Road, especially from taxis. And pedestrians just walk when they want to rather than spend 10 minutes waiting for the pedestrian crossing light to appear. Good, innit?

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