Cyclists are to be allowed to ride the wrong way along 12 one-way streets in the North Laine area of Brighton.
The proposal was approved at a Brighton and Hove City Council meeting this afternoon (Tuesday 27 March).
The proposal has two aims. One is to discourage cycling on pavements and twittens in the area in response to concerns from local residents and businesses.
The other aim is to extend the growing network of cycling routes in Brighton and Hove.
The idea met with some resistance at a recent meeting of the North Laine Community Association. Critics worry that it will lead to more accidents.
But, speaking before the meeting, Councillor Ian Davey, the council’s cabinet member for transport and the public realm and a Green ward councillor for St Peter’s and North Laine, dismissed their concerns.
He said that similar “contraflow” or two-way cycle paths already existed in one-way streets in the area.
He said that cyclists were already allowed to go against the flow of traffic in Jubilee Street, New Road and part of Church Street. This had not led to a rise in accidents, he said.
The roads being considered all have 20mph speed limits. They are
- Church Street (part of the street already has contraflow cycling)
- Foundry Street
- Gloucester Road
- Gloucester Street (part of the street)
- Kemp Street
- Kensington Place
- Kensington Street
- Over Street
- Queen’s Gardens
- Robert Street
- Tidy Street
- Trafalgar Street
The next step will be to advertise the traffic orders necessary to formalise the changes and this will give people a chance to comment.
Councillor Davey said: “The proposals are all about making the whole area more accessible for cyclists and making it easier for people to get to the shops and businesses in the North Laine.
“They will also address the concerns raised by local residents and businesses regarding cyclists who use pavements and twittens by permitting people to cycling legally on the street.
“A lot of people already cycle in both directions along these one-way streets. Putting in the necessary safety measures of signs and road markings would help make sure all road users are aware of the shared use.”
David Sewell, chairman of the North Laine Traders Association, said: “We welcome greater accessibility to shops and services in the North Laine area.
“We hope these measures will promote responsible cycling which will create safer streets for all.
“Should the proposals go ahead we anticipate full monitoring of the arrangements, with appropriate feedback and dialogue taking place between the city council and the North Laine Traders Association and North Laine Community Association.”
Councillor Davey was unable to be at the meeting this afternoon so the decision was taken by his council cabinet colleague Pete West.