The “Better Bus Area” scheme being proposed for Edward Street in Brighton will make life worse for people in neighbouring Carlton Hill, according to residents.
Five of them are due to argue their case in a deputation to Brighton and Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee at Hove Town Hall this afternoon (Tuesday 9 July).
Stephanie Clay, Carole Hayman, Rick Hurst, Jan Norris and Josh Pulman are expected to say: “The Better Bus Scheme will have a huge impact on the Carlton Hill area. This was not mentioned at all in the consultation.
“We hope to persuade you that far from being ‘better’, the impact of this scheme will be negative for the local community.
“The information on the scheme is not consistent, speaking in one place of a carriageway that is oversized for the traffic it carries and suggesting elsewhere that buses are held up by traffic.
“This is not the case. Delays to buses occur in the section of the road at the end of the proposed scheme where the road narrows.
“This scheme will not shorten bus journeys as it claims.
“Some local people have had an opportunity to comment on aspects of the scheme. Many local people did not receive a consultation form and did not know about the consultation day.
“The scheme aims to improve the experience of cycling along Edward Street.
“Many of us cycle on Edward Street daily. We see no benefit in having a lane free of cars as the road width means that car drivers give us plenty of room already.
“Cars, buses and bicycles share the road with no problems.
“The main hazard for cyclists is not traffic but the appalling road surface on the westbound carriageway.
“Over the past 18 months the amount and speed of traffic on Carlton Hill and surrounding roads has increased.
“The improved layout of the junction of John Street and Carlton Hill makes Carlton Hill appear an inviting rat run.
“In the rush hour many motorists use the hill as a way of avoiding the lights and crossings on Edward Street and the (Old) Steine.
“Cars speed up the hill, cut down White Street or Blaker Street or carry on up to Queen’s Park Road.
“It is increasingly hard to cross Carlton Hill in the rush hour. The screech of brakes and the blare of horns is often heard.
“In June a pedestrian was knocked down by a car travelling up the hill.
“Traffic noise disturbs residents as cars are usually speeding and engines are at high revs to get up the hill. Nobody takes any notice of the 20mph limit.
“The recent (council) public health report recommends reducing noise and traffic levels in residential areas as a path to reducing the incidence of depression.
“Cycling on the hill is becoming more and more dangerous.
“If the scheme is implemented more traffic will use residential streets containing one school and the walking route to two schools and two nurseries.
“What measures are being taken to restrict the volume and speed of traffic in the area?
“Is it even a consideration or has the impact of the scheme on the surrounding area been overlooked?
“The quality of the air we breathe will decrease and not increase as the proposal claims.
“Having all cars use one lane will make the road more difficult and dangerous for pedestrians to cross.
“The crossing in Edward Street near Amex is no longer sited where people wish to cross the road. The present scheme will not seek to remedy this.
“Why put an upgraded crossing in the wrong place? If the Edward Street development goes ahead then the crossings will need to be resited. Why does this scheme not take account of that?
“This piecemeal development will not produce a pleasing environment or one that benefits the community.
“The proposed raised entrances to roads leading off Edward Street would be an obstacle to eastbound cyclists already dealing with a steep gradient. Traffic already needs to stop at the junctions and would not be slowed.
“Those with buggies and mobility issues are equally well served by ramped kerbs.
“The scheme would cause disruption during construction and would bring no benefit to our community.
“On the contrary it will increase levels of traffic, decrease our air quality, make our roads less safe for pedestrians and cyclists.
“We urge the committee to abandon this flawed scheme and look instead at restricting traffic in Carlton Hill and improving the commercial area of St James’s Street.”