Councillor petitions council over Lewes Road scheme

Posted On 02 Jun 2015 at 9:51 am

A new Brighton councillor has kicked off his first term of office with a petition calling for the release of data about the impact of the changes to Lewes Road.

Lewes Road cycle laneDaniel Yates, who was elected to represent Moulsecoomb and Bevendean and is now the Labour group’s health chief, is asking for the release of all monitoring documents produced since November 2013 with data about air quality, health, travel times and accident rates.

He is also asking for the council to consider time restricting the bus lanes and introducing measures to lessen any impact on surrounding roads.

Coun Yates said: “I think it’s crucial that local people are able to fully demonstrate their views on this. I could have simply requested a report but local feeling run very high over the Lewes Road scheme and it’s important for people to be able to show their support for this.

“The Lewes Road scheme and its impacts were mentioned by probably 75% of all those thousands I spoke to during the campaign and its impacts are felt across a range of wards. This is a chance for all those residents to have their voice.

“I’m not egotistical enough to think that I am the council. I’m more than happy to prove that I want to hear the views of residents more than once every four years.”

This use of the council’s e-petition service by a councillor is a novel one. Current guidance states that councillors are not allowed to sign petitions – however, it does not prevent them starting one.

The tactic is supported by the Labour group, with a spokesman saying: “The previous Green administration reneged on its own commitment to monitor the scheme after six months of going live. Dan, as a concerned ward councillor, is ensuring that it’s being done.”

The petition was launched on Friday and at the time of publication, it had been signed by 91 people.

However, it has been slammed as an unnecessary, ill-informed waste of time and money by the Greens, who originally implemented the scheme.

Convenor Phelim Mac Cafferty said: “The Lewes Road scheme is innovative and forward-thinking. It was widely supported in one of the biggest and most in-depth consultations ever conducted in our city.

“It continues to be subject to extensive ongoing monitoring and by all measures, it’s been a success.

“More journeys are being made by bus, taxi and bike and fewer journeys are being made by car, bus journeys are now quicker and more reliable.

“There is no significant displacement of traffic to other routes and significantly, air quality, dire for so many years along this road, is finally showing improvement.

“This is what we promised and what has been delivered. It is good news for our city and for the health of our residents.

“The improved Lewes Road will help the city to keep moving into the future, as the number of residents and visitors continues to grow.

“The next monitoring surveys will be carried out this autumn, to enable comparisons with data collected in November 2012 and 2013 and I will be as interested as anyone to see the results.

“It takes time to fully understand the impact of a large scheme like this. However by no measure, to date, can it be shown to have failed or there to be any justification for a review.

“This would be an utter waste of officer time and incredibly limited city council funds.

“Also what sort of message would it send if we were to reverse this work that was paid for by the Department for Transport? They would think long and hard before they would invest in any more transport initiatives in our city.”

  1. feline1 Reply

    When cycling, I find the new layout (with the cycle lane going behind bus shelters) to be a big improvement.
    There’s still some bits though when the line markings are a half-assed pot-holed mess,
    and the biggest bugbear is people continually parking in the cycle lane between Vogue Gyratory and the Level. I defy anyone to cycle that stretch and not have to move out round at least half a dozen cars parks on double yellows (sometimes even ‘No Loading’ stripes) blocking the cycle lane. What is the point of narrowing the road with a cycle lane if the council lets selfing twits use it as a parking bay? Why can’t the parking team give them tickets?!?!

  2. Arthur Petworth Reply

    Too Right! There are parked cars on yellow lines almost permanently on Lewes Road just after the Level.

  3. graham Bradley Reply

    maybe cycleists would like to dip there hand in there pockets and help pay for these lanes oops shuldent use fowl language

    • Martin Green Reply

      Um, why do you think cyclists dont pay tax?!? You would have to be a proper hermit to not pay tax in this country because of VAT, income tax e.t.c.

      Many of these sort of schemes are part funded by sustrans which is a cycling promotion charity that many cyclists choose to give money to actually too.

  4. Craig Reply

    There is not enough (read near zero) parking facilities on the commercial stretch of Lewes road between the level and vogue gyratory. This is an area where small retail businesses need as much trade as possible to survive. As a VED/Road fund payer and therefore someone who actually contributes to the cost of the road I would rather see open thriving shops and communities, with adequate parking rather than boarded up shopfronts and unobstructed cycle lanes.

  5. Bob Reply

    You don’t need a petition to get the council to release all the data it has on the scheme, just a freedom of information request.

  6. Adam Campbell Reply

    I recently spoke to the chap who is in charge of air quality monitoring in the city and very helpful he was too. He revealed that the air quality at the Vogue Gyratory has not improved one jot since the ‘improvements’. He was also good enough to tell me that the active monitoring station has been hidden up Hartington Rd so infact the quality may have got worse. The green desire to make the facts fit their vision is written on the lungs and hearts of the people of the Lewes Rd.

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