Controversial George Street bike share hub won’t be budging

One of the top ten bike share hubs in Brighton and Hove is staying put despite a petition asking for it to be moved.

The bike hire stand at the bottom of George Street, Hove, is not popular with traders but has 500 rentals a month.

Business owners in George Street collected a 1,174-signature petition to Brighton and Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee yesterday (Tuesday 26 June).

It called on the council to move the bike share hub away from the southern end of the road.

Conservative councillor Andrew Wealls told the committee that traders reported people tripping over it, adding that it created an obstacle and caused congestion by the Santander bank cash machine.

Another concern was that the site of the hub encouraged cyclists to think they could ride in George Street – sometimes the wrong way up the one-way street – and during the hours when it is pedestrians only.

Councillor Wealls shared a report by traders highlighting various problems.

In response committee chairman Councillor Gill Mitchell said: “It is the policy of the council to encourage travel by sustainable means.

“A move would impact on this popular and successful hub and it should stay where it is.”

A new additional hub is proposed outside the nearby Tesco supermarket in Church Road.

Green councillor Pete West said that people renting bikes brought their business to the street.

He said: “It is bringing people to George Street to use the shops and support traders.

“It is bizarre Councillor Wealls is proposing to send that trade to Tesco.”

Councillor West also called for George Street to be re-visioned without cars at all.

It is currently pedestrian only from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday.

  1. SamC Reply

    What a load of rubbish ““It is bizarre Councillor Wealls is proposing to send that trade to Tesco.” Hove is the only place in the world with a bike rental hub in a street in which cycling is banned most of the day time. Every day you can see people riding these bikes in George Street in violation of the prohibition. Danger to pedestrians. Idiots.

  2. Helen Archer Reply

    For goodness sake. I went to see what all the fuss was about, thinking it must have been placed in the middle of George Street. It is outside Santander – just three shops from the end of the street. Have people really got nothing else to get upset about? Thank your lucky stars you weren’t born in Syria and be thankful for where you live.

    • Valerie Reply

      In fairness Helen, I have seen a tiny child being run over by a cyclist going a) the wrong way up the one way street and b) doing it when it is pedestrianised and parents assume their tinies will be safe to run about freely. They are not….sadly.

      Many cyclists responsibly use the available racks at the northern end to park their bikes and shop on foot in George St. But many, many more swing into it at the southern end and I was once yanked out of the path of a cyclist going at speed straight for my back.

      Siting the bikes at the southern end is unfair to cyclists who may be unfamiliar with the area or our laws. They can be fined if caught cycling up the wrong way or during pedestrianised hours.

      • Michel Wilson Reply

        You’d think that would be reported??? Let’s hope it’s not just made up!! If George Street was pedestrianised properly they might have case. Sadly, the traders have a knee jerk anti bike agenda. I now boycott any shops with anti bike posters.

  3. Billy Reply

    After this story broke a few weeks back I went to check out where this cycle rack was and it didn’t seem out of place. The underlying problem is that some people are using their bikes at pedestrian-only times, and this will mostly be down to poor signage. Indeed the ‘no cycling’ sign at the Church road end is way up in the air and I didn’t see it until I looked. If signage is improved and some continue to cycle in George st then the solution is to issue a few spot fines to get the message out there. Shifting the bike rack elsewhere will just result in people chaining their bikes to trees or benches.

  4. Giovanni Verdi Reply

    Cyclists need to follow the rules of the highway code too. If the hub stays where it is then someone needs to enforce the pedestrian only area against cyclists.

  5. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    It seems to me that, despite the doom-merchants, who all seem fixated upon Life’s end, the bike-hire scheme has worked well (and been up for adjustments). I very much think that all this should be a case of celebrating potential years of life rather than acquiesing in their ending – and bicycles are a great way of prolonging the one life we have (what’s more,my experience of cllr Morgan’s unpleasant attitude makes determined to return).

    • Valerie Reply

      Not doomy at all. Nobody sought to just get rid if the rack. The traders worked and gained Tesco’s agreement to take the bikes if BHCC agreed to move the rack from George St to their frontage.

      Plus suting the bikes in front of the two big boozers tempts fate a bit! Drunks on bikes could get themselves killed!

  6. Fishwife, 49 Reply

    Why didn’t they stick the rack down the side of Peacock’s?

  7. A L Brighton Reply

    Personally, I don’t see the point of the bikes. However, if they do exist, I don’t see a problem with the rack in George Street.

    The rack there is so clearly a major obstruction that I didn’t even know it was there at all, despite an almost weekly visit to it.

    So I have no idea what Cllr Wealls is on about. Perhaps trying to make a name for himself, but just making a fool of himself instead.

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