Campaigners call for boost for buses and bikes in Brighton road scheme

Posted On 19 Oct 2018 at 6:50 pm

A campaign group has called for road layout changes to make journeys better for people on buses and bikes in the centre of Brighton.

The call came from Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth in comments about proposed changes to the Old Steine layout in a scheme known as the Valley Gardens project.

Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth Said that it was “backing proposals to revamp Valley Gardens in Brighton’s city centre”.

It said: “The council is currently consulting on plans until (Sunday) 25 November.

“While Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth is strongly supportive of the need for change, it believes that there is still quite a lot of work to do on the designs.

“In particular there needs to be

  • A greater length of bus stops, not fewer
  • Bus priority measures between Castle Square / North Street and north of the Pavilion
  • Continuous cycle lanes, not broken up with large areas of shared use
  • Improvements to cycle connectivity with Kemp Town and to the seafront
  • Larger pedestrian crossings, particularly near the Palace Pier

Chris Todd, of Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, said: “For too long the heart of Brighton has been dominated by roads and tarmac.

“This has left pedestrians squeezed into narrow pavements, while key cycle routes don’t join up. Bus services have also suffered because of the lack of bus priority measures.

“None of this makes any sense. A single car requires a vast amount of road space compared to a person walking, cycling or using the bus.

“In a city with only a finite amount of space, allowing the car to dominate is illogical. Not only is it bad for the environment and public health, it is also bad for the economy.

“While we strongly support changes to Valley Gardens, our support is not a blank cheque. People have raised a number of issues around buses and cycling and these must be addressed as the design progresses.

“We would urge people to consider the consultation in this light – how could the area be improved?

“While proposals need to be practical, people should not be constrained by traditional highway thinking which has largely got us into our current mess. We need a better balance that puts people first and doesn’t allow the car to hog all the space.

“Creating a safer and more pleasant environment will encourage more people to leave their cars at home, making it better for everyone.”

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