Councillor fears Hove cycle lane consultation has been nobbled

A councillor is concerned that a consultation about a cycle lane in Hove has been nobbled by groups from Shoreham, London and as far away as Yorkshire.

Several posts in Facebook cyclists’ groups urged members to complete a consultation form on the Brighton and Hove City Council website about the temporary Old Shoreham Road cycle lane.

The first of them appears to have been a post by Shoreham-by-Cycle calling on people from outside Brighton and Hove to support the controversial cycle lane.

Labour councillor Peter Atkinson, who represents North Portslade, is concerned that outside organisations interfered with the consultation to boost the number of responses.

The Shoreham-by-Cycle post was shared across the social media platform more than 75 times by individuals on their profiles and to numerous cycling groups.

It said: “There has been a lot of discussion about the new cycle lane in Brighton along the Old Shoreham Road.

“We’re a big believer in making the roads safer for people to travel to have the option to leave their car at home and to travel actively in a safe manner.

“We’d like you to give your feedback to Brighton council (even if you are not a resident). We’d really encourage you to do so here.”

A post with the same information about the consultation which was shared on the Critical Mass London group, with more than 11,000 members, was further shared more than 20 times.

London-based cycling groups in Lewisham, Hounslow and Ealing were among those encouraging people to respond to the consultation and a petition supporting the cycle lane.

The post even made it to Yorkshire and the national group Cycling UK.

Councillor Atkinson said: “The consultation needs no verification of who is filling it in and I suspect we will further find more cycling groups far and wide sharing the consultation.

“This issue really only affects local residents and businesses but it seems like they are being manipulated in an extreme fashion to achieve a result which will simply not reflect local opinion.

“This is a consultation, carried out by the council, not a petition and, as such, should be a true reflection of local opinion and not suffer from this gross external interference.”

Shoreham-By-Cycle has defended its approach to the Hove cycle lane consultation

Shoreham-by-Cycle said that the council had invited people who travel through Brighton and Hove or who were visitors to respond, adding: “As a Shoreham-based group, routes between Shoreham and Brighton and Hove are really important to Shoreham residents.

“Many Shorehamites work in Brighton and Hove and others shop there or visit on a regular basis.

“Brighton and Hove City Council clearly appreciates this, so we appreciate their openness to wider feedback.”

The council said “This is an online survey to gather views on a number of temporary transport changes in the city, not a formal consultation.

“Any proposed permanent changes would be subject to a formal consultation before implementation.

“Respondents are asked to input their postcode information and we encourage all users of our transport network and public spaces to have their say.”

The survey is open until Saturday 31 October in the public consultation section of the city council website under the heading Covid-19: Temporary Changes to Transport and Travel in Brighton and Hove.

Separate consultations are under way for different travel measures across Brighton and Hove.

  1. Rob Arbery Reply

    There we have it proof of a total sham ‘consultation’ and the council do not give a stuff. Simply not good enough.

    • Peter Reply

      Here here. Would like to see those that encouraged this justify their actions about this. Not to sure that Yorkshire cyclists (that’s a bloody long ride!!) are that desperate to cycle along OSR after such an exhausting ride!!

  2. Mike byford Reply

    And I would like to see you justify getting to work a little quicker, with the death of the first cyclist , as the lane is removed….
    Osr needs s cycle lane! As fo all other busy roads in Brighton!
    I have seen all the posts About this and I have seen all the car drivers encouraging all their ‘Facebook friends’ to sign it, some of which don’t even drive! Until the cycle routes are linked up, they just won’t get the numbers, also, there are still a lot of cyclists riding on the paths along there, they need time to adjust and trust the lane and cars need to be kept out of it!
    This has to be the way forward for our city!

    • Peter Challis Reply

      Or the first death caused by emergency services being delayed because of the cycle lanes and wands when other traffic can not get out of the way.

      And all this for 1 bicycle every 2-5 minutes in each direction on 50% of the road capacity.

    • Peter Challis Reply

      It’s not just “car drivers” – it’s taxi drivers, tradesmen, residents, local businesses, delivery drivers, commuters, those for whom cycling is not an option, and many cyclists who think that cycle lanes have to be in the right place where they will be used effectively and the impact on other road users is taken into account.

      But thank you for your consideration for everyone else 🤔

  3. Alex Reply

    Hardly objectionable. Shoreham isn’t far away. The road is Old Shoreham road, not surprising the people from Shoreham may use it travelling to Brighton & Hove for work etc and want to submit their opinion.

    London and Yorkshire groups less so but sharing social media posts doesn’t mean anyone there filled in the consultation and the council asks for a postcode for the consultation so can weight such responses how it wants.

  4. Rolivan Reply

    There is a perfectly good cycle route from Shoreham to Brighton already and it is flat all the way from As far as Goring to the Marina and even further it runs the entire length of the Seafront.

    • Caroline costa Reply

      Genuinely interested where this is because when I’ve tried I’d say the path ends just past the lagoon and didn’t start again until nearly in Shoreham. Am I missing something?!

  5. Teresa Lipson Reply

    The solution to this must surely be to properly monitor current use with a fixed camera. Every day,particularly at rush hour. Being summer usage over the next couple of months should be at its highest. Then keep monitoring through October and November to see what happens. A decision can then be made on the basis of evidence not manipulation. Also changes in air quality need monitoring to get the full picture. A lot of money is proposed to be spent on this particular route and it is the duty of the council to make sure it is being spent in the best possible way

  6. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    I cycled along the Old Shoreham Road to and from the re-opening of the Open-Air Theatre (a very wet afternoon). Much quicker than in the past. The thing about petitions is that they amount to one document; the signifier in planning and traffic matters is the individual comments made about them (for and against). These take a little longer to do but have more effect.

    http://www.christopherhawtree.com

  7. Paul J Williams Reply

    Consultations for schemes which ONLY affect residents Brightontians should be restricted to resident Brightonians.

    Madeira Drive is a special case because user groups from around the country and world genuinely visit and use the space as a destination and for events.

  8. Ron Porter Reply

    What I cant understand, is that this was supposed to be a temporary thing only, & all because of the covid 19 lockdown, now apologies if I sound stupid, but when the lockdown was on, there were hardly any people about, either walking, cycling, or in vehicles, so why did we need it in the first place, & also, even now, things are not quite back to normal, but when they are, then there will be a lot more vehicles on the road, & it will be a total gridlock, & think of the excess pollution, all for the odd bike or two, but hey ho, that`s our local council for you, if they can mess things up, they will do, in a big way, just look at what they want to do on the seafront road, total & utter stupidity. The council wont be happy until they turn everyone away from Brighton & Hove, & the place ends up like Blackpool, or Southend, total disasters.

Leave a Reply

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.