More people are driving into Brighton because fewer buses are running and those that are running have reduced capacity because of coronavirus social distancing rules, according to campaigners.
The A259 Action Group has submitted a formal question to Brighton and Hove City Council about increased congestion on the seafront main road since the introduction of an eastbound temporary bus lane.
The group said that the new bus lane had pushed congestion back from the corner of Greenways – the Ovingdean turn-off – and past Roedean Road to Black Rock.
According to the group, the combined effect of reduced commuter bus capacity has led to an extra 100 cars using the road, resulting in more congestion.
The action group, which was set up to find ways to ease air pollution and traffic fumes on the A259 between Brighton and Eastbourne, wants the council to publish figures for queues and delays resulting from the temporary measures.
It said that 700 peak hour passengers were unable to board buses at the moment because of the covid-19 restrictions.
There are 23 peak-hour buses with a capacity of more than 2,000 passengers.
But social distancing rules meant that those buses were carrying between 1,100 and 1,300 fewer passengers.
Rob Shepherd, an adviser to the A259 Action Group, is due to speak on behalf of the group the question at a special meeting of the council on Thursday (13 August).
He said that the council’s new Green administration needed to explain how it would handle the situation.
Mr Shepherd said: “It is asked to show its plans are based on valid traffic data, as historically local residents had to employ traffic surveyors to correct serious misunderstandings.
“This will be a big opportunity for the Green administration to show it doesn’t just think about bikes and the inner city but also cares about bus commuters and the carbon emissions and economic damage that failing to manage traffic congestion causes.”
As well as asking for figures on queues and delays, Mr Shepherd also wants the council to explain whether it is viable for the emergency services.
The “virtul” meeting is due to start at 4.30pm on Thursday (13 August).