The challenge of cycle lane changes – driving acrimony and how we move forward

Posted On 22 Aug 2020 at 8:40 pm

Let’s talk about an issue that’s dividing our city right now: traffic and cycling lanes.

You know I’m not one to dodge a tough issue and I also like to try my best to really understand something from the inside. Well, this is no different.

Ever since the easing of lockdown, more people have taken to the roads and I’ve been inundated with messages.

I’ve had messages from motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and many others and there’s only one thing that they all have in common: everyone is angry – very, very angry!

So I’ve been trying my best to get my head around what’s happening and the only way I could do that was to get out and about myself.

I jumped in with both feet, literally, and over the past fortnight have travelled right along the contentious part of Old Shoreham Road, the length of Kingsway from Hove Lagoon to Brighton Marina, and through every ward in Hove, Hangleton and Portslade.

I’ve done this repeatedly by foot, on a bike, as a motorist, on buses – and I’ve even done it on an e-scooter! I’ve been busy.

The first thing I want to say is that I know why people are angry. I get it.

Several times I walked, cycled and scooted past mile after mile of road traffic that was at a complete standstill. This isn’t good for our economy, our environment, or for us as people. It is unacceptable.

Quite close to the Marina I was stopped by a family from Crawley in a car who were asking me where they could park as they wanted to go to the Sealife Centre. They ended up going to the Marina and getting a taxi.

I’ve spoken to disabled people whose only access to Hove seafront has been snatched away with the removal of so many disabled parking bays.

I’ve read deeply frustrating messages from people who simply must use our roads for their livelihoods and yet each journey now takes three or four times as long as it did pre-covid.

In no way are any of these situations, and the many more I know of, acceptable in a modern city like ours.

By experiencing so many different modes of transport in one period I really got to see things from different perspectives. One of the surprises for me was just how many ways there are to get about these days. One of the times I cycled along to the Marina I counted over 20 rollerbladers, eight skateboarders, a dozen electric scooters and other “e-things” – and one bloke who was running at such a pace along the seafront he kept up with everyone in the cycle lane and even overtook some.

My best moment on an e-scooter was down towards the Lagoon where I was overtaken by a young girl on a skateboard!

So, after all this experience what do I think the way forward is?

First and foremost is what covid has done to our roads. During lockdown our streets emptied of traffic but people flooded roads for exercise and needed to distance. It was totally right to adjust to this new reality of the time and get additional cycle lanes up and running.

But since then several new priorities have emerged, like getting our economy back up and running. In a city like ours that means allowing tradespeople to move around and shoppers to get to our retails outlets and workers to get to their jobs.

Because of covid, we’re being discouraged from using public transport. Because the biggest determinant of who suffers worst from infection is age, I’m not going to judge anyone in their sixties and above for choosing to travel around our city by car right now – and when they do I want them to arrive safely and in a good mood!

In my experience, the thing that gets residents and communities most upset is when change is imposed on them without anyone bothering to ask or involve them in the decision. Powerlessness is a horrible feeling.

Right now there are a lot of people feeling utterly powerless and bewildered about who is making decisions about road use and how they are being made.

Having spent so much time in recent days travelling around, plus reading so many of your messages, I really do understand and share this feeling.

Peter Kyle

I have seen with my own eyes people shouting at each other across a road, a driver in a rage bulldoze bollards on Hove seafront and I’ve experienced a cyclist whiz past, swearing at me and everyone else for not going fast enough when in fact he would have been breaking the speed limit had he been in a car. Please everyone, take a deep breath!

So how should we move forward? I have some views on that.

First, the council needs to state unequivocally that any changes to road and pavement usage made during the pandemic are temporary.

Permanent changes should only be made on the back of a meaningful consultation – not a sham one that simply relies on counting the highest number of angry emails on either side of an argument.

Changes in use should be part of a long-term strategy, not short-term opportunism by people who are simply “anti-car” and uncaring as to the plight of people who have no alternative.

Then we all need to accept that the use of roads and pavements is changing and we can’t stop it. We can only do our best to get it right and adapt sensitively.

Cyclists can’t wish away cars and drivers can’t wish away pedestrians – and none of us can stop the rise in popularity of new forms of getting around like e-scooters.

Boundary Road and Station Road 120 years ago

The space between opposing buildings in our city has remained the same for hundreds of years. Back then it was used for promenading and for horses and carts.

For almost a century, it was a simple allocation of roads for cars and a few bikes and pavements for pedestrians.

But as we move away from cars for shorter distances and urban travel, we’re moving to a diverse set of alternatives as there’s so much choice these days.

Yet the space we have remains the same. So we have to get an awful lot better at sharing that space safely and more amicably than we are right now.

I love cars and driving. I always have. But ages ago when I moved to my flat in Lansdowne Place, I realised it simply wasn’t practical or environmental to keep a car here, so I sold it and have made do with public transport since.

That’s worked really well for me but, just because it worked for me, it doesn’t mean that my choice should forced on everyone else, especially without alternatives.

I didn’t go into politics to force everyone to make the choices I have. I want to solve problems by bringing people together.

The Old Shoreham Road cycle lane during the coronavirus lockdown

So the next thing council urgently needs to do is figure out some brilliant alternatives to daily car use and set about implementing a long-term strategy to make it a reality.

The war on cars needs to end. Punishing car use is easy. Providing a more desirable alternative for local travel is hard but that should be the priority.

It feels like madness to me that our city doesn’t have a world-class “park and ride” where visitors can park on the outskirts of the city, have charging points for their electric cars and use super-efficient ways of getting to the parts of town they need to get to in order to eat, relax, shop, visit and simply enjoy our city and spend their money here.

Council, please, for crying out loud, just get this done.

Up in Westminster we have a job to do too. Government needs to help cities like our adjust and adapt. Take e-scooters for example. Right now, they’re legal to rent but not to own, that’s just crazy. I was really sniffy about them until I gave one a go for a couple of days. I nipped from my flat to the Brighton Centre to visit a food charity and it took me five minutes.

Last weekend I popped along to the Marina and met a friend for lunch and it took about a fifth of the time it would have taken on a bus.

What’s important is it’s not just convenience. These journeys were also zero-carbon – my electricity provider doesn’t use fossil fuels. I love walking but I didn’t have time to walk to the Marina that day. The scooter was just perfect.

The point is that these new forms of ultra-local transport are finding an important place alongside cars, buses and walking.

Over time, as we’ve seen, the balance will shift as to who uses them and how. We need to be aware of this right now, as individuals and as a city and country, and we need to start preparing for it.

Just look at the photos of Hove from a century ago and today – our road and pavement usage has been changing ever since it was first built.

I want e-scooters to be regulated and lessons to be a condition of sale. I want car driving lessons to include courtesy and safety towards cyclists and other kinds of road users.

And we’re all going to have to accept that “cycle lanes” aren’t going to be for pedal-powered bikes exclusively. They’re going to be the place where people using different kinds of mobility devices move together at similar speeds. From rollerbladers to people on those new electric wheel things.

I know this is difficult for some cyclists, especially those who go to the trouble of spraying “no e-scooters” on to cycle lanes, but roads and pavements are certainly not safe for them and we cannot, in a world striving for zero carbon, stop progress.

They key to all this is sensitivity, empathy and a lot of talking and listening by the people making decisions about transport in our city.

We all need to move around and we all pay for the roads, pavement and cycle lanes and have a right to use them in a way that suits our individual needs while not disrupting others.

In the coming years there’ll be a huge diversity in the methods we chose to move around and I find that really exciting. It’ll transform our city in brilliant ways if we get it right but lead to more misery if we get it wrong.

It will empower people with mobility challenges or growing older to enjoy a much more mobile, extended life that brings the whole city into reach. Or if we get it wrong, people will feel trapped, priced out or excluded from the best bits of life in our modern brilliant city.

So to the people making decisions about this I beg: there can be no stitch-ups when it comes to changing the use of our public spaces. Every decision needs to be transparent, no back-room deals.

People and communities need to be brought back together. We cannot allow a “culture war” between car and van owners v cyclists. That would be a terrible outcome and indictment of our political class right now.

We must find ways to share space and respect the transport choices other people make and the fact that each person and family experiences different challenges and needs.

Car use will change profoundly in the years ahead, firstly with the brilliant move towards electric that’s already under way. But we can’t punish drivers for making a choice for which there’s no workable alternative.

As ever, I’m really keen to read your comments. I know this is a subject that really gets people’s temperature up so please, please, be as respectful as possible so we can all learn from each other’s experiences.

I’m especially keen to hear what you’d like from me as we move forward with this tricky issue because I want to help us move forward on this issue and not be paralysed by acrimony.

Peter Kyle is the Labour MP for Hove. He first posted this article on his Facebook page.

  1. Karen jones Reply

    Please remove one or the other cycle lanes along the seafront, it’s too much for pediatricians to cope with. Introduce main streets for public transport and cyclists only. Parking should be used around the areas of residential or back streets away from highly denser places. Maderia drive is excellent for parking bays. We have parking garages but too expensive, churchill square and marina. It’s getting the balance right safely as possible.

    • Hove Resident Reply

      I, together with my disabled aunt took a stroll along the seafront. My aunt in her wheelchair which I was pushing. We commenced our walk on the pavement just between the lawns and grand avenue. The original cycle lane to our right and the newly installed temporary one to our left. We were heading east. Not long into our journey we we’re faced with dodging several runners and cycles on the pedestrian path. We decided to take ourselves south down onto the beachfront to avoid the issues we were were experiencing. As we moved across the cycle lane bearing in mind we waited at the GIVE WAY part so it’s safe to cross, the coast was clear and moved across. Next we hear was “get out the way” from an angry cyclist. I shouted it was a GIVE WAY and all I got was a mouthful of abuse. My aunt upset and the morning stroll dampened. We commenced on our stroll on the beach front but then faced with further cyclist cycling along this area which I understood stated no cycling.

      Why can’t the cycle lane be used by cyclist and runners have a lane on the beach front dedicated to them, allowing pedestrians to enjoy their time too, instead of what seems to me in that the pedestrian areas are becoming more limited.

      If there were traffic type wardens to enforce the no cycling on the beachfront, that would help. It doesn’t help get the message across it is wrong not to be cycling in this area when I have noticed on many occasions police have said nothing in the past whilst strolling along the seafront.

      We all need to enjoy our time outside and if there was more respect and kindness to one another, our days would be so much better.

    • Led by Don Quixotes Reply

      Just paediatricians, Karen?

    • Martjt Reply

      The marina parking is free for 4 hours

  2. Sylvia White Reply

    Cycle lanes should be seen to be used. As far as I’ve experienced this isn’t really happening along Old Shoreham Road.
    Is there any point in having cycle lanes anywhere if there is no dedicated cycle access to said lanes?

    During your investigations did you check out the excess traffic on local roads, like Neville Road and possibly Portland Road, where vehicles are detouring in order to avoid hold ups on OShR?

    I wonder if consideration has been given to taking cycle lanes off major roads and having them on the residential roads. This would probably cut unnecessary vehicles in those roads and leave the main access roads for cars, buses, vans etc.

    Drivers might be more in favour of cycle lanes if, when there is a cycle route, cyclist etc were not allowed to used the road.

    • Andy Scott Reply

      I would like all temporary cycle lanes be removed to get the transport links moving again,there should be a proper consultation and a well thought out plan for the future if cycle lanes,i am a regular cyclist in Brighton and struggle to see the point of 2 cycle lanes next to each other on the seafront

  3. roy pennington Reply

    try a mobility scooter next time = nice article but too wordy =

  4. Peter Challis Reply

    Great, balanced, observations and comments from Peter Kyle. Let’s hope our council takes note.

    Come on Pete West and Phelim Mac Cafferty – have that proper consultation with the electorate you are accountable to.

    I didn’t realise that some pedal cyclists disapprove of eScooters using “their lanes”.

  5. Yvonne Cooke Reply

    Why not use New Church Road as the Cycle lane? It’s wide enough. Less traffic, less pedestrians
    A huge build up of traffic along Nevill Ave since the cycle lane was introduced, due to people trying to dodge the congestion in OSR.
    If a vehicle ie a bus or truck broke down between Olive Road & Holmes Ave. what will happen? Build up of traffic and no recovery will get through.
    Nothing has been thought through.

    While you were out & about I hope that you noticed the state of our pavements, especially in this area. They are a disgrace. The council would be wise to spend money on them before someone slips on the weeds that are growing through them.

  6. Jen Murray Reply

    Very reasonable article covering all the angles. Maybe a little repetitive but gets the main points across admirably. As he mentions, people get very angry about decisions being made in an undemocratic way. I hope the council will soon undo the temporary cycle lanes and draw up a holistic transport policy for consultation.

  7. Rick mckellar Reply

    Park and ride need on outside of all city’s and towns

    • Peter Challis Reply

      All major “cycling” cities such as Copenhagen and Cambridge (as quoted by Bricycles) have excellent park-and-ride schemes linked to rapid transit into the city centres.

      Both Labour and Conservatives included providing a proper park-and-ride scheme in the council election manifestos. Unfortunately, as part of the Labour-Green post-election deal, the Greens took control of transport strategy, and they are against park-and-ride as they say it encourages private transport – see https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/tr.html


  8. Mary Lockyer Reply

    As ever Peter is balanced, there are serious issues on the safety of the new cycle lanes in the Old Shoreham Road, The Ambulance station feeds into that section, and now access to the recycling amenity tip is limited to westbound traffic only, the cemetery flanks both sides, English Close feeds the Fire engines into a virtually blind bend, it does not take a lot to imagine how easy an accident in this section from the Sackville Road junction to the Hangleton Road junction would be. Emergency vehicles are having to cross into the path of oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the road, with bollards impeding the safety of cars and lorries. I still see cyclists preferring to use the pavements, ignoring red lights. All road users need to observe the Highway code.

  9. BS Gillingham Reply

    I’ve always agreed that this City needs to encourage visitors from outside local area. We must have suitable Park & Ride schemes in place before we change the road network in our City. The Local Authority are back to front with their priorities.
    I know many a local tradeperson now deciding NOT to undertake work locally. This is bad for the local economy. I vow never to visit my local City again until the Council wake up.

  10. Brighton Area Buswatch Reply

    Bus users are suffering big delays due to these poorly planned cycle lanes, just as the bus companies are getting services back to normal. Unfortunately the Council doesn’t seem concerned. In normal times a million journeys a week were made on buses in Brighton & Hove, that figure is now halved but has been climbing again. The Council claims buses cannot cope but in reality very few buses are full even with temporary capacity limits. It seems crazy the Council is targeting bus users when they should be promoting public transport. Government advice to avoid public transport was dropped a few weeks ago. Most cyclists will transfer to other modes in bad weather so as winter approaches this congestion is likely to get worse, especially if they turn to cars. The Government money available to council’s can be used for bus priority measures but apart from a new bus lane on the A259 near Rottingdean, nothing else is planned. Earlier plans for a westbound bus lane in Marine Parade between Rock Gardens and the Sea Life Centre (which could have been a bus and cycle lane) have been abandoned in favour of a cycle only lane. So buses on Marine Parade are having to be diverted every day at the moment and are regularly running late. Peter, please use your influence to help bus users – last year more bus journeys were made in Brighton & Hove (per head) than anywhere else outside London so many of your constituents are being affected.

    • Peter Challis Reply

      You have to think yourself lucky – so far the council has invested heavily in providing dedicated bus corridors in the city centre and took notice of bus companies needs. Poor old motorists (including tradesmen and commercial operators) have been left with what road capacity is left.

      The original cycle lane extension was only on routes where there were few buses (such as the B&H Buses 2, 5 and 5a), but the latest changes also affecting Stagecoach 700s.

      Seafront buses being delayed is just another of the “unexpected consequences” that comes from a council that plans based upon “beliefs” and arrogantly doesn’t want to listen to residents, or other road users.

      With the proposed changes that cycling activists controlling the council seem to want along the A270 this will further impact B&H Buses 46, 6, and cause further delays to 2s.

      Thankfully “sensible” Adur have decided not to put 3m cycle lanes between the Holmbush roundabout and the city boundary on th A270, so perhaps this plan will be cancelled, and the temporary extension will be removed after causing 3 months of unnecessary delays.

  11. Brighton Area Buswatch Reply

    Just to add that in Hove, the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane was introduced with no advance warning during lockdown and with traffic levels rising it is now delaying buses, especially at the Hove Park Tavern junction. B&H Buses asked for it to be made into a bus and cycle lane but that was turned down. Those suffering most are people unable to cycle or walk long distances who don’t have access to a car.

  12. Paul Munson Reply

    I see your consolitary and empathetic approach Peter. But the question that we are missing is how serious the climate emergency is. If it really is an emergency akin to a house on fire – would you reach out and discuss how to put the fire out and gain consensus as to the best way forward – or would you just put the fire out?

    As a key contributor to global warming is car usage – should we not impose an immediate ban or at least road space rationing – alternate days using number plates? Obviously if your of the mind that this actually isn’t an emergency and we have time to discuss and reach a consensus and protect the economy – then fair enough – your approach is justified.

    If we are in an emergency then discussing how cyclists and cycle lanes annoy people is akin to worrying about the fire fighters jet of water and how that might make people wet.

    • Mary mother of two Reply

      It’s hard to know where to start with such a crass and blinkered response but the reality is these cycle lanes have added to the air pollution from cars and other internal combustion engines by creating artificial and entirely unnecessary congestion and in doing so have made these places less attractive for cyclists who value their lungs.

      • Paul Munson Reply

        That’s exactly why we now need to limit the traffic Mary – and increase cycling capacity. Bicycles don’t produce any pollution – unless you think that this isn’t any kind of emergency and we can carry on as we were before the bike lanes – which I suppose you might do.

        • Reggie Dale Reply

          Thank you for your interest – are you the Paul Munston from Lewes or the one from Worthing?

          If either, please get back to you appropriate local authority to get them to implement more cycle lanes that few use and cause congestion and even higher emissions.

      • Cat Reply

        Hi Mary yes I have to use my car as I can’t cycle, walk or use public transport because of my disability. If buses went where I needed them to or taxis were cheaper I would do that. I came along the seafront and saw the bikes on the pavement as they were avoiding the fumes from the congestion caused by the queues. Meanwhile the empty cycle lane which was the other traffic lane was just… there really.
        Given you’re only as good as your last tourist season I think the greens maybe don’t want visitors here. People see the ugly roadworks and bollards near west street, get into their single queue next to the empty lane and wonder if Zippos circus has permanently moved in.
        It’s so sad to see our lovely city being dismantled. A single issue pressure group isn’t appropriate to run a large city.
        A coordinated response to this climate emergency would be much better. Easier recycling, freecycling facilities, community support to local initiatives, better services, more trees, better parks and gardens, air pollution information, subsidised pavement vehicle hire, education about local wildlife and ‘weeds’, what can I do to help my community, composting initiatives etc, grey water collection, solar panels. Help local businesses to survive. It all starts with equality of access.

  13. Brendan Cush Reply

    There’s too many of us all trying to share the same space with a minority thinking that it belongs exclusively to their particular ‘tribe’. I’m a smiling ebike user and get verbal from way too many people. I gave up cars a long time ago and this is definitely for me a better and positive mode of Independent transport.
    People are stressed more than ever but then who isn’t? I know people get pretty grumpy when they’ve got less control over what’s happening in the community.
    Yes, there’s the physical space to manage but this should be undertaken with people in the community who may come up with innovative ideas that we haven’t even thought of, not just imposed from a council office somewhere. I know it’s an oxymoron but I’d enforce tolerance and smiling as a priority – think and deliver laterally and maybe have a counter-intuitive approach to help us all get along in these ever-decreasing spaces. We are all, literally, in it!

  14. Rob Arbery Reply

    It is quite clear to see that both New Cycle lanes on the A259 and A270 are an inefficient use of road space. As these are temporary it should be no trouble to revert back to what we had prior. Then without lazy planning, and fraudulent consultation get the job done properly. Better use of the seafront space and look at more sympathetic, flatter route to replace the A270. Above all engage with the residents and businesses don’t simply tell them otherwise you will always run into this sort of resistance.

  15. TP Reply

    Maybe stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It could be that a workable cycling infrastructure just doesn’t work on some of Brighton and Hove’s major roads. Also these “temporary” lanes could now be less wide or even removed altogether now a lot of the “fashion” cyclists and fair weather cyclist have gone back to their cars. Something else that may have been overlooked is the lack of bike parking for the predicted massive numbers of cyclists. No point cycling somewhere if there’s nowhere to park your bike…..which would most probably end up being stolen or stripped.

  16. DS Reply

    Winchester Park & Ride is the best we have ever used and really smooth and effective to visit a popular city. It is also reasonable parking prices and clearly used by workers in the city, locals and visitors. Brighton definitely needs one.

  17. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    I read this article, and wondered why Frank Le Duc was describing his long study of cycle lanes etc.

    Only some into this did I realise that it was re-feeder of a piece by Peter Kyle.

    A point I think not addressed is that cycle paths need to meet to work to their best effect, and to encourage use. And, yet again, the point is made that a park-and-ride set-up is needed. This has been mooted for twenty years – but no site can be found (and it is likely that such a site would simply foster crosstown driving).

    Look at old photographs of Hove and Brighton – the old days for which so many hanker, when everything was apparently wonderful – and there were… fewer automobiles as an emblem of those days. Times change but the streets stay the same. So how can more automobiles be fitted into them?

    Do we really want to have the North Laine demolished to create a freeway? That might sound preposterous, but it was a Sixties proposal, fortunately averted.

    As Peter Kyle’s piece suggests, there are many aspects to this, no ready solutions.

    Speaking for myself, I should like to see action taken about the terrible Fonthill Road in Hove. Drivers ignore the speed limit, and go crazy when they reach that hill. Why? Where are they going in this life by putting the pedal to the metal for a few seconds?

    • Peter Challis Reply

      What has Fonthill Road got to do with cycle lanes on the A270 and A259?

      Please do try to stay on topic…

  18. Glenn Reply

    Interesting reading and thought provoking. Yes there needs to be an area for change, but, might I add that vehicle divers (including motorbikes) do pay a road fund, have to have a licence ( provisional or full), pass a test and have to have insurance! Cyclists, e bike / e scooter etc users do not. There are many times I have been cut up and nearly caused an accident by reckless cyclists and scooters who think they own the road, yet do not have to take test, have insurance or contribute to the road surface etc,a motor vehicle owner is normally blamed for any accidents.

    I might also add that according to the government and DVLA info that a lot of the current alternatives are illegal on the roads.

    I do not see that a knee jerk reaction is a responsible action as in Brighton, there is already a pedestrian walkway, a cycle lane and a large promenade. Surly having traffic condense from 2 lanes to 1 will increase congestion and increase emissions pollution. I spent 45 min getting from Brighton marina to the pier on a Sunday afternoon due to reduction of lanes, this was on a Sunday, not a working day!

    I myself sometimes have no alternative to a car for work due to having to carry lots of equipment to do my job.

    In summary: yes there has to be changes. Make everyone licenced, insured, better educated and responsible / accountable. And any changes should be consulted, not back room.

    Some people may criticise me for these comments, but as with the original story, discussion needs to take place

  19. rolivan Reply

    A lot of people have probably driven past Regency Sq. without realising there is a multi storey car park underneath,why something like this cannot be built at Falmer to me seems incredibly short sighted and could include a much needed Coach Station at ground level or above.It would also be a good link for the thousands of Students Staff and Fans visiting the Amex.It is all very well having a National Park and being part of an AONB with the University being allowed to encroach on this land why not include a Park and Ride.

  20. Anthony Price Reply

    I avoid going to Brighton and Hove as much as possible, it’s a completely unorganised mess biased towards cyclists who are less than 1% of the road users. You pay high fuel prices and road tax and then sit in traffic, there were sufficient cycle lanes already, now there are more for who? A few lycra brigade while they are off work, what about in the middle of winter? No one cycling, cars still sitting in traffic. The best thing is to get traffic from A to B as quick as possible, better for business, better for the environment and better for drivers blood pressure. I used to go shopping in Brighton once every Satuday, I only live 4 miles away,I havent been to Churchill Square in over a year. Because its just too painful to sit in traffic and then try and park, Brightons shops will die, there were empty shops last time I went, in the square and along western road, who would go Christmas shopping there when you can’t get there or park? I shop online now, no stress no parking no stupid traffic system, well done Brighton Council you have done what you set out to do, one less driver wants to come to your town to spend there money. But you better drop the business rates and rents, before they all move to empty Eastbourn, no congestion there.

  21. Martin Reply

    Quick way to get cyclists of the roads make it Law they have to be insured get one smash into your car causing hundreds of pounds of damage and they just walk away absolute joke.

  22. Mary Reply

    I have never known a city that did not have a bus route all along the seafront. I like me you are not able to walk very far, how on earth do you get to the seafront from Churchill Square. The disabled parking spaces have also gone, so I am no longer am able to go to Brighton.

    • Paula steel Reply

      Brighton and Hove desperately needs a Park and Ride scheme. The no. of cars in the town will never decrease unless we give them a totally adequate solutuon. Unfortunately the greens don’t like that idea either!!

  23. David Pelling Reply

    A letter from you to the council, Prime Minister, Leader of the Labour Party. These changes need reversing before the city goes bust ! And becomes an economic disaster zone. The strain on public transport will be even worse when the students arrive back at University. You are obviously a supporter of E Scooters, but you mentioned their use so many times . You started to sound like a scooter salesman.
    Please please use the means at your disposal and try to help the residents of this once great city !

  24. Trisha Reply

    I would love to be able to cycle and not use my car for journeys, but unfortunately I’m now disabled and have no alternative. I used to be the person running along the seafront and walked everywhere, but now find myself in a different demographic. I also struggle on public transport , plus I’m immunosuppresed so want to avoid buses etc due to the infection risk. I have lived in Brighton for 35 years but now feel that my town does not care about my needs, or those of other disabled (or elderly) people. The Disabled Bays I used to use regularly have been removed. One was turned into a cycle rack a few years ago (outside The Duke of Yorks)It takes me ages to get anywhere, then I find I cannot park near my destination and have to drive home again. If I do manage to walk, I get really anxious about the bikes going past me and coming up behind me at speed. I don’t look disabled and I think I’m expected to be able to jump out of the way. If I do have to move suddenly I end up in extreme pain. I now no longer walk along the seafront as I can’t dodge the cyclists. I find it really upsetting and feel that Brighton really only cares about the young and healthy. Ironic as I was a nurse in the city for 35 years caring for others, but now feel pushed out of my own home town.

  25. Robert Hallett Reply

    If cyclists & scooters want this access isn’t it about time they contributed via some form of licensing & insurance as in other countries

    • Graeme Reply

      Absolutely. I’ve been advocating this for years

  26. Graeme Reply

    You are aware I take it that e-scooters in public are illegal are you?
    Only those in a government backed trial are authorised to be on public property. Any one else is breaking the law.

  27. Max Reply

    Please correct the byline beneath the headline. It’s not written by Frank, it’s by Peter Kyle.

    • Frank le Duc Reply

      Sorry about that Max. It has Peter Kyle’s name there now.

      • Max Glaskin Reply

        Thanks, Frank (I’m assuming your reply isn’t by Peter Kyle ;-))

  28. krel Reply

    I agree with much of what you say, Peter Kyle. As a cyclist, it saddens me to see so many aggressive cyclists, particularly along the seafront, where, on such a wide promenade, we ought to be able to have a shared space for pedestrians and those on bicycles, roller-skates, skateboards and scooters.
    Also, it infuriates me that the traffic is so bad with the unnecessary new cycle lane, that I am chewing fumes. I dread to think how much particulate matter is being generated by engines stop-starting and all the braking and shuffling along. Generally, I prefer to be near smooth-flowing traffic, if I have to be in traffic at all.
    I haven’t used the new Old Shoreham Road cycle lane, I prefer the seafront or New Church Road or Portland Road because they are flatter, but I have walked along there once and I can see what a bad policy it was, too.
    It explains why New Church Road and Portland Road are busier with traffic now, making them more polluted and less pleasant places to ride.

  29. E Chapman Reply

    Reading all these posts, I can see sides to all the stories and the points made. Yes, we need better facilities for everyone, but we all have to work together, mostly it’s the council that really needs to listen to each and ALL!! that means everyone from residents, schools, hospitals and businesses etc. And not just in the B&H area, but also talking and communicating with other councils to see what is and what’s not working for them.

    Cycle lanes do need to be safe with enough space, either to travel both ways on 1 side or, 1 on each side of the road.
    The lanes that were painted on the edge of the roads years ago, where they disappear, to reappear several meters down the road have never been really safe or useful and I think, should be removed if not, positively revised.
    Where the temporary lanes have been put in place, junctions are more of a hazard with all these bollards in place, even more so now a lot of bus stops are within the new cycle lanes. I have actually seen a cyclist, dodge a bus, swerve around the bollards into the static traffic waiting at a set of lights. Because the cyclist had travelled at such a speed downhill, he couldn’t slow down in time. Not only did he lightly clip a car and shouted words of abuse to the stunned driver, but he also went through the red traffic lights!

    I have even witnessed emergency services hampered by arrival times for they cannot get safely through the traffic.

    I’m sorry, but I agree with one of the posts, about how cyclists don’t adhere to the highway code. Some (please note I have said some!) travel at terrific speeds and are too inconsiderate to pedestrians and other road users. The way in which some weave around vehicles and completely ignoring crossings and traffic lights, or, just shoot off the pavements at a fair pace into the road without looking.

    I can see me getting shot down for this comment, but I think cyclists should be fined when caught jumping traffic lights, riding erratically, dangerously and being abusive.
    I also believe that drivers should be fined when they park over designated cycle lanes. I see this all too often as well!

    Also, I agree that there should be a form of taxation. If you need it to be able to drive a vehicle or ride a moped/motorbike on the roads, then a very small yearly fee would not hurt. The one thing I think should be compulsory is insurance.

    Pedestrians can also live in fear with some (that word again!) cyclists weaving around people, not looking where they are going and not sticking to the cycle lanes when they are available and again, not stopping at traffic lights/crossings when they are clearly visible making the trip from one side to the other.

    Most people cannot use cycles and public transport when they have a disability. This also has been pointed out in other posts that so many disabled parking spaces have been lost because of the temporary cycle lanes. To be honest, they seem to always be the first thing to go, no matter what happens.

    Buses, lorries and cars have been manufactured bigger and wider over the last few years and I think when the councils decided that narrowing the roads and adding slim cycle lanes either side, would slow down and reduce traffic must have been on something. Traffic will always be a massive factor anywhere, so to have a hazardous road, made into more of a death trap, was never a safe bet either!

    Another major issue is only 2 main roads connect Brighton to Worthing. Congestion is now at it’s highest. Its not solely because of the cycle lanes in operation, agreed, but journey times have doubled in order to get onto the A27. Time is more consumed on A259 because of the influx of traffic maneuvering around the cities temporary cycle lanes.

    Is there a way of utilising some of the central reservations (ex: A270, Hove cemetery area), by removing them, still keeping 2 lanes for traffic and a cycle lane either side? With the possibility of the pavement shortened by a foot, or even a curbs width?
    Don’t shoot me down for the comment, as it’s just an idea.

    We really need to be more informed by the councils in what they intend for our communities and what could affect us where we reside. We have a right to have our say and actually be heard, making sure that we all feel safe in the areas we live in.

    • Rob Arbery Reply

      There is not one single, direct, safe cycling route between Brighton and Worthing.

      You talk about pedestrians living in fear of cyclists. True danger does not come from people on bicycles. It comes from people in cars. Thousands of people lose their lives every year to careless drivers. Around 13 pedestrians are killed a year in the UK when cars mount pavements.

      This is not to mention the health costs of inactivity and the effects on health of emissions, plus the global warming effect of CO2.

      People who don’t drive should get a tax rebate. Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is wasted every year on roads and subsidies for driving. Inactivity-related diseases cost the NHS £1bn a year.

      People who drive cause danger, noise pollution and often make themselves unfit. Very few people cycle right now because roads are dominated by cars, which make the roads incredibly unsafe. Everyone you see cyling is helping to mitigate danger, congestion, emissions etc by not driving a car. Yet you want to discourage these people by taxing them? Perhaps we should have a tax on walking too.

  30. Adam Reply

    Glad to say we are moving and taking our business with us. Brighton is turning into a vile cesspit ruled by a bunch of self seeking amateurs. I bid you farewell.

  31. Marcus Gibson Reply

    ‘The Car is the Economy’.. No cars, means no city or street economy, no shops, no markets, no cafes.
    England is the ONLY country in Europe to narrow or shut down its streets. Even those ‘eco-cities’ Amsterdam and Copenhagen have never narrowed their boulevards, ever..
    In UK cities once broad boulevards meant cars and cycles were 6ft apart – after narrowing it fell to 6″.
    Narrowing roads is a great way – to kill cyclists..
    Re-open all of the roads narrowed, and reverse the awful road closures inflicted by this loser generation of councillors and transport ministers.
    The cycle lanes in London inflicted on the city by both Boris and Khan cost £1 billion – incredible but true.
    We MUST not cower before the tiny group of shouty eco-activists who want to bring our cities to a standstill. Treat them as terrorists – bent on destroying our livelihoods and economies.

  32. Stella Michaels Reply

    Being an ex-Londoner, I’m used to transport hassle. Any journey there seems to take at least an hour, with any number of life-threatening near-misses thrown in if you drive. But it’s a doddle compared to here! The sheer difficulty of traveling into Brighton means I now avoid the town as much as possible and shop in the outskirts, or Lewes, or even further afield as it’s far easier. Having a small business in central Brighton must be a total nightmare, and I feel very sorry for owners. But I just cannot get to you! If I drive, the car parks are far between and punitively expensive, especially if you accidentally overstay. Street parking is impossible, extremely expensive, and burns gallons of fuel in the finding. If I bus in from Woodingdean, it takes a minimum of 40 mins to travel the 3 miles in, not worth it for a simple errand. I can’t cycle because I’m 70 and it’s far too hilly – I sold the bike I used for 20 years in London when I came here. A taxi into town is a £16 cost for the 3 mile trip! So I see no solution and go elsewhere. Brighton loses whatever way you do it, and so does its population. There are simply no good answers.

  33. robert shepherd Reply

    There are good answers to these questions, but only if you ask the right questions rather than bigoted ones.

    The bus company reports Hove to the Marina takes 30% longer than in 2010, the car free zone in North Street has the highest air pollution, … it’s all about managing congestion … and the council admits it hasn’t measured that for years …

    If you don’t understand how your actions affect congestion, you will continue to damage people’s health and the planet, as well as our economy.

    The council has a statutory duty to ensure the roads entrusted to it flow smoothly and also to think about the effect of its actions on other authorities and to reduce transportvcarbon emissions as agreed post-Kyoto, yet it broadcasts rather than consults and talks about zero carbon while increasing congestion … giving a wonderful example to us all.

    I suspect most councillors of most parties would like to be doing better and must be as frustrated as us, but local politics makes it easy for a few well meaning bigots to steer the agenda away from things that would be in the public interest and take us down their rocky roads to hell..

  34. Pippa Hodge Reply

    This completely sidesteps the issues of climate change, pollution, obesity, isolation, which are caused by car dependency. Peter Kyle seems to have done no research apart from going around town. He quotes no sources whatsoever.

    The council has a statutory duty to make its roads safe for cycling and walking. There is no way of reducing carbon emissions without doing this.

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