Brighton council performs u-turn on seafront cycle lane

Posted On 26 Aug 2020 at 2:05 pm

A section of the Brighton seafront cycle lane is to be removed, with work starting this evening (Wednesday 26 August).

Brighton and Hove City Council said this afternoon: “Work will begin this evening (Wednesday 26 August) to remove a 600m section of the temporary cycle lane on the A259 between the Aquarium roundabout and West Street.

“The decision follows discussions with Brighton and Hove Buses about bus journey times and congestion on this part of the westbound carriageway.

“The nature of the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) process gives us the opportunity to engage and respond to concerns while the temporary scheme is in place.

“The rest of the temporary cycle lane will remain in place as agreed by councillors at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee in June.

“Work will take place overnight to minimise disruption.”

Green councillor Pete West, the lead member for transport, said: “Congestion on this stretch has had a knock-on for major bus routes and delays to bus journey times. That is unacceptable.

“Sadly, attempted changes to adjust traffic light timings have not provided the answers needed as there is still insufficient capacity for the volume of traffic heading towards West Street.

“We recognise the serious concerns raised by public transport users and providers that congestion in a small section of the additional temporary A259 cycle lane has caused unavoidable delay to public transport in the city.

“We have therefore reluctantly agreed to suspend this short stretch of the lane.”

Councillor Lee Wares, who speaks for the Conservatives on transport, said that the scheme had been an “unacceptable waste of taxpayer money”.

He said that any changes should have been better planned and subject to proper consultation and appropriate “impact assessments”.

Councillor West said: “In the midst of a pandemic which attacks our lungs, as our city recovers we are committed to ensuring that we have many good sustainable transport options including public transport, walking and cycling – and ensuring that these form part of a network of attractive alternatives to private car use.

“We urge those using cars for to consider alternative travel options, the necessity of their journey and the impact this has on others by creating congestion.

“The temporary measures recently introduced aim to offer additional sustainable transport capacity and choice.

“The government requested that councils across the country make changes to walking and cycling on a swift timescale – so throughout the temporary period they have been implemented there may be a need for tweaks.

“We will continue to look closely at the data, listen to what people are saying and make changes where necessary, particularly around disability access.

“Many of the schemes we are now implementing were planned under the previous Labour administration.

“In the short time since we became the minority Green administration of the council, we have shown that we will listen and take decisive action.”

Councillor Pete West

Councillor Wares added: “Using officer delegated urgency powers, the section of the cycle lane was removed because of the increasing congestion they were causing together with the inevitable rising pollution, lowering air quality and negative impact on the economy.

“This is what happens when the council refuses to undertake the necessary impact assessments, traffic modelling and proper consultation.

“Labour and the Greens were so focused on rushing to spend the money they could grab from government, they forgot the key basic activities needed when introducing massive untested, unqualified and ill-thought out transport schemes.

“Recently Councillor West said, ‘give them a chance.’ Well, that has happened and it has gone disastrously wrong.

“Now every implemented scheme should be suspended and all those proposed should be stopped until their impact has been adequately assessed and the council knows with some certainly what is likely to happen.

“It is unacceptable to waste taxpayer money in this way.

Councillor Lee Wares

“It is also galling for the city’s blue badge holders and less able folk and the traders in Madeira Drive that the council and the Green administration won’t use these powers to swiftly change the negative impacts on them.

“Blue badge holders still have to contend with the lethal bays on the A259, still have to ask to use the changing places toilets and are still curfewed from using some disabled parking bays so that others can enjoy certain streets. Traders are still struggling.

“All we get are verbal platitudes from the Greens, with no action to resolve, and Labour councillors trying to u-turn on the misery they have caused.”

Brighton and Hove Buses commercial manager Nick Hill said: “This is great news for our passengers who have recently been experiencing delays on our services.

“With over half a million passengers a week coming back to bus, it will certainly help to provide a much smoother service for many.

“It is a good example of partnership working with Brighton and Hove City Council for responding to our concerns.”

  1. catherine k Reply

    instead build affordable housing, recycling bins, mindfulness areas and help homeless plus extend furlough

  2. Benny Reply

    Any chance of sending the “planners”, who failed to foresee the impact, for an IQ test before allowing them back in the office?

  3. Stew Reply

    They need to scrap this completely. If you want people to not use cars build a proper transport network, don’t punish honest hard working people and then take a weird moral high ground about cycling. It’s patronising and un democratic.

    Spend the money on I dono, a park and ride…

    • Michael Baines Reply

      Not having traveled along the a259 for a while I was surprised to see a cycle lane on this road. The lower promenade the pavement along the A259 must be some of the widest around but the council decides to remove a lane from an already congestested road. I see common sense has disappeared completely along with any planning consultations. Is this what we pay our council tax for. My wife and I WILL NOT be coming here again it is just to unaccomadating for anyone who want to go to town. Eastbourne is only a few miles along to coast and not being wrecked by ridiculous planning with cycle lanes. WE ARE NEVER COMING BACK TO BRIGHTON TO SPEND OUR MONEY.

  4. Jessica Reply

    I am unsurprised by the council deciding to do this, whatever is implemented in the city is ill thought out, poorly executed, over spent and then pathetically maintained. Whether it be the project at the bottom of west street, the valley gardens now awaiting phase 2 being planned which will increase costs – it will lack in impact too.

    You only have to look at the contractors who are taking advantage of the councils inadequacy at managing the public purse when you see several work men sitting around wondering what to buy from Greggs next.

    I travel across the country for work and Brighton is by far the dirtiest and most unkept place I’ve visited. Such a shame when it has so much going for it.

    Does anyone have the contact line for Edburton recruitment as I’m sure there’s some incredibly well paid, relaxing jobs going at the firm now they’ve gotten the council’s open purse at their disposal?

  5. ChrisC Reply

    “Many of the schemes we are now implementing were planned under the previous Labour administration.”

    Which your party supprted Councillor West. If you thought this lane was a bad idea you could and should have voted it down with the Tories.

    You supported the original decision so don’t try and deny it now!

  6. Gail Wainwright Reply

    I wonder how many cyclists will be riding along the seafront in the winter.At the moment most seem to be using the existing cycle lanes on the promenade.Polution will inevitably increase with cars at a standstill.What is the matter with this council ?

  7. Paul, Hove Reply

    I never thought, as a disabled person, I would have to rely on the conservatives rather than Labour and the Greens. Here’s hoping the other schemes are also scrapped. I have no problem in change which benefits the city, but these cycle lanes and NOT being used but are having a disastrous effect on the lives of disabled and enabled people. Next the Old Shoreham Road mess needs sorting, I live nearby and cyclists rarely use their new folly…. If you don’t believe me let’s have an independent traffic survey of all the schemes and see just how few have been beneficial.

    There’s something called the Disability Discrimination Act, the council has a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. Removing disabled bays, removed access to toilets, and stopping access are NOT reasonable. Claiming they are only doing what the government says will not wash. The Greens are now the enemy of the disabled.
    Finally, where has Ms Lucas been hiding during these weeks of chaos?? Should the police be out looking for her?? She has Never been this quiet.

    • Cadge Reply

      They not care about the you my friend and I think it’s down right disgusting that disabled people have to ask to use the toilets on the sea front then come back and try to find somewhere to park because the stupid council decides to close the road to give more room for people to exorcise when there’s a wide path and an aduaqte cycle lane there allready?? You could not make it up if you tried there utterly bonkers!!!!

    • Peter g Reply

      Possibly doing guided tours of the Town Hall for some guests (donors)

    • Helen TS Reply

      I couldn’t agree more. I have a spinal cord injury and the only form of exercise I am still able to take is swimming. Since the introduction of the extra bike lane extending westwards from The Drive to the bottom of Sackville Road – and the removal of all the parking spaces – it has been impossible to find a space at any time of day in the car park next to the King Alfred Leisure Centre and the beach. Cars circling endlessly waiting for people to leave and creeping into the side streets causing noise, pollution and congestion trying to park so that people can get out and enjoy the beach or go to the Leisure Centre. It’s not all about me – I see families with young children and elderly visitors now having to park some distance away from the seafront in side streets and access to the beach and its amenities is ever more the preserve of those able or inclined to cycle – which is far, far from everyone. A really dumb, short-sighted, discriminatory approach to facilitating seafront access which instead has removed it completely for some and made it far harder for many. No votes from me for the Green Party in future.

  8. Simon Philips Reply

    Until the next hair brained scheme???
    I always knew Brighton would pay a heavy price for 2 universities, but I didn’t think it would be this, as without them, Brighton would be rid of these incompetents!
    Green ideology might be honourable!
    But do it with your money and not the rate payers who have to work damned hard for little rewards!!!

    • rolivan Reply

      Check out Ex Green Councillor Ian Davey Simon he fits your description perfectly.

  9. Graeme Reply

    The trouble is this unsustainable rush to ‘get everyone on a pushbike’ crap.
    One day, when the cyclists and the greens have got their way and all vehicular traffic is banned from the city, they will suddenly wake up to the fact that, you can’t carry bags of cement on a crossbar, or a new boiler, or crates of milk, piles of newspapers, kegs of beer….I could go on.
    And once they also driven all the tourists away with these ludicrous road schemes, exorbitant parking charges for too few spaces, killing businesses by closing road access, only then will they realise what complete and utter idiots they all are.
    Show them sooner rather than later, vote them out. And return Brighton to the cherished town it used to be. Perhaps the cyclists could give the green voters a crossbar to somewhere else and then they could bugger that up too.

  10. David Bolton Reply

    As a regular visitor to Brighton supporting the economy I have been staggered by this change to our City. Cyclists pay no road fund charges but are provided with free road use. Similarly they have no insurance and are usually totally indifferent to observing red lights!
    I will surely not be alone in travelling to a sensible town I.e Worthing!!!

  11. Tesla Reply

    Let’s just sign the no confidence vote and then we can have a brand new council.

    Its discrimination and we should all be seeking legal recourse.

    Goodbye council

    • ChrisC Reply

      Wbat brand new council?

      A petition has no legal force no matter how many sign it.

      Councillors will remain in office until the next local elections in 2023

      And due to the Covid Act all council elections have been suspended until next year at the earliest so there would be no by-elections to replace any councillors who did resign or die.

      If people dislike the way the councillors are working and the decisions they make then they need to stand as independent candidates and get themselves elected!

  12. Simon Thetford Reply

    This is moronic as losing parking spaces increases the pressure elsewhere there is already a cycle lane the length of the seafront so why are the council (who claim a £39m shortfall from Covid lockdown) losing revenue producing spaces? Ludicrous and no doubt this 18 month temporary measure will be made permanent. Give the lack of consultation shall we all protest by not paying council tax?

  13. Aram Papikyan Reply

    The seafront road works still aren’t finished and more than 2 years past schedule, now the council want to start more?

  14. David Brown Reply

    And who will pay for the removal, us the taxpayers for sure

  15. Anthony lonergan Reply

    Wast the of time and money I’ll thought out more car are sitting intraffic due to bike lines which is not good for the environment people cant get to work on time also big loss in revenue the green party are joke

  16. Uller Reply

    To be fair the cycle lane on the promenade was constantly gridlocked and in the middle of winter I couldnt move for love nor money. It was out of control. Thank god us cyclists now have multiple lanes to cycle along the seafront on freezing cold, rainy, dark winter nights.
    I think cars have had their day. Why would you want to stay warm and dry on your way to work? Utter madness!

  17. Brians955 Reply

    A completely, but relevant topic. I am a regular visitor to Brighton, traveling from the Midlands to visit my son. I have recently bought an all electric car which I normally recharge at a point outside my home. On planning my trip to Brighton I was pleased to discover that there were many charging points on lamp posts in the city. Upon arrival I found that not one was available as they all had a non electric car parked in front of them. I asked a parking inspector what the rules were for these spots and he told me that the council had decided to install 200 points in the city but not to designate them for electric vehicles only. What a complete waste of time and money! I find myself having to travel out of the city to find somewhere to charge up. No doubt much fanfare was made of this “green initiative” by the council at the time!

  18. Hector Bouloffs Reply

    In a nutshell there David Bolton
    I cannot believe this has not been by many before
    ,!!,!!!!,!!!!!!!!!!!,

  19. Nathan Adler Reply

    Curious how they can remove part of a cycle lane overnight but have done not one thing to address disability access concerns in over a week. I just hope that Labour Momnetum councilors and the Greens that are responsible for all this are held to account in 3 years.

    • Paul Hove Reply

      That is because the greens and far left labourv hate the Disabled as much as Jewish people. The only difference is that while anti-semitism is (rightly) finally not being tolerated by the labour party, Discrimination against disabled people is actively encouraged by the current administration.
      Removing disabled access and access to basic things like toilets is against the Disablilty Discrimination Act.
      Millions of pounds of council tax money is being burnt by the Council with no regard for who will actually pay for it all.
      Once again, where is Caroline Lucas during these weeks of mess??? Surely she hasn’t lost her voice????

  20. Brenda Fish Reply

    Strange how this has only been reversed because of the bus company. Why didn’t the council talk to the bus company first. They are the only ones who have any control in Brighton and Hove apart from the Council. What about us residents. Wise up, we are not going to turn the clock back and get rid of our cars.
    Just provide a decent road system that limits traffic jams, then we could reduce the pollution.
    Cyclists should be insured and pay towards the road tax. They should also take a proficiency test, some of them don’t know what a red traffic light means!

  21. John Adams Reply

    The better solution would be to only allow buses and users with accessibility needs access to the seafront roads and ban all the private cars driven by those too lazy and entitled to walk, cycle or get public transport.

    • Sal Reply

      Dear John, as a domiciliary carer, I drive a private car along the seafront to reach those I look after in their homes. I carry medical equipment in my car, including more things that need to stay sterile or at the very least clean since the Covid pandemic began. It can take me longer to park in Brighton and Hove than I am allocated for a client. My partner is a tradesman. Even though he’s fit, he would struggle to carry the weight of his tools and whatever he’s installing or removing by bike, even with a trailer, let alone on foot. He is increasingly choosing to work in Mid-Sussex where the roads are less clogged and parking is easier and cheaper or free. One of my brothers is a delivery driver. Your comment betrays the narrow-mindedness of those who cannot seem to see that very many of us do not have realistic alternatives to driving a car or van.

  22. Brian Reply

    Councillors should be personally responsible for the errors and actions. Surveyors, dentists, doctors and many other professions have to take out insurance for any mistakes. Why should we tax payers have to be responsible for picking up the bill for righting there incompetence. A 5 year old could have seen what was going to happen with the congestion. It would have been even worse next week when the schools start back. Absolute morons.

    Brighton and Hove councilors should atleast do the honourable thing and resign.

    Cyclists should have atleast be made to have public liability insurance and some type of training on the highway code. It would also help if the council imposed fines on cyclists who ride in an un sociable manner.

  23. Richard Reply

    Councillor Pete West should hide his head in shame. Any chance of an apology Mr West?

    Question: How many Brighton councillors does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Answer: I Don’t know, ask Edburtons.

  24. beanie Reply

    We have too many councillors with too little experience of operating at a senior level in a responsible job. They have never run anything more than a tap. They commit the council to spending other people’s money too freely. They inflict their pet projects on us without meaningful consultation, using questions carefully contrived to justify the choices they have already made. If they get an answer they don’t like, they ignore it. Too much time is spent posturing and pushing a party political line, and too little time is spent on proper scrutiny of the council’s officers, some of whom are excellent, but some of whom, frankly, are lucky to be in a job. The cycle lanes fiasco has shown us that many of our councillors and officers are well and truly out of their depth.

  25. Argusnot Reply

    I’m only surprised that they did not propose, as a solution, a campaign to get folk off buses and onto bicycles!

  26. Terry F. Reply

    I have the ideal solution for the green and Labour council morons, why don.t they scrap all city centre bike lanes and just make a bike lane on one lane of the by-pass that way they can link anywhere they want.
    I think the trouble with them is you can’t teach common sense, and as with them there is no cure for IDIOTS.

    The sooner these Clowns are gone then maybe we can get Brighton and Hove back to the great place it used to be.

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