More cycle lanes are planned and will make jams and fumes worse

Posted On 29 Sep 2020 at 9:33 pm

About 50 years ago 80 houses and shops in Old Shoreham Road, Portslade, were demolished and some properties lost part of their gardens.

At that time Old Shoreham Road had one lane in each direction which was inadequate as traffic flows increased. It was turned into a major highway with two lanes in each direction.

The road under the railway bridge in Trafalgar Road Portslade was lowered by several feet so that lorries and buses could travel along the road, avoiding the level crossing. This became the official route to and from Shoreham Port.

The building of the A27 Brighton bypass and Hangleton Link Road made the Old Shoreham Road even more important.

Given the volume of traffic that it carries, it runs reasonably freely. However, this is threatened.

There are plans to provide cycle lanes along old Shoreham Road, Portslade, which will turn the road into one with one lane each way as it was 50 years ago.

This will lead to congestion and pollution, increasing rather than decreasing our carbon emissions.

I am not against cycle lanes but reducing a major arterial road to one lane in each direction is just crazy, especially a road used by hundreds of lorries and buses every day.

There are now plans to extend the A259 cycle lanes along Wellington Road.

This is part of the official route to and from Shoreham Port and is used by hundreds of lorries a day in addition to general traffic and hundreds of buses on routes 1 and 1a and 700. It has a single carriageway and no space for cycle lanes.

Land was acquired many years ago to widen the road but it never happened.

The independent Mott MacDonald report rules out this Wellington Road proposal on four grounds but the council has nevertheless included it in their “tranche 2” proposals.

The A270 Old Shoreham Road and A259 Wellington Road proposals go right through my ward but I have never been advised of them, much less consulted.

The “tranche 1” proposals are causing congestion, delays and increasing pollution. Tranche 2 will make matters worse.

The council should contact the government and withdraw its tranche 2 application and come up with some sensible proposals whereby cyclists are not having to cycle along increasingly polluted roads due to the delays and queues of motor vehicles.

Les Hamilton is a Labour councillor representing South Portslade ward on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Lewis Searle Reply

    How did labour councillors vote today? For cycle lanes. This is disingenuous

  2. Andy Young Reply

    The vote went to keep the existing traffic hold up

  3. Mark Reply

    What a bunch of chocolate fireplaces

  4. Romil Reply

    This sounds heroic, these lanes currently disrupt emergency services, cause pollution, risk spread of the pandemic even further, risk of more accidents and overwhelming of NHS, affects businesses, unattractive to tourist.

    We currently have a bigger problem to worry about ie; the UK coming out of Europe with a no deal. What does this mean for us. Money wasted on these cycle lanes could have been spent better towards securing an upper hand towards a better economic stability.

    Not everyone can cycle and cycle lanes should be planned better with safety and convenience into consideration. Traffic has been heavily congested since cycle lanes have been added.

  5. Nathan Adler Reply

    Labour and Greens backed retaining the OSR cycle lane this evening. Cllr Wilkinson (is he Labour or Green),said we needed courage with plans. What we need now is courage from Labour councillors to vote against all this nonsense.

  6. Malcolm Roberts Reply

    ‘Keeping the traffic flowing’ is not modern transport planning. It leads to nothing but further gridlock. Emissions and congestion have increased massively since the 1970s and this is not because of cycle lanes.

    Transport planning is not a matter of opinion. It’s science, based on statistical analysis of movement patterns and needs.

    Les Hamilton cites no sources here. He’s also ignoring government guidance to provide safe cycle routes along all major urban roads. He does not suggest how people who live on or near the Old Shoreham Road, have no car and can’t use buses should get around.

  7. Jamie Collins Reply

    Great article from a well informed leader. It’s upsetting to know that our councillors are being so stubborn with this issue and burying their heads in the sand. I’m a tradesman and fortunately know all the alternative lefts and rights to get to Brighton from Shoreham each day in order to avoid OSR. Can’t believe I’m now having to resort to ‘rat runs’ to get to work each day without delay.

  8. Andy Clarke Reply

    Traffic jams are caused by motor vehicles, and mostly vehicles carrying one person in a 1.5 tonne cage and poorly populated sofa. I call on all able-bodied drivers to cycle to free up space for those who can’t cycle (but I’m sure surely wish they could). 20% journeys under a mile – 75% under 5 miles. Who’s the problem here?

  9. Alister Barclay Reply

    An evidence free opinion piece. Surely it’s not cycle lanes that cause traffic and fumes, it’s cars and the people driving them.

  10. Dave Reply

    Haha, the bikes cause the pollution. This is comedy gold. How about coming up with ideas to reduce unnecessary car journeys, it’s what someone sensible would do.

  11. Terry F Reply

    I cycle and I also drive, but these councillors who are putting the cycle lanes where they think they are needed are certainly not on the same planet as I, I do really think there is a need for the cycle lanes but they are putting them in the wrong places, OSR should be either Portland Road or New Church Road on the Seafront why not take some of Hove Lawns and widen the original cycle lane there is plenty of room.
    At some stage either all trades people will not do business in Brighton and the shops will stop having the numbers of people to warrant keeping open, then there is a loss to all the area, I just hope they the people who think they know best will do something about it before it to late.
    In my opinion (not that they take note of anyone but themselves) they need to listen to everyone’s opinion and advice and sort this problem, everyone makes mistakes, it’s bold to admit to them.

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