Back-pedalling on Old Shoreham Road cycle lane confined to busy junctions

The Old Shoreham Road cycle lane in Hove will stay, with some tweaks aimed at tackling the worst congestion.

Daytime congestion on the A270 Old Shoreham Road is reported to have increased since the new cycle lanes were created

Changes would be made to the turning into Boundary Road and Carlton Terrace at the Hangleton Road traffic lights – and to the right-hand turn into Olive Road.

Labour proposed that Brighton and Hove City Council should hold off spending a second tranche of government money until neighbours and community groups had been fully consulted.

The ruling Greens backed the suggestion at a seven-hour “virtual” meeting of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee.

Labour councillor Gary Wilkinson said: “We believe if used effectively, a short pause to transport changes will allow residents to make their voices heard and contribute to the process.

“When we oversaw the first round of emergency transport measures, we were under extreme time pressure as the government instructed councils to act ‘within weeks’ to create more space for walking and cycling on our roads.

“As we approach the next round of changes, we now have time to ensure all road users can have a greater say on the next round of emergency transport measures, which will be implemented to safeguard social distancing and safe, active travel during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”

Fellow Labour councillor Theresa Fowler said that the cycle lanes were not perfect but they were in use.

She said: “More people are getting in their cars as they are worried about public transport and more people are also getting on their bikes.

“I have started cycling again after many years. Cycle shops have been inundated with people buying bikes and have struggled to keep up with demand, so cycling is on the up.

“I have had many letters telling me that residents are now cycling on the school run and now feel safe to allow their children to cycle to school.”

Green councillor Jamie Lloyd said that removing the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane would be a tragedy.

He said that people complained about cycle lanes causing congestion but the congestion was caused by more traffic.

Councillor Jamie Lloyd

Councillor Lloyd said: “The cause of traffic is traffic. Blaming cycle lanes for congestion and pollution won’t get us anywhere.

“Pulling up cycle lanes and getting rid of them, when we’re asking able-bodied people to leave their cars at home for short journeys, is completely counterproductive. It achieves nothing.”

Conservative councillor Vanessa Brown said that there was a need for better infrastructure for cycling and walking.

But she criticised the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane, describing it as ill thought out and dangerous.

She said: “It’s particularly unsafe at the junctions. I note posts or wands were installed in some areas because of the danger to cyclists.

“Previous to that, I saw cars undertaking on the cycle lanes to access left-hand turns.

“Now the wands are in place I have seen motorbikes using the cycle lanes at great speed as there is seldom a cyclist in sight.”

Councillor Vanessa Brown

The wands also prevented cars from pulling over to make way for the emergency services – and the stretch of road went past fire service and ambulance stations.

She was told that fire engines and ambulances could knock the wands down.

It also emerged at the meeting that claims of a big rise in cycle use relied on a baseline figure from 2016 although the hard numbers were not revealed.

Decisions about whether to extend the Old Shoreham Road and seafront cycle lanes west through Portslade will be decided at a future meeting after consultation.

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    I have just recalled that when my great-aunt took her first driving lesson, the instructor said to her, “you are in charge of a lethal weapon”.

    All the more pertinent as this afternoon while – my right of way – I cycled across Western Road at its junction with Montpelier Road a driver with a small child at her side veered across me – almost hitting me – to go north up Montpelier rather than wait a few seconds for me to continue my west- to-east journey.

    What example does her rash behaviour set to that hapless child who would have had lifelong trauma if I’d been cycling a little faster and been squashed?

    If drivers slowed down, their lives would be longer as it gives a better chance to savour life rather than hurtling through the brief span of 27,800 days (it is salutary to work out how many of these one has left: make the best use of them).

    • Steve Reply

      Don’t expect drivers to slow down. It’s frantic out there trying to avoid congestion and recoup wasted time sitting in ever increasing journey times. Drivers are mostly oblivious to the outside world in their often not so little SUV (more lethal than ever) bubbles.
      That’s why we need cycle lanes. Safe and unpolluted ones that are placed away from congested traffic. NOT on the OSR for example.

      • Christopher Hawtree Reply

        Fonthill Road is a horror, that hill, the railway bridge, the junctions.

        • Rolivan Reply

          They should close the tunnel and as I have said many times linked the 2 developments either side of the railway with at least a footbridge.

          • Christopher Hawtree

            Interesting idea!

    • Nigel Furness Reply

      Either I’m confused Christopher or YOU are!
      Though my eyesight is not what it was, I can assure you that I am so familiar with the thoroughfares of this City of my birth that I could navigate my way ANYWHERE around it unaided if it were to fail me completely!
      Kindly explain to me How you were cycling ACROSS Western Road at it’s Montpelier Road junction on your WEST to EAST journey when the aforementioned road runs NORTH to SOUTH!
      If you mean that you were proceeding from West to East ALONG Western Road and ACROSS Montpelier Road North, are you in a position to enlighten our readers as to whether the said lady driver was proceeding along Western Road in an EASTERLY direction when she made a RIGHT-turn, cutting across you in order to access Montpelier Road North?
      If such be the case, then WHAT ON EARTH were YOU doing in the middle of HER RIGHT OF WAY, Christopher, for at that junction, the WESTBOUND lights are phased in such a way as to ensure that all traffic can proceed either LEFT down Montpelier Road South, ahead along The continuation of Western Road towards Hove or RIGHT into Montpelier Road NORTH, hence ALL vehicular traffic progressing in an Easterly direction from the WESTERN kerbline of Montpelier Road North is halted AT A RED LIGHT!
      Are you suggesting that you: “Could have been squashed” because ONE of the aforementioned vehicles had jumped the lights, and if such be the case, WHICH ONE WAS IT?
      As this junction is monitored around the clock by EXTREMELY HIGH-TECH CCTV CAMERAS, I’m somewhat curious as to whether you snapped a ‘photo of the’offending’ car in order to inform the Police of this ‘outrage,’ rather than whinging on here for the sake of gaining political capital—or perhaps you did—I DO hope so because, in some cases, such LAW-BREAKING can lead to a DRIVING BAN and quite rightly so too!
      The problem is that no such powers are in place to deal with loutish cycling as yet but, I’m delighted to inform you that according to one of my most trusted Westminster scources, Boris has “borrowed” yet ANOTHER of UKIP’s key policies which I’m ASSURED will be fast-tracked into Law.
      This policy will ensure that EVERY cyclist found guilty of DANGEROUS BREACHES OF THE HIGHWAY CODE ON ALL THOROUGHFARES (PAVEMENTS INCLUDED), in addition to any other penalties imposed by the Courts, will have their contraption CONFISCATED and CRUSHED!!!
      It is my fervent hope, Christopher, that you’ve not hoisted yourself on your own petard but do watc out for that proverbial No. 11 Bus—there seem to be an inordinate number of them around these days—don’t you agree?

      • Nick Reply

        Oh dear, anybody with any sense of local knowledge would know exactly what Christopher meant. I think you’re just being pedantic.

  2. Nathan Adler Reply

    So Labour want to pause and consult but not on the OSR cycle lane that can stay? Blatant dishonesty from Labour. Honestly Cllr Wilkinson and his fellow Labour councillors on ETS are not fit for purpose, they are supposed to be the opposition not the puppets of the Greens – they supported them on EVERY SINGLE VOTE. Listening to Councilor Wilkinson, (who doesn’t own a car, personality and is absent as a ward councilor), you would struggle to believe he is Labour rather than Green. Moderate Labour Councilors will have some tough decisions in the days ahead.

    • M Reply

      The ‘pause and consult’ amendment by Labour and agreed by council is for all the active travel measures including OSR

      • Steve S Reply

        It’s not officers are working on NO consultation for the OSR cycle lane, don’t worry we were all conned.

  3. David Reply

    As a resident of Fonthill Road for 20+ years I can confirm it’s become a horrible road for traffic, speeding and accidents.
    Why Hove Park Villas remains closed at the OSR end is a mystery as it’s the main approach to Hove station from the North

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