A consultation on extending the city’s covid cycle lanes will use a weighted survey to ensure the council doesn’t only listen to “the loudest voices”.
Brighton and Hove councillors are being asked to approve a six week consultation on plans to extend the seafront and Old Shoreham Road cycle lanes westwards and to widen the A23 cycle lane.
Permanent improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users in Western Road are also included.
The schemes will be paid for using £2.376 million of government funding – with one of the conditions being that a “meaningful” consultation taking note of a wide range of views rather than just the usual voices on both sides of the often fraught debate.
The details are still being finalised, but council papers say those being surveyed will be “representative members of the public” – i.e. a cross section of people representing the same demographic splits Brighton and Hove’s general population.
Amy Heley, Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: “The way we are moving around our city is changing and we need more options for travel.
“We want everyone, to be able to travel safely, accessibly and sustainably around Brighton & Hove.
“Government has awarded Brighton & Hove City Council funding to continue work on active travel options and have offered more time to implement schemes. We are using this time to ensure that a consultation plan is in place so residents and other interested parties can comment.
“Covid-19 continues to present us with huge challenges and how we travel around the city has a part to play in our health. Providing more options for safe travel around our city can reduce toxic emissions and improve air quality, as well as improve our own physical and mental health and wellbeing.
“These changes also help to tackle the climate crisis and meet the city’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
“It’s important that residents, schools, businesses, community and stakeholder groups get to have their say on these measures and I am looking forward to a meaningful consultation early next year.
“In his letter to local authorities, the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said that consultation ‘should not be confused with listening only to the loudest voices’ and I’m very keen to hear what our city as a whole has to say on these ambitious plans for active travel.”
The consultation will also include a range of more traditional methods, including
- Questionnaires on the scheme proposals, both available online and in paper format
- Leaflets posted to properties close to the proposals, supported by postcards sent to properties in a wider area
- Focus groups with key community stakeholders such as disabled people and older people;
- Working with businesses, schools and pupils.
Following the consultation, proposed for a six-week period starting at the latest February 1 proposals will be designed in more detail, taking into account feedback from the consultation, and will be subject to approval by councillors at a future committee.
Public opinion surveys will also take place before and after any implementation, as well as scheme monitoring.
Changes to Madeira Drive, agreed by councillors in September, are being delivered under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order and therefore consulted separately. The road is currently operating one-way eastbound. Future work to be completed include provision of a cycle lane, increasing the number of blue badge bays and changing the orientation of pay and display parking.
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.