Council to use weighted poll for first time in cycle lane consultation

Posted On 14 Dec 2020 at 5:11 pm

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.

  1. Chaz Reply

    Ha Ha B&HCC will ask residents. Nice one.
    No, they wont, they will ask the lobbying cyclist cult of the Greens and that is that.

  2. Max Reply

    Great to have some details about how the Council will consider making the city better and safer for people who walk, wheel and cycle.

    The more people who feel it’s safe and enjoyable to switch to active travel, the fewer journeys will be made by cars, freeing road space for those who have to drive.

    Giving more people more choice about how to travel in Brighton and Hove is fair.

  3. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    As someone who physically can’t walk all that far, especially uphill, and can’t cycle for the same reason, a joined-up and flattish continuous bus service along the 259 between East Brighton and across Hove on the actual seafront would be extremely welcome. It makes no sense that, because B&H buses and Stagecoach did some kind of deal whereby B&H got the route to Eastbourne and Stagecoach did the other end, we end up with one city (B&H) that has no easy bus route along the front between Brighton and Hove, which are supposed to be the same city. Wake up, council and bus companies!!

  4. Hendra Reply

    So, the stage is being set for the ‘consultation’ to be fiddled. Unbelievable. Why not just admit that the vast majority of voters will reject this change? The Greens/Momentum idiots are running scared of having a legitimate consultation. That’s democracy!

    • Rolivan Reply

      Is ex Green councillor Ian Davey still playing a role in Transport Planning in The City as I believe He has some sort of job at one of The Universities?

  5. Nigel Edmonds Reply

    It is beyond belief that you feel that talking to a wider audience is going to make what’s happening to ourTown any easier for the people that make this Town tick.
    Have you actually used this time at all to fully monitor the incredible misery you are causing everybody throughout this Town.
    Are you still not realising that you are causing more toxic fumes on the innocent public through your complete stupidity.
    Have you not noticed how unhappy everybody that has to move around OUR TOWN in their everyday lives just to make ends meet are.
    They are losing time and money over your complete and utter nonsense.
    Not to mention the emergency services who are struggling to get to seriously sick patients who incidentally happen to have COVID-19.
    This is not about what you think you can get from the Government in regards to Financial monies this is about racking people’s everyday lives and making them wish they lived elsewhere.
    How is this a caring and sharing situation for all when the real businesses that make this once amazing Town tick over are being hounded at every hurdle.
    You need to stop this absolute debacle of a mission you seem to be on and put things back to how they were before all the good and honest and hard working people of this town decide enough is enough and leave forever.
    You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  6. Billy Short Reply

    This is a bit worrying.
    When they had a poll on the use of the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane 60% were against it – and that’s despite outside lobbying from organised cycling groups whipping up votes from outside the region.

    So are they now going to shut out those with no local connections? Or are they simply rejigging who they ‘consult with’ so that they get the results they want?

    What we already know is that the Greens and Labour/Momemtium alliance are desperate to spend more money on cycle lanes because that suits their basic philosophy, regardless of whether it’s the right thing to do for the city or not.

    Amy Heley says people are changing the way they are moving around the city – but there’s actually no evidence of that claim. We’ve already got cycle lanes and we already have most city centre areas closed off to through traffic.
    And if Ms Heley wants yet more people out of their cars then let’s have money spent on better public transport. And if we want less pollution then let’s get the traffic and public transport moving more efficiently.
    A working city and visitor resort cannot be run with locals restricted to shopping bicycles with wicker baskets on the front. This council also needs to address the needs of electric transport, be that cars or E-scooters and other new technology.

    Closing yet more roads in favour of unwanted or duplicated cycle lanes is no solution to this city’s current transport infrastructure problems.
    Who remembers the Labour council of the 1980s which actually had vision, but who also came up with pragmatic solutions?

  7. Esther Reply

    It is absolutely essential that a questionnaire asks those questions that only resident and road and pavement users are most expert at answering and not other ones that are technical and best left to professionally trained town planners. So ask people questions about what would help make their journeys better and what currently make them worse. To kick off: I would say that I like to walk whenever possible, but dangerously uneven and broken pavements abound. Some are due to roots from trees allowed to overgrow. Furthermore, it can get dark at 4.30 pm in Winter and street lighting is often patchy for the purpose of safe pavement walking. In my street there are very widely spaced high intensity lights where what is needed is more but lower intensity ones. Also, as a car driver, paying to park by means of a smart phone only is an undiscussed problem for those of us who need to find our reading glasses to work the app. in different lighting conditions and maybe driving rain. Finally, the behaviour of cyclists on the Hove seafront should be policed and enforced. So many cyclists are extremely irresponsible and aggressive and they all get away with it.

  8. Nige Reply

    We know what the council’s ideology is. That we all cycle everywhere, wicker basket on handlebars full with organic veg and artisan bread, cheerfully greeting each other as we pass. These people live in a parallel universe to the rest of us.

    • Robert Arbery Reply

      These comments sections are always full of people eager to pigeonhole and dismiss cycling (you only need to look at Paris, parts of London, Cambridge, Seville, Madrid, Berlin etc etc to see these stereotypes are untrue).

      I have yet to hear any of these people propose an alternative transport system, that’s tried-and-tested like urban cycling, which is similiarly cheap, has similar health benefits and has similar potential to take cars off the roads.

      It actually sounds like you enjoy living in a city choked with traffic. Although your head may believe it likes it, your lungs do not lie.

      • George Banford Reply

        How dare they try and take our noisy, polluted dystopia from us!

  9. Samantha Buksh Reply

    Anti-cycling tactics:

    1. Deny.
    Road death, obesity, heart disease, noise pollution, asthma and constant danger are not a problem.

    2. Shift blame.
    Cycle lanes cause pollution and congestion! Cyclists run red lights! They cycle on pavements!

    3. Obfuscate.
    But if councils across the country are calling for cycle lanes to be removed, that means they don’t work!

    4. Ridicule.
    They’re a bunch of green-voting, tofu-eating, idealistic idiots! Look at them!

    5. Belittle.
    Cycling is a leisure activity. You’re obviously not going about serious business if you’re on a bike, unlike me, in my Range Rover Discovery, doing lots of important things.

    6. Abuse.
    Go to any Facebook, Nextdoor or news comments page and you’ll see plenty of this.

    Whoever thought these tactics up, well done, you’ve acheived your goal of a car-dependent country ridden with transport inequality, chronic health problems, pollution and constant danger where everyone’s freedom is curtailed by fast-moving steel cages and the upkeep of a vast road network swallows taxpayers’ money like there’s no tomorrow. Which there probably won’t be, at this rate.

  10. Billy Short Reply

    Well the issue is not so simplistic.

    I am not ‘anti-cycling’ – not least because I cycle most days, and I own three bicycles.
    I’m not anti cycle lanes either.
    The argument is really about the best use of shared space, about public transport, and about how we best keep the city moving so we can go about our business and get to work.

    My complaints directed at our city council, regardless of their political persuasion, is that they are wasting government money – which we will all be paying back in taxation over the coming years.
    This money has allowed them to add chaos and clutter to our roads with no benefits to the cyclists or motorists, and which have slowed up our buses.
    Why was the seafront cycle lane duplicated when the existing lanes could so easily have been improved?

    As far as the roads go, when you change from a dual lane to a single one you create a log jam of single file traffic. That’s because at each set of traffic lights or crossing 6 cars can get through a green light whereas before you’d get 12 cars passing through in the same period – and so each crossing becomes a bottle neck. And that’s why we now have continual lines of traffic on our seafront even though half the city centre is still closed down due to the pandemic.

    At some point next year we will have to welcome back all the tourists and day trippers to our city, and we will hold events once more. The local economy relies on those visitors and they certainly won’t be arriving by bike.

    So let’s keep the traffic flowing freely and bring in some park and ride schemes. Let’s also look ahead in encouraging electric vehicles, and we should also embrace the growing trend for battery powered scooters, skateboards, and ebikes.

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