Green councillor accuses Labour MP of ‘whipping up’ campaign against cycle lanes

An MP was accused of “whipping up a media campaign” against active travel, cycle lanes and changes to road layouts.

The accusations against Peter Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove, came as councillors debated bringing in low-traffic neighbourhoods.

As the plan was debated, Green councillor Jamie Lloyd thanked Labour councillors for backing measures such as closing “rat runs” and pedestrianising more areas.

But he said: “Unfortunately, we have a Labour MP in this city who is whipping up quite a lot of resentment and anger towards active travel measures – and that is deeply unhelpful.

“Could I ask the Labour councillors to take their positivity, knowledge and understanding of low-traffic neighbourhoods and have a word with MP Peter Kyle and ask him to not whip up a media campaign against them.”

Councillor Lloyd’s comments were in response to the Hove MP’s concerns that making public spaces cycle-friendly was turning into a “battle royal”.

Mr Kyle said that residents who disagreed with the new cycle lanes along Old Shoreham Road and the A259 were being ignored.

He accused the council of acting on “half-truths” after a “freedom of information” request revealed a drop in the number of cyclists on a stretch of the road.

The council had said that the figures showed a significant increase based on figures from 2016.

Mr Kyle said today: “I’ve never said a word against active travel – I use it myself.

“My criticism is the manner in which is it being delivered and the way it is alienating people and provoking anger rather than the positive and enticing campaign our community deserves.”

Peter Kyle

Labour councillor Carmen Appich said that “weaponising” the issue did not benefit any political party in the city.

She said: “The only people who suffer are the residents. I think some of the criticisms were around the speed with which some of the cycle lanes were implemented.”

Councillor Appich said that councillors needed to talk with residents and win their hearts and minds.

The councillors were speaking at a meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee yesterday (Tuesday 16 March).

Work is starting on a pilot low-traffic neighbourhood project in Hanover, using £300,000 from the council’s Local Transport Plan.

Councillor Jamie Lloyd

Councillor Appich was given had cross-party support for her suggestion that options to extend the Hanover low-traffic neighbourhood projects to other areas be explored.

The Liveable Hanover pilot project was brought to the council by Hanover Action. Community engagement is under way with a consultation planned in August.

Councillor Appich said: “We don’t object to running a pilot scheme. We don’t just want this in one ward. And we urge officers to prepare a report for the Community Wealth Building Working Group at its earliest opportunity to discuss further schemes across the city.

“There is a lot of appetite for a 20 minute/low-traffic neighbourhood pilot in my own ward of Westbourne, with a community group being set up to deliver some easy wins.”

Labour councillor Gary Wilkinson said: “Motor traffic cutting through our streets has a serious impact on the health and quality of life of people living there.

“The extension of the coronavirus lockdown has given us a taste of this across Brighton and Hove with traffic levels greatly reduced.

Councillor Gary Wilkinson

“People did come out of their houses to walk, jog and cycle. We saw children cycling in the streets, where previously they have been excluded.”

He said that the pilot scheme should go further and include all parts of the city.

Green councillor Elaine Hills, who represents Hanover and Elm Grove, has been cheerleading the early community engagement in her ward.

She said that when the London Borough of Waltham Forest introduced a low-traffic neighbourhood, there was a 10 per cent reduction in crime in the first year, rising to 18 per cent in the first three years.

Reductions in sexual violent crime were even greater, she said, adding: “It would be ridiculous to have one low-traffic neighbourhood. It would completely defeat the point.

Councillor Elaine Hills

“We absolutely have to make it like a building block. We want to do it well. I’ve been engaging with the community a lot on this, making sure it’s co-produced by the community.

“If we get that right, then we’ll know how to do it across the whole city and we’ll have a lovely network of people walking and cycling across the city and feeling safer.”

Green councillor Amy Heley, who chairs the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said that Green councillors were planning to visit low-traffic neighbourhoods in London.

She invited Labour and Conservative councillors to join them.

  1. Rob Reply

    We really can work together as a community on this. It’s great to see different parties coming together with a positive vision for the future. Here’s hoping that the bitter voices don’t overtake the conversation.

    • Paul Temple Reply

      Paid employee of Sustrans Cllr Lloyd, (no conflict of interest there), accuses popular local MP of whipping up opposition. Cllr Lloyd there was no ‘whipping up’ the opposition was big and loud and Peter was just doing what the Labour opposition should have been doing.

  2. Kathleen McMullen Reply

    A low traffic zone might not result in reduced traffic for neighbouring roads. For example the closure of the south end of Somerhill Rd is making Holland Rd into a high traffic zone. Speeding has increased, especially at weekends and most likely carbon levels. Closing some roads is only going to make other roads more congested.

    If the aim of low traffic is to reduce carbon emissions then diesel and petrol fuelled vehicles have to be phased out, now. So where are the battery recharging stations? And the parking spaces to go with them?

  3. Nathan Adler Reply

    Peter Kyle was only asking for an open and honest consultation, something the Greens and momentum Labour do not want. Its come to something when criticism of one cycle lane means your anti active travel! LTNs are a good idea in principle but need proper planning otherwise you displace traffic to neighbouring areas. I would also encourage councillors to read Transport for All report on the impact of LTNs on people with disabilities

    • Iain Chambers Reply

      But there has been a consultation on cycle lanes as I filled one in last week. There wasn’t one on the temporary cycle lanes as that was an emergency situation. I’m certain that if a consultation was conducted last spring about acquiring & spending emergency funds, there would have been criticism of the Labour administration for lack of decisive leadership in a crisis.

  4. Rostrum Reply

    …… Don’t take a lot of whipping does it ?????

  5. Hendra Reply

    Councillor Jamie Lloyd who is employed by Sustrans. You don’t have to be a genius to work out what is going on. How can anyone with such a blatant conflict of interest be allowed near the Transport committee?

  6. Jon Reply

    Is there any thing else happening in B&H apart from the cycle lane drama ?

  7. Hove Guy Reply

    Ha, ha, ha! How the Greens hate it when anyone confronts them with the truth, which they stubbornly and continuosly refuse to admit. What a pity there are none on the council with the intelligence and integrity of Peter Kyle. I didn’t vote Labour, because I dreaded the possibility of a ghastly Corbyn administration, but I am very pleased that Peter is the MP for this constituency.
    And don’t you just love the comment that “reductions in sexual violent crime were even greater,”? Does anyone really believe that is due to a low-level traffic arrangement? That councilor must think the rest of us are as naive and misguided as she is. What a bunch of clowns we have running the council, except they are not at all funny, but just plain idiotic.

  8. Jojo Goldsmith Reply

    MP Peter Kyle didn’t criticize any schemes he just asked that councilors listened honestly to residents obvious concerns. What is Jamie Lloyds issue with this? Green fascism at its best.

  9. Patricia Reply

    Amazing that we have a council that are as far removed from the residents than ever before, thanks to the inept one who stepped down & now offers no opposition because they don’t have the guts to do so.
    Obviously it’s a coup to get what they all agree on, whether done legally or not.
    The residents know that they have no voice other than theirs MP & yet he gets shouted down for siding with his constituents, albeit rather late.
    There is nothing we can do until we can vote out these people, who in my honest opinion right now, make the Tories look the better option, even though I have voted Labour all my voting life.
    The law needs to change around student voting too, we all know who uses that to they’re advantage.
    All as corrupt as one another which makes you wonder what else is happening that we have no knowledge of?
    A deflection from the fact they were granted tranche 2 funding based on lies says it all really.
    But there’s no conflict of interest here folks, the figures speak for themselves (yes, that is sarcasm).
    Honestly, you couldn’t make this up!
    Maybe central government needs to see an audit of accounts for BHCC because someone needs to investigate the last 5 years of council f@&k ups.

  10. Parent Reply

    How does the ridiculous school policy that’s going to force kids to travel all across the city fit with all this. Kids should go to schools in their communities and the council’s job should be to enable that to happen

  11. Bear Road resident Reply

    I do not understand why Brighten Council has such an obsession with the minority pursuit of cycling rather than promoting the most environmentally sound method of getting about the town – i.e. walking. Whilst there are far, far more pedestrians than cyclists it seems that the current council treats their rights and welfare as inconsequential.
    Whilst the method of propulsion is more environmentally friendly than the automobile cyclists would have us believe that their contraptions are made of moonbeams and delivered by storks whilst in truth many bicycle frames are made of aluminium which is derived from bauxite and turning bauxite into aluminium requires a lot of energy and has a variety of environmental impacts. Of course they may have a bike made from titanium and titanium mining in Africa has been beset by environmental problems due to the polluting nature of processing rutile, a principal titanium ore. Also amongst the several components making up the tyres on a modern bike is synthetic rubber made from petrochemicals, plus nylon and polyester both of which are manmade synthetic polymers.
    And of course we also have to take into account the fact that many bicycles are made in Asia or India and have to be transported to the UK adding further to environmental pollution.
    On the other hand human beings are not made of any artificial materials strip mined under appalling conditions and have a manufacturing process that involves little environmental damage. Human beings do not need to be chained to street furniture or deliberately left sprawled on and blocking the pavement when not in use and rarely arrogantly assume that they have right of way over everybody else.
    If the money wasted on cycle lanes was spent on repairing and de-cluttering our pavements, dealing harshly with rogue cyclists and making pedestrian areas safe and pleasant to walk on then the environment in Brighton would indeed be much improved.

    • David Uzzaman Reply

      The average cycle weighs 18lbs. The average car weighs 3,500lbs. Even if the cycle was made of some rare material the environmental costs are tiny. My cycle is 12 years old and will last longer than me. It’s used very little in the way of parts. New bike cables and tyres and of course nothing in the way of fuel.

  12. Bear Road resident Reply

    I am not comparing bikes with cars I am comparing bikes with human beings who are far more environmentally friendly than cycles yet in Brighton are considered as second class citizens when it comes to their rights to walk safely about the town.
    Just this morning I walked from the Vogue Gyratory to the seafront and back and lost count of the number of cyclists on the pavements (even where cycle paths are provided ); utilising pedestrian only crossings and ignoring red lights often harassing pedestrians in the process. They do this because they know that in Brighton there will be no repercussions to their irresponsible law-breaking.
    My point is also still valid that Brighton council fails constantly to accept that cyclists are a tiny minority yet accords them priority over the majority. Look at the section of valley gardens south from Saint Peter’s Church – Cyclist get a open, un-cluttered run away from the road whilst walkers get a stretch of tarmac next to traffic and heavily cluttered with street furniture!Even further down where areas have been provided through the gardens for walkers cyclists still think that they are entitled to use these too.
    In a democracy surely the views of majority should be listened to rather than a small vocal minority.

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