Old Shoreham Road cycle lane didn’t increase congestion

Posted On 16 Jul 2021 at 2:26 pm

The Old Shoreham Road cycle lane by Hove Park – Picture by Stu Langridge

The council’s monitoring report on temporary cycle lanes on the A259 seafront and A270 Old Shoreham Road is out.

There’s masses of data, both from the consultation held earlier this year and from traffic monitoring.

There has been no decrease in average traffic speed alongside the cycle lanes on the A270 Old Shoreham Road. Claims that the cycle lanes have caused congestion are simply untrue.

German Doner Kebab

Cycling is a more popular mode of transport along the A259 seafront than driving.

Despite the consultation being on walking and cycling, the proportion of drivers who responded to the consultation was much higher than the proportion of Brighton & Hove residents who drive.

The average age of consultation respondents was much higher than the average age in Brighton & Hove.

Cycle counts along the Old Shoreham Road and seafront vary according to weather, but the general picture is of a big increase in cycling.

There has been a big increase in use of BTN BikeShare bikes near the temporary lanes.

Consultation respondents said the things that would most help them to cycle more for short journeys are more protected cycle tracks and lanes, and better driver attitudes towards cyclists. Weather and flatness of terrain were relatively unimportant.

The majority of respondents said the council should act to improve road safety and air quality and reduce traffic noise and congestion.

There are still calls to remove existing temporary lanes and halt expansion. It’s now clear that these calls are based on opinion which is unsupported by fact.

Chris Williams is the chair of Bricycles.

  1. Johny Cobblers Reply


    “There has been no decrease in average traffic speed alongside the cycle lanes on the A270 Old Shoreham Road. Claims that the cycle lanes have caused congestion are simply untrue.” STOP LYING!!!

    “Cycling is a more popular mode of transport along the A259 seafront than driving.” Got loads of photos and vids that prove otherwise.

    I could go on, but I have other things to do

    • Serena Evans Reply

      Is this advertorial or propaganda? It certainly isn’t journalism or fact checked in any way. Sounds like a copy and paste piece from Bricycles Fb page. Can just anyone be afforded that privilege in the name of fairness or just Bricycles?

  2. MD Reply

    Just note who wrote this. Its not from a reporter but a pro-cycling campaigner with a very big axe to grind!!!

    • Danny Reply

      I’m glad to see brighton and hove news is doing a journalism program for the blind, but surely there is better suited people for the job as anyone with two, or even one eye can see the OSR cycle lane causes massive congestion in multiple places along the route! The lights at the start of the route going east, top of boundary road is always backed up. The whole section from hove park to the tip going west is always fucking blocked. I drive the route 4/5 days a week in the morning and on the way back in the afternoon, i have only ever 5 or 6 cyclists at most during my commute and about 2/3 on average. Its meant to be summer so should be at its busiest but even now its basically empty while sngle file traffic queues along side and emprty fucking lane!! It was meant to be temporary

    • Adam Campbell Reply

      Come on Frank, please don’t sully this organ with propaganda from an Ian Davy cutout.

  3. nick Reply

    Lies damn lies and statistics. People can see the changes with their eyes and the vast majority don’t think this is helping. Extra pollution is no good for anyone and Chris Williams (who presumably is sponsored by oil companies) should be ashamed of the damage to the planet that he is causing.

    Don’t get me wrong, cycling is good. I cycle myself. But I’m not a fanatic who believes that all main routes should be converted to cycle lanes. Indeed I think the opposite. Leave busy roads to cars, vans, lorries and buses. And put the cycle routes along with one of the many parallel less busy (and so safer and more pleasant) residential roads.

    And the main issue with the council’s statistics is what they don’t measure. They don’t look at displacement – all the vehicles choosing alternative longer and more residential routes. All these extra polluting and more dangerous miles. And there are lots of comments from residents about their roads now being “rat runs” caused by the cycle zealots. And an even more worrying omission from the statistics is pollution. Since that’s the main enemy, why isn’t that being measured?

    • Born in Brighton Reply

      This article is a joke. Wait until we are all back at work and the city is at a standstill. I cycle and i am very unhappy that the 2 main roads to get me to work with my family have been ruined by those that don’t pay to use the roads. It’s an insult in fact!

  4. Greens Out Reply

    Chair of militant activist group Bricycles claims OSR cycle lane hasn’t increased congestion.

    Well isn’t that a surprise.

    What a deluded fool.

    I cycle. I drive. Needs must on both. Would I ever ever get involved with , or support, the likes of Bricycles? No. I’m not a fascist.

  5. Richard Reply

    The figures show more journeys by cars, vans and lorries along some stretches but now there’s just one lane each way. That’s why there IS more congestion. This article is a sick joke and those of us living with this ridiculous scheme are fuming at the Greens for their futile and stubborn approach to a failed idea. At least Labour saw the light. It’s the right idea but in completely the wrong place.

  6. Helen Reply

    If I said this was a spurious interpretation of the data, I would guilty of a colossal understatement. I know the Greens are determined to spin this dreadful failure as a success but it’s nothing of the sort. Anyone who lives near this ill-judged experiment, as I do, has the misfortune of seeing it with her own eyes every day. Congestion is reaching the level that justified the building of the Brighton Bypass! Crazy!

  7. dree Reply

    Politician’s logic! The Government gave the council money for a quick-win scheme. This was a quick-win scheme, therefore the council did it. But the quick-win schemes were meant to make things better, not worse. I truly despair of this council, and shame on Brighton and Hove News for publishing this drivel.

  8. Nathan Adler Reply

    Chris Williams, (the man has an ego the size of Falmer Stadium), and his one man crusade to save the OSR cycle lane. Quite alright when he tried to fiddle the survey, (still had 68% wanting the lane removed) and now the consultation is not fair? Everyone in the city had the opportunity to answer you just needed to provide an address as a very minimum to fill in the survey. Of course Chris neglects to mention the huge majority against the OSR and the very specific question on ‘whether you support reallocation of space for walking and cycling from road’ On the OSR 90% said they do not support this – that says it all. He also neglects to comment on the OSR proposed extension and that drivers, cyclists and pedestrians were all against it – he of course still wants it because we all live in Chris’s world.

    The consultation was deeply flawed with loaded questions but congratulations to everyone who found a way to be heard.

    Well done to Labour for wanting to remove and relocate to a road where it may actually encourage active travel. Political suicide to listen to Chris Williams, already identified by Cllr Lloyd as a future Green candidate.

    • Chris HB Reply

      Is that the same Cllr Lloyd who was being rude about people on the radio the other week? He went on the offensive (and it was very offensive) because they had the temerity to point out (in effect) the Green emperor has no clothes!

  9. Paul Temple Reply

    Blimey there’s more spin here than on my washing machines drying cycle.
    Last figures taken by the council 23% decrease in cycling on the OSR, (but they say the weather was poor, like the weather is never poor in the UK?)

    Same amount of traffic, ( very slight increase at the western end), so if you have one lane instead of two you have engineered far worse congestion. It really is not difficult to visualise.

    If we saw this as a popular route for cyclists the point would be mute, but it clearly is not – lets look for an alternative and keep the arterial route clear in order to minimise rat runs and cut throughs of residential areas. Possibly the worst piece I have ever read in the B&H news.

  10. Alice J Reply

    Chris, page 199 of the council report shows the rise in the number of vehicles from the baseline just before the start (or just after the end) of the Western end of the new cycle lane. It’s often where the queues start or where drivers rejoin after taking a different route to avoid the chaos caused where two lanes of busy traffic have been squeezed into a single lane each way.
    Don’t forget, plenty of people like me are currently working from home, but on notice that a return to commuting is on the cards.
    There are also more delivery vans and scooter riders out there, making journeys.
    And all this for a paltry gain of just over 300 extra cycle journeys a day, possibly by those still avoiding public transport, as instructed by the Government. This is putting the best gloss on the figures. The council’s own data shows fewer people cycling than before the cycle lane was created. It was wet, says the council. Funnily enough, it does rain here, so there will be plenty more days and weeks like those depressed figures from June! And fewer still in the winter when it’s wet and cold.
    In short, this is a flawed story and Brighton and Hove News demean themselves by giving it space.

  11. sasha Reply

    This is the worst article on your website for a very long time. It bears no relation to the reality. It twists the truth beyond recognition. Shame on you.

  12. harb Reply

    My family are all cyclists, we live near this route, but we avoid it, because the new cycle lane has visibly worsened congestion. I also drive because my job requires me to deliver bulky but fragile goods (some with clinical applications), from a depot in West Sussex, to addresses over a wide area, in cluding Brighton & Hove. It feels as though the Council has deliberately tried to engineer congestion in to a route whihc was already busy. To hear Greens defend it, has destroyed my trust in them as a party, and left me wondering whether they are unable to see the truth, unable to tell the truth, or unable to face the truth. What a monumental waste of time, money and effort.

  13. Boris Reply

    Embarrassing rot! This is the sort of distorted twaddle that gives journalism a bad name!

  14. D Roberts Reply

    Bias nonsense. I live close. I see traffic everyday much worse thn before . It’s just not true what it says here is just not true.

  15. DD Reply

    Chris Williams doesn’t appear to have read the Council’s own report. Despite the best efforts of the author to spin the stats, they don’t stack up. And the seafront cycle lane (on the road) remains questionable, and unpopular with some cyclists, like myself, who would rather use the pavement lane, which was mostly fine (I know some cyclist bomb along there recklessly, giving all of us a bad name).

  16. Dave Wheels Reply

    This specious article does a disservice to an important debate. I cycle North-South a lot, but there is a notable amount of extra traffic, presumably displaced traffic, crossing my path on my usual routes. I’m cycling less as a result.
    My partner, who is a carer, cannot cycle, but does not qualify for a blue badge. Public transport, unfortunately, is not realistic, given her working timetable, and the sheer number of miles she has to travel. The changes on the Old Shoreham Road and the seafront have extended her working day. She is exactly the sort of person who realistically has no choice but to drive.
    These poorly planned cycle lanes may yet drive her out of her job, leaving one less committed carer at a time when demand for those like her seems to be growing.

  17. Claud Butler Reply

    Seriously. This is a joke, and a bad joke at that!

  18. Andrè Reply

    I live a stones throw from the OSR & take it from me, who has no conflict of interest, that the above statement could not be further than the truth.
    I have no choice but to use the road, like many people, who use it to get to work, school or shopping because it’s a main road through from west Hove to Brighton BUT where these “temporary” lanes start & finish, you could be stuck in at least 1 gridlock during normal working hours, 7 days a week.
    These lanes are dangerous & are an accident waiting to happen.
    You seem very confident that after falsification of data, that you will get a permanent status through.
    How many back handers from Labour will that take, let’s face it, they renege quite often but it is duly noted among the affected constituents, believe.
    We are becoming a laughing stock of the south coast, no incentive for tourists because people won’t want to come to a ghost town full of beggars & drunks in abandoned shops doorways.
    Slow clap for making our city an unfriendly atmosphere if you use a car.
    Nowhere to park, hotels that charge the earth & only cyclists reap any benefits.
    Dirty & unreliable overpriced public transport to get here is going to put anyone that isn’t on drugs, off coming here…

  19. Jojo Goldsmith Reply

    So am I reading this right? Mr Williams is actually moaning because people who took the time to fill in a lengthy consultation are not the people he wanted to fill it in. Didn’t councilors say this was the best responded consultation ever? I know officers will not take note but I hope every councilor now understands local feeling around the OSR, even if Mr Williams is in complete denial.

    • Meg Reply

      I filled in the consultation and it was carefully designed so the answers could be used to justify keeping the existing ‘temporary’ cycle lane and the extension the Greens want. I had to try really hard to find a way of getting across what a humungous waste of space I think they are. Truly counter-productive! I also spoke to one of my Labour councillors in passing, and I gather they have rarely, if ever, had such a clear number of emails making clear what voters think. Put it this way, I’ve voted Labour for years and they don’t back up their words with their votes next week, I’ll never vote Labour again, and certainly not Green either.

      • Meg Reply

        PS I have a bike and I ride it when I can, but I need my car for work at least 2 days a week at the moment, and more when the Covid restrictions are finished.

      • Happy Reply

        Totally with you Meg, the “consultation” was farcical, I spent ages typing to explain my answers also as they were so biased, I guess that they just pumped everything into an algorithm that gave the answers they wanted vs what was really said 🙁 Joke council, will definitely not be voting Green or Red ever again!!!

  20. Billy Short Reply

    What a cultist.

    I’m reading this, having just driven home from the job I currently need to commute to. This morning there were no cyclists at all in the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane and this evening, on my way home, they were still no cyclists. Not one.
    It’s a sunny day. There’s no wind. And yet cyclists are not choosing this route.

    Is the high priest still so self obsessed that, despite all the evidence, he still thinks he’s right?

  21. G Keyes Reply

    Chris, if you click your heels three times, you’ll be in Kansas. No need for cycle lanes or any other sort of traffic.
    You’ll be so much happier on a remote farm surrounded by wheatfields. You can live out your new green deal communist dream without anyone standing in your way or telling you you can’t. You can talk to the wheat and find sympathetic ears. Please leave Brighton and Hove and stop trying to turn it into Kansas.

  22. Ken the cyclist (really) Reply

    This is the worst piece of journalism I’ve read here or anywhere else for as long as I can remember. It makes Donald Trump sound truthful and Boris Johnson like a paragon. The author either lives in a parallel universe or takes us all for fools.

  23. Peter Challis Reply

    Dear old Chris Williams – the guy who started the ePetition to keep the A270 cycle lane and had to use fake accounts, and activists from across the country and beyond to sign to get sufficient signatures.

    This article is also the same BS being posted by Brighton & Hove Greens on their Facebook page, so collusion with them is obvious.

    “What the evidence says:
    “- There has been no decrease in average traffic speed alongside the cycle lanes on the A270 Old Shoreham Road.
    “- Claims that the cycle lanes have caused congestion are simply untrue.

    I responded:

    “Where and when were traffic volumes and journey times measured?

    “Does this take into account many road users, myself included, now avoiding the A270, and either using rat runs, or driving elsewhere?

    “Perhaps start listening road users and to residents who live along here

    “And if you actually read the report you’d see the A270 was only measured at 1 point in 2020 and 2021 (not before the cycle lane went in) and they have no measures elsewhere and have only just started measuring emission levels.

    “Hardly convincing evidence

    The actual measurement point is by the old Jaguar garage and away from where queues form, and if there were no problems, why did the council want to alter the road layout near Stapely Road to remove queues.

    The amount of lies and misinformation from Bricycles, Sustran, and the Green Party is appalling.

  24. Robert Arbery Reply

    Wow, never seen so many replies on a B&H piece and with so much passion. It really is not on to moan about WHO filled in a consultation, that they took the time and effort to engage is great – and too get a viewpoint across even harder in a very ‘loaded’ consultation. I am surprised that Chris claims more motorists filled it in? 21% of respondents said they cycled the OSR cycle lane which compares to the 1% actual usage of cyclists of the OSR. So % wise we have a far higher response from cyclists. Interesting of those 600 odd many didn’t even leave a positive comment….

    • Happy Reply

      Agree with you Rob, just goes to show what the real situation is vs the “perceived”/spun version is. Its such a shame these “Greens” are so militant and misguided, I’m all for stopping/reversing climate change, sadly their methods and follies/gestures are a waste of money and time when they could be dealing with things that actually make a difference, I gather they spend a lot of council time debating other countries policies, perhaps if that’s their jurisdiction (joking) they should spend more time on dealing with that instead. (Hopefully our taxes are not paying for that effort though! No wonder they keep raising them so much!!!)

  25. Happy Reply

    Complete and utter tosh! Just like the Tranche 2 funding justification and other lies from this bunch of fraudsters.

  26. J.Wilson Reply

    Lies,lies,lies. Do they really think that residents are stupid?

  27. Mike nelson Reply

    The author is a pro cycling campaigner and places statements unsubstantiated by data for the a259 and surrounding streets. Please can we bring science to reporting and not opinions spouted as facts. Even Brighton and hove buses state increases in congestion for all routes in this area.

  28. Ren Reply

    This is the most appalling tosh. It’s so bad, I’ve actually looked up the Council report for the meeting in a few days’ time. This is not just spin, but twists, distorts and contradicts the facts which the Council found, despite their best efforts to justify the farce that is the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane. A new low in local journalism!

  29. G Reply

    Why has this rubbish been published?!?? As someone who cycles almost every day, come rain or shine, I can tell you why it’s such a useless route. It’s hilly when there are easier nearby flat alternative routes. And two lanes of traffic squeezed into one means you get fumes from a number of the static queueing vehicles. Disappointingly, my preferred alterative routes have become busier as drivers avoid the Old Shoreham Road snarl ups. Almost all of my work colleagues drive because they have to, and this bodge of a cycle lane has become the bane of their lives. One has stopped volunteering for jobs in Brighton and Hove unless it’s an emergency.

  30. LW Reply

    Mr Williams obviously spends little time in Portslade and is not as badly affected by this poorly-planned cycle lane as my family is. As a long-time Labour voter, I’ll be watching the meeting on Wednesday very closely.

  31. Anon, Hove Reply

    cycle lanes help
    we need to invest in cycle lanes – they encourage kids to get out and get our wonderful sea to relax, exercise and do mindfulness
    get your dryrobe, grab your bike, get to the sea – swim and breathe
    we are lucky to live in a great city – lets make cycling for the many not the few

  32. Robin Hislop Reply

    Calm down people! The piece is clearly labelled “OPINION” at the top, it is not presented as news but is obviously a campaigner’s view of the situation. This site hosts many such opinion pieces from contributors of all stripes, clearly labelled, and listed in a separate section of the front page. I wish that all newspapers were as clear in this respect. Not that it has stopped you lot going off half-cocked!

  33. Greens need to voted out Reply

    lol how is this a great city when all the green party is doing is siding with the cyclists don’t call that a very good idea cutting a busy 2 lane road into one as it not only causes a jam but it puts lives at risk. What if there’s a fire or some one is having a heart attack and an ambulance or fire truck cant get through

  34. McHarry Reply

    This will forever be remembered as that weird time a bunch of Petrophiliacs hijacked democracy because they just couldn’t let go and move on.
    Bring on the permanent works so we can put this embarrassment to the city behind us

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