Old Shoreham Road cycle lane wins temporary reprieve

Posted On 21 Jul 2021 at 8:04 pm

The Old Shoreham Road cycle lane has won a temporary reprieve after a four-hour meeting at Hove Town Hall.

The future of the temporary cycle lane now looks likely to be debated again at another Brighton and Hove City Council meeting within the next three weeks.

Labour and the Conservatives thwarted Green plans to make the Hove cycle lane permanent, citing the feedback from a six-week public consultation.

The next meeting is due to “consider the removal” of the controversial scheme which was brought in just over a year ago, in May last year, during the first national coronavirus lockdown.

It was funded by the government which had ordered people to find alternatives to public transport, particularly “active travel” such as walking and cycling.

The temporary cycle lane was one of a series of “active travel” measures voted on today (Wednesday 21 July), including cycle lanes elsewhere, a revamp of Western Road, Brighton, and a trial park and ride scheme.

But another controversial scheme, the extension of the A259 seafront cycle lane along the seafront in Hove, will also be put on hold, subject to a consultation.

And plans to extend the Hove cycle lane west through Portslade were scrapped after the move was overwhelmingly rejected during the public consultation.

The decisions were made at a special meeting of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee today.

Labour said: “Labour are keen to ensure there is more active travel infrastructure built around the city – that’s why we implemented these temporary measures.

“However, we have always been clear that residents must be at the forefront of any transport changes and their opinions must be respected.”

Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth said: “In the case of the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane, opponents have literally been slurred, insulted and ridiculed by the Green administration.

“It should be possible to agree to disagree on such subjects which is a far better position to be in when future cycle lanes are up for consideration as they are today.”

He said: “It would not have surprised me one bit if I had found out that the government had asked for cash to be returned after it was found that the administration of the day had misrepresented the position with regard to consultation with disabled groups on the funding application form.

“And good on BADGE (Brighton Access for Disabled Groups Everywhere) campaigners for forming a group to highlight this and so many other related subjects.”

Councillor Nemeth added: “I hope that this whole unnecessary episode is remembered as a way not to operate – and that the principles of consultation, consent and democracy are enshrined in future decision-making processes.”

Green councillor Jamie Lloyd said that there had been constant negativity from opposition members “which has done nothing to win people over”.

He said that, if they were committed to reducing traffic, they should be prepared to get behind controversial measures.

Fellow Green councillor Amy Heley, who chairs the committee, cited the views of children who were under-represented in the thousands of responses to the council’s consultation.

The new meeting to settle the future of the temporary cycle lane along the A270 Old Shoreham Road, in Hove, is due to take place by Wednesday 11 August.

More to follow from our local democracy service reporter.

  1. bradly23 Reply

    green nonce nonsense again

  2. Nathan Adler Reply

    Obvious delaying tactics again by the Greens. Cllr Wilkinson, (who I have to say was outstanding at the meeting and changed my opinion on him), was obviously irked by the conflicting information on if we needed a report in order to remove the lane, (strange we didn’t have one to put it in). Greens will throw every dirty trick in the book before the Urgency subcommittee meeting. Labour and Tories need to stand by the correct decision they have just made. Anyone watching would be shocked by the behaviour of some Councilors, the Chair in particular was very rude, (and even got called out on it by Cllr Platts).

    • Robert Arbery Reply

      A report wasn’t need to put the lanes in because WE WERE IN A PANDEMIC AND THESE WERE EMERGENCY GOVERNMENT MEASURES.

      This has been conveniently ‘forgotten’ time and time again.

      • Some Guy Reply

        I mean, I’m all for active travel but let’s not get too excited about the crisis solving, life saving power of a temporary cycle lane. Unless ambulances were using it, it wasn’t an emergency measure.

      • Rob Arbery Reply

        I guess I should consider it flattery that you chose to impersonate me, or is it a little shady (only my mother calls me Robert)? Actually yes they were emergency government measures and that was why the lane was ‘TEMPORARY’. In order to gain funds officers were specific that local support would be gained via a consultation. We have had that and there is quite clearly little support so the councilors quite rightly voted to remove.

  3. Austin Reply

    If one thing has been determined this evening, it is that you will never get balanced debate from the Greens. Disgraceful.

  4. Martha Gunn Reply

    I have rarely seen such incompetent, and unfair, management of a meeting as displayed by Green Councillor Chair Amy Heley. She is totally out of her depth. Some sort of disciplinary proceedings should be brought against her for this shocking authoritarian performance.

  5. Jon Reply

    All this drama over a couple of miles of cycle lane in a city that 99% of the roads don’t have cycLe lanes.
    Is there a way we can make this cycle lane work and get more people cycling or just give up ? says Councillor Nemeth
    We can bring in a temporary park and ride get more people using public transport during a pandemic says Labour

  6. Billy Short Reply

    Greens: Throw toys out of pram. We’re not giving up on this because we’ve trapped ourselves in a cultist corner where we can’t back down. Never mind the facts, what about the ickle children!!!!?

    Labour: We do believe in active travel but we also believe in listening to the electorate.

    Conservatives: How on earth did this become a fight between cyclists and motorists when many of us are both?

    Average resident: Where is the city-wide transport strategy that gets us to work or which allows us to get to the beach when we live up a hill? How are buses supposed to run efficiently, and how do delivery vans and traders access our city centre houses? How is our limited road space best allocated to suit genuine travel needs? Why duplicate existing cycle lanes and why force road closures on communities when they clearly don’t achieve the stated environmental goals? How do I store a bike when I live in a third floor flat? How do I stop my bike being nicked every time I lock it up outside the pub? The recycling facilities in this city are appalling.

    Typical teenagers: We don’t mind cycle lanes but we’ll happily use any road or pavement. And, actually, we’d rather walk to school because that’s when we talk to our friends. Where can I use my electric scooter? My mate has just bought an electric skateboard and it does 30mph.

    Billy: How did our council get so out of touch with what is really going on? Was it the Hove Town Hall bubble – or was it the limited social contact caused by Zoom meetings?

    • Adrian Hill Reply

      …in terms of your bike, buy a kryptonite short gold d-lock for security. I have a £1500 bike that I once locked up on London Rd and forgot to take home before going abroad for a whole month. On my return astonishingly the bike was still there! I couldn’t quite believe it!

  7. Dave Churchill Reply

    I have listened,watched and read about about the OSR but still cannot belive which side is truthful.
    I am now awaiting the final decision and am resigned to living with the outcome!

  8. Richard Daughtrey Reply

    I agree with Billy comments, scrape the under used cycle lanes. Richhard

  9. Adrian Hill Reply

    ‘Labour: We believe in active travel but we also believe in listening to the electorate’ The problem is councillors Gary Wilkinson, Robert Nemeth, Steve Bell didn’t listen to the officers and the experts. They listened to misinformation and propagated it in articles in newspapers. They didn’t listen to the evidence that congestion was down overall in Brighton (evidenced by the motor industry + council officers). There was no information on pollution despite those same councillors reporting on it and blaming cycle lanes. The government, DfT and PHE all recommend more cycling infrastructure to reduce congestion and pollution. Cycle lanes will likely displace traffic but overall and eventually, like in London, cycling will move more people using less space than cars. And on pollution, if Labour and the Conservatives cared, they would be pushing for a ULEZ on the polluted roads, like the one in London that reduced pollution by 36%, or they would be pushing for better investments in monitoring, or they might suggest better planning on building configurations to improve air dispersal to lower pollution, or green vegetation barriers, or environmental impact assessments…but nothing from them at all (ok, there is the sound of park and ride but far from anything concrete). I am beginning to think councillors are more interested in disrupting the others than progressing our health and wellbeing. Please councillors, work together, with your officers too.

  10. Andrew England Reply

    Why not separate cycles and vehicles more by moving the OSR cycle lane to the north of the Old Shoreham Road? Going East to West starting at BHASVIC, the lane could cross the Dyke Road Park field to the Newman tennis courts, round the perimeter of Newman’s northern field going over the Upper Drive at the pedestrian crossing. Then it could go through the north end of Cottesmore Primary School field to Radinden Manor Road reaching Brighton Girls School and down Shirley Road to Hove Recreation Ground.
    Crossing Hove Rec and Goldstone Crescent at the pedestrian crossing it could go through Hove Park to the Bilingual School and Orchard Road. Then it could traverse Nevill Road at the pedestrian crossing to Hove Park School. After going round the southern perimeter of Hove Park School, it could go through the allotments to Blatchington Mill School, Aldrington Primary, the Polyclinic, Hove Cemetery and beyond.
    The route would be a safer, scenic way for students to cycle to several schools and colleges. Gates/fences would be needed to stop access to the affected schools outside opening times.
    I’m sure you can come up with many improvements to this idea but it might help to reduce the cyclist/motorist antipathy.

    • Chaz. Reply

      All well and good giving suggestions.
      The Greens impose so you wont get listened to.
      However your suggestion, valid as it is, involves lots of climbs.
      Today on OSR hardly anyone uses it for the same reason.
      Just move it and then remove the Greens. They are childishly embarrassing.

  11. Stew Reply

    Green councillor Amy Heley, who chairs the committee, cited the views of children who were under-represented in the thousands of responses to the council’s consultation.

    That’s right, children don’t vote or pay council tax or have to earn money so their views in this are not valid…

  12. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    Next she’ll be advocating votes for eight year olds.

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