‘We don’t want it’ – residents react to Portland Road cycle lane suggestion

Posted On 21 Jul 2021 at 2:03 pm


People living around Portland Road are generally not in favour of relocating the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane to their doorstep.

The Labour group says it is planning to vote to scrap the temporary lane on the Old Shoreham Road at today’s special environment, transport and sustainability committee, and ask officers to look into relocating it, with its two suggestions being Portland Road or New Church Road.

Portland Road was one of the options considered by Mott McDonald last year when it looked at how to improve the city’s cycling facilities as part of its covid response.

However, it was not chosen because it would require removing parking on both sides of the road, which would have affected loading for shops.

New Church Road was also not chosen because of the need for bigger changes to the layout to avoid conflict with bus stops, with a need for floating bus stops raised.

Brighton and Hove News asked members of the Portland Road residents Facebook group what they thought – and of the dozens who replied, most thought the lane should go elsewhere.

Sarah Tullet said: “New Church Road would be a better option than Portland Road, because there are less shops and businesses that would be affected by the loss of parking.

“A loss spaces along that road would have a greater impact on those that live here.”

Debby Brake simply said: “We don’t want it.”

Alpa Patel said: “Definitely neither. Unless they introduce one way traffic down each road.

“What’s wrong with the one on the seafront? And to be fair I’m completely happy with the one on Old Shoreham Road.”

Beverley Weaver said: “With the lack of parking for businesses and loading bays, it’s going to cause horror.

“There’s already issues with cars and vans parking on corners, blocking views as it is. It would be a shame for the loss of trade for businesses.”

Richard Cowle said: “Neither of those roads are suitable. B&H was built with relatively narrow roads.

“Cycle paths are just not possible in most locations, without huge, structural change.”

However, there were some people in favour of a cycle lane in Portland Road.

Tony Low said: “I think it’ll be great along Portland Road. I cycle along there everyday and the double parking people walking out and the car doors opening is so dangerous I have around five near accidents every time I ride along.”

Nick Sayers said: “It’d be slightly beneficial on Portland Road, but that’s already an OK road to cycle along.

“Where it’s *needed* is Old Shoreham Road, which was a dangerous, dirty, unpleasant place for anyone not inside a car before. Such a wasted opportunity.”

And one New Church Road residents were not keen on it coming to their road either.

Anna O’Brien said: “I drive the length of New Church Road most days and rarely have a journey without someone (or multiple people) pulling out in front of me from one of the roads that join it.

“I’m relatively protected in my metal box – and know to anticipate it – but I’d worry about the impact on cyclists.”

New Church Road is about 300m north of Kingsway, on which there is already a cycle lane and plans to improve it in the near future are expected to be approved this afternoon.

Portland Road is between 300m and 700m south of Old Shoreham Road – but the trainline running between them means accessing one from the other can involve a detour of more than a mile.

  1. Nathan Adler Reply

    Blimey Jo you send tweets to Labour berating their decision, you wrote an article 2 days a ago which was almost word for word what Chris Williams of Bricycles had sent Labour councilors and now this fluff piece of 5 minute journalism where you hand selected a few comments that supported your argument on facebook. Always though B&H news was pretty impartial – thankfully we have Frank. This is really underhanded behaviour.

  2. Rachel Reply

    How much more money is going to be wasted on unwanted, dangerous cycle lanes? How about the council dealing with the real issues of dangerous, broken pavements, dog mess and the unsightly weeds everywhere. I’m sick of this inept council letting our city become a filthy dump.

  3. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    There are currently two Petitions to the Council – one by cllr Robert Nemeth and one by myself – about Portland Road. Together, these show that the Road has many problems, and so it is not simply the case of a cycle land solving them: the Road needs a thorough review, work upon which cllr Nemeth has been engaged with Council officials. As I said with many residents while taking around my Petition about the perilous zebra, it has always seemed to me that New Church Road is far better for cyclists than Portland Road. Something overlooked in all this is that cyclists learn their own routes. For example, I cycle along New Church Road, into Pembroke Crescent and over Sackville Road, through Stirling Place and up Connaught Terrace to reach Blatchington Road. That’s enough geekishness for now!

  4. Hove Guy Reply

    Since when has the council been concerned about loading for shops being affected by the removal of parking? What a pity they did not consider this when they removed parking around the Prince Albert Street area, resulting in deliveries to shops having to take place far away from where they are located. What a load of hypocrites!

  5. Some Guy Reply

    The “bagsies not it” reaction from other potential sites is kind of depressing.

  6. Billy Short Reply

    I cycle along Portland road all the time and, apart from access to my local shops there, I choose this route because it’s wide and surprisingly flat.
    It’s a flat and straight road all the way from Portslade station to the eastern end where, if heading on into the city centre, you can either drop down to Blatchington Road or carry on along Clarendon Villas and then Eaton Villas.

    And, here’s the thing, this route feels perfectly safe to me without the need for a cycle lane.
    Most cyclists will also only be on this road for one section, before they divert towards their intended destination.

    Bespoke cycle lanes through fields or open land are fantastic. But squeezing a lane into a busy urban road by shifting bus stops and parked cars into the middle of the road is just illogical in terms of efficient use of limited space, and it’s actually worse for other road users be they pedestrians, shop owners, residents, bus users, delivery vehicles or private motorists.

    We have already seen that imposing cycle lanes in the wrong area does nothing to increase ‘active travel’.
    I’d be using my own bike a lot more if I could lock it up safely to find it still there when I got back from my shop or pub visit. In this city, bike lanes come secondary to that constant theft issue.

    It seems to me we also need to distinguish between those cyclists on local journeys, and leisure cyclists, and those who are trying to commute to work across the city by bicycle. All groups are equally important but have different needs and choose different routes.
    It was also dumb, as with the Old Shoreham road route, to allocate 50 percent of the road space to 2 percent of the users just because the fanatical cycle lobbying groups campaigned for that.

    So this whole policy needs a rethink. We need all forms of transport to run efficiently, with shared/public transport having the priority. If cars are travelling too fast along Portland road then install more speed bumps and speed cameras.
    If, in truth, you don’t want private cars using this road, then ban cars.

    But above all, if you are taking something away, then make sure when spending the taxpayers’ money you are actually giving back something that is better.

  7. bix Reply

    Make it a 20mph liminit on this road, bring in proper parking enforcement and paint a cycle lane on it. Job done. It is the easiest route and connects brighton (e.g. seven dials or clocktower via new north road) up beautifully with portslade. It would be prudent to educate drivers not to open their car doors without checking for cyclst, unless you want that cycle lane in the middle of the lane

    • Stew Reply

      Paint a cycle lane down the middle and make the North pavement 1m less wide if you must but really no one wants it and everyone including cyclists would just prefer the council spent some money retarmacing the city’s awful roads. The council spent millions on vally gardens which is an improvement. The vast majority of people use that cycle lane however you still get morons going down the road and not the cycle lanes because the stretch at the level is to bumpy to cycle on, so they are kind of a vanity project in all seriousness.

      If you want people out of cars the easiest solution is park and ride, repairing the roads and bus lanes. We live in a city built on several large valleys, cycling is not the answer to mass transit here for obvious reasons. A tram or trolley bus would be a better idea

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