Greens slate Labour and Tories over Old Shoreham Road cycle lane decision

Posted On 10 Aug 2021 at 5:33 pm

The Greens have criticised Labour and the Conservatives for their decision to scrap the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane.

The two opposition parties voted together at a council meeting this morning (Tuesday 10 August) to ditch the controversial “temporary” measure.

Green councillor Amy Heley chaired the meeting of the Brighton and Hove City Council Environment, Sustainability and Transport Urgency Sub-committee at Hove Town Hall.

She said afterwards: “Despite important warnings that this will harm council funding, public health and some of the city’s most marginalised residents, we are dismayed to see Labour and Conservative councillors work together to remove the new safe cycle lanes on Old Shoreham Road.

“Instead of working constructively to support making journeys by physically active means, such as cycling, Labour and the Tories have remained fixated on removing a lane already in use by communities.

“This will be to the detriment of young people cycling to school from September and some of the city’s poorest communities who have had safer cheaper transport options snatched from them.

“It’s particularly disappointing to see the promise of new investment in our city, including jobs, put at risk by the Labour group, given they have previously campaigned with us to demand government funding for our city.

“With huge issues at stake, like our recovery from covid-19, and after a decade of Conservative government cuts, short-term decisions which will defund Brighton and Hove are deeply irresponsible.”

Councillor Heley added: “They also stand on the wrong side of progress. 35 per cent of those cycling down the Old Shoreham Road had previously travelled the route by car – and switched to a bike once the safer route was introduced.

“In the face of a climate crisis and public health emergency, it’s fantastic that so many of our residents are taking up the opportunity to cycle or walk. This also leaves the roads less congested for those who need to use a car.

“That’s why we continue our work to make sure everyone can safely travel around our city.

“We’re pleased that active travel improvements on the A259, A23 and Western Road are under way, building on the new lanes installed on Madeira Drive, and we’ve seen that pedestrianisation continues to encourage more people to visit and enjoy spending time at our local businesses.

Councillor Amy Heley

“Yesterday’s UN climate change report was unequivocal: ‘The role of human influence on the climate system is undisputed.’

“Yet today, local positive action to prevent further climate breakdown has been thrown out by Labour and Conservatives.

“In the face of this, and the vital work needed to recover from the pandemic, we will always put the safety of Brighton and Hove residents first.

“From active travel to support for jobs and communities, Greens are focused on how our city can thrive.”

  1. Austin Reply

    “Chaired” is a very loose description. She needs to grow up and the Greens need to put competent individuals in chair roles.

    The fate of the planet does not pivot on whether there is a cycle lane or not on OSR.

  2. Nathan Adler Reply

    Calling Cllr Wilkinson a ‘hypocrite’ tells you all you need to know about the Chair (Amy), who showed a lack of respect at the meeting and I wonder if she has ever read the Nolan Principals of Governance. Of the four schemes consulted on one is going, the one that clearly is not working. Labour and Conservatives are on the right side of the consultation. Perhaps in future officers might consult beyond the yea-sayers and talk to everyone who may have an interest in a cycle lane in their area – they would be more fairly serving the city they are paid good money to do.

  3. Serena Evans Reply

    Nothing she says makes sense. No one was using OSR cycle lane. You can’t argue with over a yearsworth of film footage on a dedicated YouTube Channel.
    It was almost as rare to see a flying pig as a cyclist on that cycle lane!
    Meanwhile it obstructed traffic including emergency vehicles and created unnecessary pollution (the opposite of Green). I don’t what job losses she’s wittering on about either. And how much Active Travel Tranche money was spent on pedestrians? All we hear is cyclists, cyclists, cyclists. I would like to see her evidence a single thing she says. How are the poor going to be disadvantaged by the loss of what was was supposed to be a ‘temporary’ cycle lane which they never used exactly?
    Now let’s see the back of all these stupid temporary cycle lanes. The ones on the seafront are even worse as we already had 2-way cycle lanes along there. Much safer and pleasanter ones too!

  4. Gary Gibbon Reply

    It’s about time they replaced this childish brat with a grown up.

  5. Janet T Reply

    I’m amazed the Greens have no one with a bit more life experience available to chair such an important role. The decisions this committee are making have serious implications to the Brighton economy.

  6. Martha Gunn Reply

    Heley is a cultist. She is not open to any sort of rational discussion.
    But more frightening is her tendency to disregard all the conventions of civilised debate.
    I predict that in a decade or so we will find Ms Heley in a party well to the right of her current affiliation.

  7. Rob Reply

    Amy said ““Yesterday’s UN climate change report was unequivocal: ‘The role of human influence on the climate system is undisputed.’

    Sadly this suggests her actions will help, when all the evidence is that she adds to congestion and makes ca rbon emissionsworse.

    When people misrepresent important things in order to promote their own bigotry, you have to question either their intelligence or their integrity

  8. Nathan Adler Reply

    Peter Challis just posted this on another news site – it kind of puts things into perspective:

    To put this into perspective…

    1. The UK generates about 1% of global carbon emissions
    2. Brighton & Hove represents less than 1% of the UK
    3. Transport generates 27% of all emissions on the UK
    4. About 78% of transport distance is by cars. 1% is by bicycle.
    5. As an aside since 1990 car traffic has grown 22% but total emissions have dropped by 3%

    If we assume that, maybe, 10% of car journeys could switch to bikes, albeit that recent traffic data shows car journeys and cycling has returned to pre-pandemic level, we can estimate the value to cycle lanes in the city to deal with the global climate crisis to be:

    1% x 1% x 27% x 78% x10% = 0.000210600%

    If you just look at our city and suggested a TOTAL car ban, even if that were possible, would only deal with 21% of the city’s carbon emissions – and we also need to deal with the other 79%.

    And the only tool the city council is using to address the climate emergency are cycle lanes…

    Peter Challis – mike drop.

    • Robert Smith Reply

      Population of the world = 7.674 billion
      People who complained about OSR cycle lane in consultation = 510
      those who complained as % of global population = 0.0000066%
      OSR contribution = 0.000210%

      Oh dear, OSR contribution to global CO2e 32 times bigger % than people who complained!!!

      You don’t seem to want to take your responsibility for your share of the existential crisis!

      Perhaps Peter should pick that mike up again?

      • Gary Gibbon Reply

        “Responsibility, existential crisis! Ha ha”
        I think you mean virtue signaling,
        we all know your type, wears designer clothes to look flash but can’t afford to feed the kids.
        Kids Lives Matter.

      • Chaz. Reply

        66% of the committee voted to remove them, as you like stats.
        More to the point, what proportion of the OSR population who were impacted were asked firstly?
        As the Greens are guided by dogma , not democracy, that did not happen. Surprise. They are after all a one trick pony.
        However democracy has been restored and the majority of the council has approved this.

      • Robert Smith Reply

        The Greens are guided by getting Brighton to net zero as quickly as possible.

        Yes we are talking about an existential crises!

        As the regular fires and floods are showing the climate catastrophe is real. If anything the climate modellers underestimated how quickly things would get to this stage. We will reach 1.5 degrees warming in next two decades.

        However, as temperatures rises further there will be acceleration due to the [scientific term] positive feedback effect. When the permafrost melts, the next stage comes, which is the release of vast amounts of methane from below the permafrost. That hasn’t happened yet and is preventable but only if we act quickly. As well as the exhaustion of the oceans as a sink, releasing CO2e currently in the sea back into the air.

        On top of this the gulf stream is collapsing, meaning Western European mild temperatures will end and we will have even greater extremes.

        So we will soon by getting Siberian winters and high 40 degree summers (like the Mediterranean is this year and where people are finding it hard to breathe).

        I obviously hit a nerve, with asking you all to take responsibility and stop shirking from doing your share.

        And no Gary, your description of me mate is completely wrong. I grew up on a council estate and I live in social housing now, lived in social housing most of my life. Don’t wear designer wear, don’t want to wear, couldn’t afford it anyway.

        The key difference Gary, is that I have bothered to educate myself of the facts. I have bothered to understand the science. I recognise that lives are at stake and don’t want future generations to struggle to survive because a bunch of idiots put cars and roads ahead of their own families survival.

  9. David S Reply

    Cllr Heley is hiding behind percentages, as politicians like to: “35 per cent of those cycling down the Old Shoreham Road had previously travelled the route by car – and switched to a bike once the safer route was introduced.”. That 35% could be just one or two users.

  10. Billy Short Reply

    There’s some very dodgy maths being quoted here.
    It also just adds to the shouting in an unnecessary debate – and to the bigger mistake people are making here.

    We can all be concerned about climate change and most of us also like a decent cycle lane – preferable off road.
    But a cycle lane in the wrong place that doesn’t get used is no solution to climate change, on any level.
    What most residents really don’t like is when a road is closed or narrowed for no justifiable reason.
    What I personally don’t like is when the council make a chaotic mess on our heritage seafront road in a way that benefits no-one.

    If we are to leave our cars at home then where are the park and ride schemes, where is the better public transport, and how else might we do a 15 mile commute to work? In other words, if you shut one door then you must open another one.

    And the biggest fake news right now is that ‘active travel’ is somehow the sole solution to our transport issues.
    People like me who can already cycle and walk, do so. My problem with the former is that is so easy to get your bike nicked when you padlock it up anywhere in Brighton. When I get home I have to carry my bike up two flights of stairs to my flat because that’s the only safe place to keep it.
    My problem with walking is it takes me an hour to walk from my part of Hove to the city centre, and a bus journey still takes at least half that time.
    And when will electric scooters be legal to use?

    Please look at the bigger picture.

    The idea that the Greens are mourning the loss of the unused Old Shoreham Road cycle lane because it was helping climate change is just nuts.
    The evangelistic eco warriors are clearly stuck in their own town hall bubble and I’d suggest they need to get out more.

  11. Greens Out Reply

    “Greens are focused on how our city can thrive.”

    By every single Green councillor resigning would be a bloody good start

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      Your comment is curious: “every single Green councillor” is a tautology. You are beset by obsession. Or do you mean Green councillors not in a relationship? So, er, why single them out?

  12. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    At the start of all this, when Labour rapidly proposed and built the cycle lanes, I agreed with cllr Nemeth that little would be gained by pedestrianising a few yards of Richardson Road. This did not go ahead (curiously, the two Labour councillors for Westbourne were silent on the subject). The Old Shoreham Road is something else. It is, in effect, a motorised Berlin Wall which makes the areas to the north of it feel more distant than they need do, as I have remarked below another article about sll this on this site. The temporary cycle lane could have been the start of making the Old Shoreham Road more pleasant. It is difficult to believe that residents – apart from those in the cemeteries’ basement flats – find it a quiet place to live. As it is, cllr Wilkinson will be out at dawn, some day soon, to rip up the cycle lane. This is a far cry from 1874, when Oscar Wilde, of all people, joined Ruskin in using shovels and pick-axes to improving a lane off North Hinksey Lane in Oxford.

  13. Chaz. Reply

    So why have the OSR cult lanes not been removed as fast as they were put up?
    Come on Greens, stop crying, respect democracy and get on with it.

  14. Robbo Reply

    Presumably, the Brighton/Hove Greens have contributed to the increase in carbon emissions through their opposition to Park and Ride schemes since the 1990’s. Their placing of an impractical cycle lane has also made congestion/pollution/rat running worse in the area. And their failures on recycling are also an indication of their bad environmental record.

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