Labour stands by decision to remove the Old Shoreham Road cycle path

Posted On 10 Aug 2021 at 10:01 am

Labour councillors said this morning that the group stands by its decision to remove the temporary Old Shoreham Road cycle path.

The group said that it had backed all other “active travel” measures at a special meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee last month.

Councillor Gary Wilkinson, who speaks for the group on the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “Labour is determined to promote active healthy communities across our city, as well as tackling climate change, which is why we support extending the vast majority of the temporary schemes we implemented.

“We are keen to ensure there is more active travel infrastructure built around the city.

“However, the party has always been clear that residents must be the drivers of any transport changes – and their opinions must be respected.

“In calling for a consultation, we ensured that residents, businesses and other stakeholders had a say.

“While others wanted to push ahead with the measures, Labour realised the importance of actually listening to residents.

“It (the council consultation) was the true test of local opinion and, despite its limitations, Labour feel residents have made their feelings clear and want this temporary cycle lane removed.

“That’s why we will continue to stand with residents in calling on the Green minority administration to remove the temporary cycle lane on the Old Shoreham Road – and have submitted an amendment calling on today’s Urgency Sub-committee to reaffirm the recent special committee decision to do so.

“We are honest enough to understand when something has seemed a good idea on paper but is simply not working and is not used.

“What we need is to understand the successes and failures of all the temporary schemes that were established so that we can plan effectively for more and better cycle lanes in the future.

“Labour remain absolutely committed to further ‘active travel’ measures, to carbon neutrality and to a car-free city-centre.

“But we must ensure that schemes work and that we take residents with us on this urgent journey.”

Labour has proposed an amendment to the council’s report today (Tuesday 10 August), asking for “the removal of the Phase 1 temporary cycle lanes on the Old Shoreham Road”.

It also calls on “council officers to urgently develop and provide committee members with proposed criteria for any further consultations and data reporting in relation to future active travel measures, in order to demonstrate empirical evidence to support balanced analysis”.

The second measure by Labour is to try to prevent a repeat of a consultation widely regarded as engineered to try to achieve only one result.

Despite that, several councillors have said that voters most affected by the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane have managed to make their opposition clear.

  1. Nathan Adler Reply

    Well done Labour for keeping your promise, despite the inept Conservative Government trying to manipulate local politics by threatening to withdraw funds. Good to admit your mistake and put it right. Lets have a proper joined up conversation about active travel going forward, not just with the yea-sayers and select pressure groups. The city needs to get this right and this is the first step in actually engaging and listening to residents rather than dictating.

  2. Sam Reply

    Well done Labour! The disgraceful council report is only missing a claim that battlefield nuclear, chemical or biological weapons could be deployed against Brighton and Hove within 45 minutes if the temporary cycle paths along Old Shoreham Road is scrapped.

    • Tania Reply

      Cllr Wilkinson is a sensible centrist and we need more cllrs like him working side by side with our belived MP PK.

  3. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    A curious expression by cllr Wilkinson in the circumstances: “residents must be the drivers of any transport changes”.

    Word is that Labour is under pressure from Portlsade councillors.

  4. Helen Reply

    Of course Labour will be under pressure form any sensible councillor in Portslade. Voters have made their views clear despite a disgracefully skewed council consultation. My elderly parents live there and have always voted Labour but will vote Tory if Labour cave in on this. My aunt, in her seventies, lives in Hangleton and is also a Labour supporter. The party can write off its chances of winning a seat there in two years from now if they ignore the democratic views of those who live there. This whole episode reveals something deeply disturbing about the didactic, even dictatorial tendencies of the Greens and a very arrogant local officialdom!

  5. Martha Gunn Reply

    It has been an alarming display of the authoritarian tendencies of the local Green Party. Especially worrying has been the behaviour of Cllr Heley who is a complete stranger to the rules of debate and a frightening example of how easily democracy can be undermined.

  6. Mr Robert Douglas Reply

    I live on the Old Shoreham Rd and am surprised there have not been many more accidents because of the cycle lanes here. I have witnessed how traffic delays have caused several angry motorists to take more risks that have endangered the cyclists because of the temporary lanes.The sudden change from single lane to dual lane by lights is causing havoc and cars have been seen to swerve dangerously into the wrong lanes. Severe accidents waiting to happen.

  7. dree Reply

    Shameless is the word that springs to mind. It’s the word she used to describe those who actually recognise how to conduct themselves in a democracy. The rudeness and petulance were disturbing. It was like listening to a younger, greener Donald Trump, and it genuinely debased the council. I hope her party can offer her suitable training.

  8. Chaz. Reply

    The Greens humiliated by the majority, proving that democracy does work.
    This is despite the Greens zealotry and dogma and attempted authroritinarism.
    The Greens must be voted out. They have outlived even their own rhetoric.

  9. Serena Evans Reply

    Amy Heley needs to go. Completely out of her depth and wholly unprofessional. Has clearly never heard the word No before and cannot handle it.

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