Old Shoreham Road bike train launched to get kids to school after cycle lane ripped out

Posted On 12 Oct 2021 at 12:42 pm

Parents gutted at the removal of the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane have started up a bike train so their children can continue to ride safely to school.

The cycle lane was removed last month after Labour and Conservative councillors voted to scrap it because of complaints from motorists.

About 20 parents and kids came to the first one last Friday, and the organisers hope more will join them in coming weeks.

One dad, Ben Kelly said: “My two young sons and I had started to use the cycle lane to get from our home near West Hove Sainsbury’s to The Bilingual Primary School in Hove Park.

“I’d never dreamed of cycling along the road before due to the volume and speed of the traffic.

“The arrival of safe, dedicated lanes coincided with my son mastering his bike and we were devastated when they were removed.”

The bike train – modelled on the Lewes Road bike train where groups of cyclists would travel together to achieve more safety in numbers – will initially run once a week on a Friday from Hangleton Road.

It’s hoped as more people join, this can be expanded.

Mr Kelly added: “As well as providing a fun, safe, healthy and environmentally friendly service to the local community we are shining a light on the growing need for a high quality, permanent cycle lane that supports parents, pupils, delivery riders and commuters.”

A petition – signed by almost 200 people since it launched yesterday – can be found on the council website.

  1. Billie Grieves Reply

    Great initiative. Shame it’s needed. If the temporary lanes hadn’t been the target of anti-science Facebook groups, they would still be there today.

  2. Anja Dewar Reply

    I hope the councillors who had a celebration for the removal of the pop-up lanes are hanging their heads in shame.

    Every road should be safe. We need to move on from the petrol-obsessed 20th century.

  3. Penny Tration Reply

    A bike train is a sensible solution for the twenty or so students that want to use it, (although 20 out of the 3600+ potential B&H claimed shows you the reason as to why the lane was quite rightly removed). The scheme is back in the LCWIP consultation and hopefully this time any future plans will be more considered rather than removing 50% of the carriageway for fewer than 4 cyclists an hour.

    • Peter Challis Reply

      It was only 8 students – the rest were parents and pro-cycling activists

    • Chaz. Reply

      Jo tips a wink and her Greenie friends post supporting comments within minutes of each other. Natch.
      8 kids subjected to being political Greenie pawns by their parents.
      They are used for 30 minutes, one way and on one day.
      Just shameful but what we expect from the Greens and their chums.
      Meanwhile the streets are piled with rubbish.
      Time to pack the Greens off with the rubbish they have left behind.

  4. Peter Challis Reply

    It was a total of 17 riders including 8 children according to Ben and of these a several of the adults were the usual pro-cycling activists joining in.

    Actually the concept of a “bike train” is great – why do we need 24*7 cycle lanes in both directions for school cyclists who only need it for 30 minutes, once a week, for a few children going to school – and it doesn’t operate for them going home, or on other days?

    If it is only this number children, perhaps 2 parents with cars could have provided the same function driving from Boundary Road to Hove Park in a faster, safer, all-weather solution, and perhaps they could have used Neville Avenue instead?

    But otherwise it was a great publicity stunt – thanks for supporting it Jo – I’m sure all the pro-cycling activists from across the country (and beyond) will be signing the ePetition (like Chris Williams of Bricycles managed last year supporting keeping the OSR cycle lane last year).

    There is also a full consultation about walking and cycling in the city – looking at all options for a proper transport network across the city and identifying the needs of all road users – https://consultations.brighton-hove.gov.uk/parking/ltp5-and-lcwip/

    • Some Guy Reply

      “perhaps 2 parents with cars could have provided the same function driving from Boundary Road to Hove Park”
      And you’re accusing the parents of being activists? Are you sponsored by BP or something?

      • Peter Challis Reply

        No just a concerned resident trying to instil some common sense and reality to counter the obsessive pro-cycling anti-motorist activists who think that dedicating 50% of a main arterial dual carriageway, that can cope with up to 30,000 vehicles per day, for 8 pupils once per week is a sensible approach.

        • Steve Reply

          I don’t think you are correct in making a connection between riding a bike and being obsessive, anti-motorist or an activist. I ride a bike (sometimes) and I am none of those.
          Also, your maths needs a rethink. Factor in what proportion of space and time the proposed cycle train will consume of the 30,000 vehicles per day capacity. I’d estimate a rounded 0%.

  5. Steve Reply

    A bike train sounds like a great idea in the circumstances but why not use it as an opportunity to find the best cycle route avoiding heavy traffic, danger and pollution. Therefore not the OSR. It would make the experience safer and more enjoyable and teach the kids how to survive on a bike in the future.

  6. catherine k Reply

    Great for mindfullness

  7. Serena Evans Reply

    Since when did cycling become such a political activity or one that required ‘campaigners’? In reality is only ONE mode of transport which does not suit everybody’s needs and never will, and needs to be seen in context of that.
    I don’t remember all this heated debate around cycling before the council started mucking around with the roads and messing up existing cycle lanes that some of us were happy with.
    Good luck with the ‘cycle train’, but it’s for the few, not the many. And not an all-weather enterprise either. Hopefully participating youngsters will also be enrolled on Cycling Proficiency training by their doting parents so they can attain a certificate in road safety.

  8. Gindy Reply

    Since OSR cycle Lane was removed I now am having to drive where I’d have cycled with this lane installed. I used it several times a day, pretty much every day.

    I support a new permanent cycle Lane and won’t complain if when I drive it takes a little longer (which I’m still not convinced about tbqh!)

    • Chaz. Reply

      I am just so pleased to not queue endlessly along OSR with very few cyclists using the lanes.
      I don’t want to contribute to unnecessary Co2 emissions through no fault of mine, but because of an ill-planned, ill-judged and under used cycle lane.

      Many experts on here have given suggestions as to other locations and very well thought out those are.
      But blindly slowing down, a major arterial route, is crass in the extreme.
      This applies to both Labour and the Greens who compete to be King stupid.

  9. Bear Road resident Reply

    Anybody remember the ‘bike train’ that operated briefly between the level and the university? 6-8 cyclists blithely ignoring red lights, pedestrian crossings etc as they made their way up the Lewes Road and lead by someone with a ‘boom-box’ strapped to the front of his bike making more noise that the traffic.
    I hope this lot are more considerate of pedestrians than that lot were…

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