Government ‘docks council funding’ for scrapping Hove cycle lane

Posted On 12 Nov 2021 at 5:18 pm

The scrapping of the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane has prompted the government to dock funding allocated to Brighton and Hove City Council, the ruling Greens said today (Friday 12 November).

The party said: “The government has today confirmed that Brighton and Hove City Council will have funding docked as a result of a vote by opposition councillors seeking to remove the temporary Old Shoreham Road cycle lane.

“Correspondence from government confirms that Brighton and Hove has been awarded 25 per cent less than originally earmarked to receive as part of the ‘Capability Fund’ due to the outcome of the Old Shoreham Road scheme.

“The Department for Transport had originally requested more information on why the scheme – supported by Conservative government ‘Gear Change’ policy on improving access to walking and cycling – was pulled out, despite consultation.

“The Capability Fund does not directly fund the Old Shoreham Road but is designed to support staffing, resources and training that help to develop behaviour change initiatives related to walking and cycling.

“The letter from government also states that future funding will be subject to evidence of delivery and advises the council on how to strengthen proposals for future active travel funding rounds, commenting on the need for project outcomes to ‘realise their full potential’.”

Councillor Amy Heley, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “We are of course pleased that the government continues to provide funding for our active travel projects in recognition of the dedicated efforts we’re making with council officials to improve accessible walking and cycling options in our city.

“However, it’s disappointing to see confirmation of our concerns that the committee decision to remove the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane will detrimentally affect council finances.

“The Department for Transport was committed to awarding Brighton and Hove funding as part of the ‘Capability Fund’ but has now cut the amount they will offer in response to the Old Shoreham Road removal.

“It’s clear that the government have looked unfavourably on this decision and used this when considering whether to provide the council with other separate funds.

“This is significant at a time when budgets are being squeezed more than ever and when councils are fighting hard to secure funding from central government and to create jobs and training.

“We will continue to make clear our ambition to improve walking and cycling infrastructure for all of our residents, particularly in areas that serve local schools, and encourage government officials to reconsider.

“We urge other committee members to work with us to achieve this goal and secure the funding our city and residents deserve.”

  1. Chaz. Reply

    So money is not being cut, but don’t let Amateur Amy explain that to anyone.
    Future funding for the Capability Fund is being reduced.
    That means spend the money wisely, don’t be dogmatic, and accept democratic decisions.
    I realise all of that is anathema to any Greenie, but wake up Amy.

    • David Haskell Reply

      Did you not read the article nor the headline?

      • Chaz. Reply

        It is a Greenie spin headline given out of spite, nothing new.
        Nobody else is quoted just Amateur Amy. Surprise.
        Do you know what the Capability Fund even is?
        It is not a capital grant for OSR, but I suggest you Google rather than read what Amy has whispered in your ear.
        If the Greenies consult and involve rather than impose and stomp their vegan leather shoes, they might win people over.
        It involves planning, not dogma. One day with the Greenies huh.

        “This revenue grant enables local transport authorities to promote cycling and walking in their areas by:
        the development of infrastructure plans, including drawing up bids for capital funding that are compliant with local transport note (LTN) 1/20
        carrying out behaviour change activities, such as training and promotion.”

        • Dsvid Haskell Reply

          So funding for cycling in Brighton wasn’t cut?

    • Adrian Hill Reply

      There is nothing democratic about removing a cycle lane when:

      Only 10% of those responded to the consultation asked for the lane to be removed.

      Of the two petitions, the petition to make the cycle lane permanent had more signatures

      • Tom Jackson Reply

        As we both know, there was an attempt to fiddle the e-petition to keep the osr lanes. Perpetrated by the perma-grinning Chris Williams and his chums at Bricycles and Sustrans. Like Phelim, they got found out

  2. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    You are right, Chaz, as usual. I have noticed lately, with Heley generally, that she has almost been polite, but there seems to be no actual sighting of her. (I read some minutes the other day, where she had given answers – probably written – that seemed to be fairly benign, polite and literate, which suggests that she wrote none of them.) Even the response quoted above is not what we know of Heley from past experience, so who has a gag on her and is working her from behind and providing polite answers (not that they are answers of any kind)? Who is now pretending to be a new sanitary version of Heley and where is she?

  3. David Haskell Reply

    Disgraceful from Labour and local Conservatives.

  4. Paul Temple Reply

    And yet we were told we could lose all the funding? Clearly a lie to try and blackmail councilors. A proportionate decision and one that means properly consulted active travel schemes can continue.

  5. This city is exhausting lately Reply

    “It’s clear that the government have looked unfavourably on this decision” (…to remove the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane)

    …a disingenuous interpretation of the situation at best. What seems clear to me is that the government have looked unfavourably on the councils incompetence in executing a scheme they were provided funding for. Had the council undertaken an appropriate level of consultation and planning, that same funding could have been used to execute a more viable scheme with similarly beneficial outcomes.

    Councillors can play politics and attempt to obfuscate the facts if it helps in protecting their fragile ego but the reality is that future funding decisions have been made in reaction to incompetent use of the previously provided tax payers money. I’m no great fan of our current national government but on this occasion you have to admit that their decision here stands to reason.

    I do appreciate the intentions involved but you can’t push through an idea on good intentions alone, it needs to be sufficiently pragmatic to stand up to democratic scrutiny as well. If it’s unable to do that then you have failed at your job, regardless of how honourable you believed your motivations to be. If you want to be respected then try taking responsibility for your failure and not just claiming that the majority is wrong.

    People (young or otherwise) with roles in office, displaying strong values and a desire to manifest change is a fantastic situation but only when they can also prove capable at successfully executing the basics like refuse collection, car parking administration and in this specific scenario, respecting the majority view of constituents.

    If you want a career managing tax payers money and making decisions that effect an entire city of people, please try to remember you have signed up to serve others in the first instance. Save the behaviour of stubbornly pushing your own passion projects for the hobbies you pursue in your free time.

    • Harry McHarry Reply

      The Government themselves said that funding was put at risk by the OSR removal.
      Nice try though, clearly you put a lot of effort in.

  6. BadCop 26 Reply

    I bet Air Miles McCafferty didn’t cycle to the airport for his flight to the hot air conference in Glasgow

    • Hove Guy Reply

      A Green Party spokesman said the party has “full faith” in Cllr Mac Cafferty’s ability to lead the council.
      While the ratepayers have “full faith” in Cllr Mac Cafferty’s ability to make a mess of everything he can lay his hands on. And for that he is being nominated for an award. Commons sense is in very short supply when it comes to this council. The lunatics are definitely running the asylum now.

      • Nothappy Reply

        I sadly have to agree, I have total faith that he is incapable, inept and his brethren has an inability to listen to those that are paying his wages. I will not accept anything he has to say or his policies or dogma he tried to enforce. Lets get get some real local people to take his place and stand up for our town/city rather than these hypocritical charlatans!

  7. Nothappy Reply

    Glad the government finally saw sense that this council is squandering tax payers funds without consulting or at least having an adult conversation, instead of using it for political purposes/gain rather than for the benefit of all! The current council need to spend a few years growing up before they become fit to serve!!! Suggest they all follow councillor Healey’s example and go back to school! (for a few years ideally)

  8. Clive Reply

    Cheers Tories, cheers Labour!

    • Chaz. Reply

      Yes I agree with you, we owe them a lot.
      Let us hope they stop more of the dogma from the Green-shirts.

      • Clive Reply

        They have lost the city money from central government, and against their own national party policies. If you took your blinkers off for a minute, you might see why this isn’t a good look.

  9. IanB Reply

    Many congratulations to the exciting new alliance of the Brighton Labour and Tory parties. You have successfully made travelling to school far more dangerous for schoolchildren and deprived B & H of further funds in one fell swoop. I am sure you will be raising a glass somewhere to celebrate and plot your next reactionary move.

    • Lord Farquhar Reply

      Aim your guns on the officers and councillors who deliberately fiddled usage figures in order to secure trancheII funding

  10. hetty Reply

    If anything, IanB, they ended the artificial creation of traffic jams and the pollution that went with it, making it safer and healthier along the route in question. Some of us live by that road and can breathe a little more easily now. As I dare say can those who live along the roads where displaced traffic went during what was an undemocratic imposition.

    • MandyA Reply

      I am surprised you can breathe more easily with the current excessively high volume of traffic and queues going past your window, I certainly could not.
      This myth that ‘cycle lanes cause congestion and pollution’ was repeated all over by the anti – cycle lane groups and certain councillors without a shred of evidence. In fact, when the council decided to install pollution monitors in the main location given for this perception, what did the councillors do? Yes, they made the decision to remove, rather than wait for the objective evidence to be collected.

  11. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    As the Old Shoreham Road goes down a hill between two cemeteries, perhaps that stretch could be named Death Valley. Talking of which, who would wish to see upon one’s tombstone, “I wish I had driven more”?

    Surely the point of all this is to consider how one allocates the 27,000 days of our brief life?

    How many days are all of us from the end? All the more so in these covid/climate-change times.

    • Brian Hall Reply

      Deep. . . And meaningless

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