Work is under way to make roads safer and travel more affordable

Posted On 21 Nov 2021 at 1:49 pm

Road safety and the future of how our bus services operate were among the items discussed on Tuesday (16 November) when the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee met.

They were among several items discussed at length – and Labour councillors were pleased to support the “pedestrian crossing priority programme”.

Thankfully, road casualties have reduced in recent years, but we need to continue to strive to reduce them even further and more pedestrian crossings will help.

Almost all road deaths and injuries are preventable.

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Labour supported a motion for an updated city road safety strategy in January. It would include road danger reduction measures and a plan for an increase in the number of pedestrian crossings by schools and parks.

This strategy is an overarching initiative and, in time, the pedestrian crossing priority programme may operate alongside its wider aims.

It will lead to a better understanding of the sources of road danger and how forward-thinking policies on active travel can be achieved in parallel with ambitious road safety objectives.

Another important issue that came up was buses. Labour is interested in franchising local bus services so that we can drive down fares and improve routes and regularity.

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Sadly, adoption of bus franchising in Brighton and Hove would be impossible to implement immediately without government legislation.

It would also incur high potential costs to set up and monitor franchise arrangements with no guarantee that all its objectives would be addressed.

Local transport authorities are required first to establish an “enhanced partnership”.

It is therefore essential that this is set up and progress monitored in accordance with government reporting procedures before a review is undertaken as to whether to pursue franchising as the next step to achieve the objectives within our Bus Service Improvement Plan.

Labour colleagues asked many searching questions around how other local authorities are planning to make a franchising system work.

Greater Manchester has agreed to go ahead, meaning we can learn from their experience and keep an eye on their progress.

It was good to hear that the chair invited colleagues to the next bus partnership meeting to discuss bus improvements.

And I am looking forward to improved services, an increase in passenger numbers and reductions in fares – all key parts of our active and sustainable travel plan.

Councillor Carmen Appich is the joint Labour opposition leader on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. David Haskell Reply

    As I recall from the meeting, a major cost to bus companies is the effect of congestion. More congestion requires more buses and a less reliable service which ultimately leads to higher fares.

    One key plank to reduce congestion is to encourage active travel. I was glad to see Labour supporting the improvements on the sea front but there’s still a huge gap in the network left by the removal of OSR.

    OSR also features in the draft local plan for active travel (LCWIP). So if you’re serious about reducing faces and improveing bus services(*) for the 40% of residents that don’t own a car, I’d like to see you have the courage to stand up to the vocal minority and show some leadership on this.

    (* oh and those pesky other benefits like cleaner air, more active residents, less noise pollution…)

  2. Rez Reply

    The big hole in your argument is illustrated perfectly by the stretch of seafront cycle lane from the pier to the bottom of West Street. All of a sudden there was massive extra congestion even though many people were still working from home. And if I wanted to cycle along the Old Shoreham Road (tbh I much prefer the seafront), it’s better now the traffic’s flowing again. It’s not green to engineer artificial traffic jams where they don’t need to exist; it’s counterproductive, causing unnecessary pollution and deterring active travel.

  3. IanB Reply

    Lots of fine words but no mention of how you conspired with the Tories to remove the cycle Lane (yes, the one you implemented) from Old Shoreham Road, sacrificing funding for safer transport projects and putting schoolchildren’s safety at risk. There is now a petition to reinstate safe cycling on this road. Will Labour support it?

    • Hove Guy Reply

      There is no point in reinstating “safe cycling” when it was hardly ever used by cyclists, having previously been installed by the ever incompetent Greens. Thanks to their ever hatred of motorists, they never bothered to do any research, or consultation with the public, into the possible consequences of such a project. But they did introduce a new definition of the word “temporary”.

  4. Nathan Adler Reply

    Labour made the right decision on the OSR, and quite rightly are looking at public transport which is used by about 8:1 over cyclists and pedestrian improvements which have been sorely under developed with the EATF. Not surprised that cycling zealots bang on about the OSR, but the conversation has moved on until the LCWIP is in.

  5. Hendra Reply

    Why did council officers and councillors decide to lie about the usage figures for the OSR cycle lanes?

  6. Peter Reply

    All those going on about the removal of the useless cycle lane along the old shoreham road seem to forget that it was only temporary And whilst there was hardly used and caused nothing but congestion

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