Old Shoreham Road resident starts petition to stop revival of cycle lane

Posted On 07 Dec 2021 at 12:20 pm

An Old Shoreham Road resident has started a petition to ask for the route through Hove to be removed from the council’s cycling infrastructure plan.

Jeremy Horne said that more than 300 people had signed the petition on the Brighton and Hove City Council website in the first week alone.

Mr Horne said that Old Shoreham Road was still listed as a key cycling route in the consultation on the council’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).

This was despite a vote by councillors earlier this year to remove the previous temporary cycle lane along the road after a previous consultation.

The petition posted on the council website said: “We the undersigned petition Brighton and Hove City Council to remove the Old Shoreham Road from the local cycling plan with immediate effect – and agree not to plan any cycling infrastructure along the route.

“The 16-month failure of the experimental, underused temporary cycle lane should be enough data for everyone to say that this doesn’t and will never work.

“Brighton and Hove City Council have recently completed a consultation on their Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, which includes priority cycle routes across the city – one of which is along the Old Shoreham Road.

“As everyone in the city will know, a temporary cycle lane was installed along the Old Shoreham Road in May 2020 between The Drive and Hangleton Road, as an experimental traffic order due to the covid-19 pandemic.

“The cycle lane failed.

“The data from the consultation in early 2021 was damning and, thus, 15 months later, in August 2021, following an urgent meeting of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, it was agreed that the temporary cycle lane would be removed.

“This work was completed just over a month later.

“To cite some of the consultation data

  • In a manual survey conducted in June 2021, the council saw a 23 per cent decrease in cycling – not just in comparison to before installation – but in comparison to a five-year-old figure from 2016 – yet they had the audacity to blame this on “poor weather conditions”
  • 91 per cent of all consultation comments regarding the cycle lane were negative
  • The consultation cites that the cycle lane did not cause congestion yet provides no evidence to support this claim – indeed, despite several requests, the council have never supplied this evidence either
  • Conversely to the above, there is substantial video evidence of increased congestion and longer traffic queues during the period the cycle lane was in place – and videos of zero congestion post removal

“Indeed, following the removal, a group of local parents have set up a ‘bike train’ along the Old Shoreham Road to get the ‘thousands’ of children that used the cycle lane to school.

“A grand total of five children (maximum) have been counted on the opening runs – and additionally, the organisers only run the ‘train’ once a week due to lack of demand, thus proving (as we all knew), that children never used it in their droves (as many activists would have liked us to believe) and that there are better ways of setting up cycling infrastructure for those that do want it, rather than implementing permanent lane closures.

“Moreover, the behaviour of activists continues to damage our city, with many of them failing to accept the removal of the cycle lane or indeed its failure.

“This is ruining our city by exacerbating an already tense relationship (or ‘war’) between cyclists and motorists.

“People need to move on, accept that the experimental cycle lane was a failure and look at better options for active travel.”

This runs until Wednesday 6 April. To sign it, click here.

  1. D rember Reply

    There’s currently another petition asking for “Permanent Well-Planned and High-Quality Cycle Lanes for the Old Shoreham Road” that has 1065 responses. In terms of balanced and unbiased journalism, why is this not being mentioned?

    • Verity Reply

      It’s in the story about the bike train on Oct 12

  2. Callum Wellers Reply

    Yes as others have said there is a petition signed by over 3 times as many people as this one in support of a permanent cycle lane for Old Shoreham Road: https://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=787&RPID=0&HPID=0

    The council should not bow down to a vocal minority over this when the majority of residents want more cycling infrastructure to enable our families and residents to have a healthier more sustainable city.

    • Austin Reply

      Yes, but it’s been running a month longer and has been shared and encouraged nationally by cycling lobbying groups.

      • Martin Dawes Reply

        You mean Bricycles and Sustrans have been cheating…again?

    • Hove Guy Reply

      I had no idea about this petition until I read this article today, whereas I was aware of the other one some time ago. Give this one time and hopefully it will chuck the other one into the garbage can where it belongs. If only we could do the same with the Greens themselves.

    • harb Reply

      Callum, you’re right. The cyclists are a vocal minority and the council shouldn’t bow to them.

      • IanB Reply

        No need to worry. The dynamic new coalition of Labour and Tories will no doubt scupper any further plans to support cycling and making the journey to school safer for children along this road.

  3. David Haskell Reply

    Is this site going the same way as The Argus and becoming an anit-cycling news source?

    Totally lazy journalism from Frank le Duc just copy-pasting the petition without adding any context (the counter-petition for example) or including facts.

    • Paul Temple Reply

      Get a grip Frank is one of the best out there, (and you always have Jo Wadsworth if you want pro cycling guff). It’s not lazy to present an ongoing petition or should we just bury any opinion you don’t agree with? As evident many more oppose than supported the old temporary lane.

    • Gav L Reply

      Shoot the messenger! Classic!

  4. Carl Reply

    The other petition was in a story on here a few months ago. I don’t honestly think this is about Frank Leduc being pro- or anti-cycling, and I’ve even seen him on a bike!

  5. Tim Drake Reply

    I’d love to know what time of day the videos showing “zero congestion” were taken, because since the cycle lane has been removed, there’s now queues of eastbound vehicles across the St Joseph’s Close traffic lights during the morning peak – and this was even before the Sackville Road roadworks were put in place!

  6. Ben Earl Reply

    Tim, the congestion was for much more than just the morning peak before the cycle lane was removed, even though fewer people are driving to work than before the pandemic.

    And Carl, I used to see him locking up his bike outside Hove Town Hall before council meetings, but not for a while now. You can like riding a bike and still report other points of view, which I think is the point you’re trying to make to the abusive commenter.

  7. David Reply

    I’ve seen Frank on his bike too

  8. dree Reply

    Seen him on a bike in Brighton. Not sure how much it has to do with the story, which is about a petition aimed at stopping an affront to local democracy by the very people who should be defending it.

  9. Grant Reply

    For all it’s worth, I phoned him once to moan about the losses being made by the bike hire scheme. He wrote about it very fairly. During the phone call, he very eloquently and politely explained why he not only thought it was a good idea, but one he hoped would expand and prosper.

  10. Dave Wheels Reply

    Never seen this bloke on a bike, but maybe you could run a competition, a bit like spot the ball or something. More importantly, you at least get different views on here. I’m very much pro-cycling, although the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane in effect engineered traffic jams. I used to ride along the flat stretch, after coming up from the Aldrington tunnel, to get the Sackville Road traffic lights, on my way to work. The trouble is, after the bike lane went in it was all jams and fumes, and it hardly ever used to be. It was too unpleasant, and the queues to the Sackville Road lights were as bad as the result of the congestion all along the Old Shoreham Road. Now the lanes gone, it’s actually much better. Counterintuitive maybe, but true.

  11. Car Delenda Est Reply

    We voted on this in a general election, how dare they try and stand in the way of the will of the people.

  12. Car Deleda Est Reply

    I guess it’s up to us to provide the fact check?

    1)”In a manual survey conducted in June 2021, the council saw a 23 per cent decrease in cycling – not just in comparison to before installation – but in comparison to a five-year-old figure from 2016 – yet they had the audacity to blame this on “poor weather conditions”

    Here’s the full story from the council’s public reports pack:
    “The introduction of the cycle lanes has shown increased cycling volume along this route by up to 61% between 2016 data collected by the DfT and a 7 day count of cycles following the implementation of the lanes in July 2020.
    The DfT also returned to this site in 2020 to conduct a manual count and also recorded a 98.5% increase of cycles from their 2016 figure. Since September 2020 our new permanent count site covering the new cycle lanes has been operational allowing us to monitor ongoing usage on the cycle lanes.
    The latest figures for a week in June show a daily average of 261 [down 23%] but it should be noted the week in question covered multiple days of heavy rain. Cycling usage can be sensitive to fluctuations in weather and this needs to be considered in reviewing the below data.”

    2)”91 per cent of all consultation comments regarding the cycle lane were negative”

    Not sure where they pulled this one from but they certainly didn’t “cite” the survey results, we only get to see the ‘top ten’ comments.

    3)”The consultation cites that the cycle lane did not cause congestion yet provides no evidence to support this claim – indeed, despite several requests, the council have never supplied this evidence either”

    Actually the council claims that there is no evidence of an increase in congestion. So this would be asking for evidence of a lack of evidence, well done.
    From the survey results:
    “Seven day traffic surveys were conducted by an independent survey company at Lullington Avenue and Benfield Way to monitor the existing volumes of vehicle traffic, in both 2020 and 2021. These show a 13% reduction and 0.2% increase in traffic respectively, and there is no evidence of a change in average speed along this route since the introduction of the cycle lanes.”

    4)“Conversely to the above, there is substantial video evidence of increased congestion and longer traffic queues during the period the cycle lane was in place – and videos of zero congestion post removal”

    Can’t fact check an anecdote, would it be fair to ask if their camera was broken during the petrol crisis?

    Very dishonest and undemocratic to claim to “cite” evidence and then produce outright fabrications when creating a petition.

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