OPINION

A Hove seafront cyclist gives her verdict on ‘duplicate’ lane

Posted On 10 Jan 2022 at 12:01 am

Dear Councillors, I am very disappointed by the plans for the A259 Hove seafront and the so-called consultation process you have set up.

It seems like the council doesn’t want our opinion on this as the questionnaire is very weak and lacks important information about the impact these changes will have on residents and visitors to the area – just the usual dogma about the cycle lanes.

Hopefully, enough people will show their anger at these badly designed and unnecessary changes that these plans will be reviewed or even better halted.

But I’m not confident that will happen sadly and worry that the seafront in Hove is going to be as ugly as Brighton soon with plastic wands and a build up of traffic due to the reduced lanes and lack of parking.

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Not great for those of us that live on the seafront or those that visit and park here for a day at the beach.

Having to cross the bike lane for access to the bus is the most stupid idea of all the plans and just shows how little thought has gone into this rush to get as many cycle lanes in the city no matter what the cost.

I hoped the council had learned from the disastrous Old Shoreham Road scheme to pay better attention to residents’ opinions and plan cycle lanes more carefully.

But no, yet again you want to plough on without careful planning and consideration of the voting public by giving us a token questionnaire with limited information.

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Additionally, just two days in the King Alfred in December to meet with you was disappointing as sadly I was unable to attend even though I really wanted too. The timing was just not possible for me and I doubt I am alone.

I am a keen cyclist and ride along the seafront every day and do so all year. I also walk along here most days as I live in a flat and don’t have a garden so this space is hugely important to me and many other residents in Hove.

The loss of another lane of traffic to add a second lane is going to cause traffic build up for no reason.

I have lived and cycled on the seafront for 11 years. I have a good knowledge of how many bikes use these lanes and even if the amount of people using them increased fivefold it still wouldn’t need an additional lane.

There is never congestion on the bike lane even during the busy summer months but there are issues with people trying to park and these plans will reduce the amount of parking spaces – so again, badly planned.

Another massive issue for me is the ugly plastic wands you have used in Brighton and plan to use here too.

They are not environmentally friendly. They look unsightly and they make the seafront look like there is permanent roadworks.

I have also seen drivers ignoring them and cutting into the bike lane to get around traffic turning right on the seafront near Brunswick and Palmeira because you have removed the second lane and stopped the flow of traffic.

Nothing about these plans is good. It’s all pointless and will not improve the area or safety of cyclists (or pedestrians) as the current cycle lane on the pavement is much safer has no car doors opening on to it.

The number of people still refusing to use the new lane on the A259 in Brighton is a testament to this.

I sincerely hope that enough people have heard about your plans, as they have not been widely publicised, to stop these terrible mistakes happening.

Why the council ploughing money into a bad scheme in an area that already has a great cycle lane rather than using the money to add lanes on roads that currently don’t have cycle lanes, of which there are many in Brighton and Hove, is utterly incomprehensible to me.

This just shows how little attention is being paid the real issues regarding encouraging active travel and is just a way to get money from the government and pat yourselves on the back.

I am sure there are many other roads in our city that would benefit from this funding and help encourage people on to bicycles but you are choosing the easy way out by just making the great cycle lane we already have bigger.

It’s a total waste of our taxes that will achieve nothing except to make residents angry and put tourists off coming to Brighton and Hove.

Joanne Heuston is a Hove seafront cyclist and resident.

  1. Bob B Reply

    I think it’s a very good idea.

  2. J.Wright Reply

    Couldn’t have put it better

    • Mike Beasley Reply

      More lunacy from the Council . Who will take responsibility when the scheme is a disaster?
      BHCC is simply unfit for purpose, lying to and ignoring the wishes of taxpayers and businesses

  3. Nathan Adler Reply

    Well put Joanne this plan actually doesn’t work for any of the users, (including cyclists).

  4. Hove Guy Reply

    Well said, Joanne. You have put it all so clearly, but, sadly, we have such a brainless load of clowns now in control, we can expect Brighton and Hove to become even uglier and more chaotic until they get kicked out once and for all. And yet again, their lack of information about this shows what a totally corrupt council we now have – the worst in living memory. I hope this will be a lesson to all those other voters up and down the country who may consider voting Green at their next election.

  5. someone Reply

    This just seems your typical nimby boomer misinformed nonsense. Maybe she should try riding the cycle lane at rush hour or in the height of summer, when its pretty much impossible to use due to pissed tourists filling it up.

    Loads of “issues” she has constructed in her head.

    “Having to cross the bike lane for access to the bus is the most stupid idea of all the plans and just shows how little thought has gone into this rush to get as many cycle lanes in the city no matter what the cost.” – Not been a problem on all the other roads with a similar setup, Lewis Road for example. If you can’t look left and right and safely cross a cycle lane, you probably shouldn’t be out on your own.

    “The loss of another lane of traffic to add a second lane is going to cause traffic build up for no reason.” – I doubt it, its not caused much additional congestion on the seafront since they removed the bit of lane near the pier. I don’t see these proposals causing much of an issue, there is plenty enough space to have the one remaining lane wide enough so cars can still get round those turning right.

    “I have lived and cycled on the seafront for 11 years. I have a good knowledge of how many bikes use these lanes and even if the amount of people using them increased fivefold it still wouldn’t need an additional lane.” – Such nonsense, try rush hour or pretty much all the time in the height of summer, its almost unusable due to pedestrians and struggles with two way bike traffic.

    “There is never congestion on the bike lane even during the busy summer months but there are issues with people trying to park and these plans will reduce the amount of parking spaces – so again, badly planned.” – out and out lie, that or she is retired and only uses the cycle lane when most others are at work.

    “Another massive issue for me is the ugly plastic wands you have used in Brighton and plan to use here too” – Yeah they don’t look great, so how about putting something permanent in which looks better? For now though, they are needed for safety, sorry Nimby.

    “I have also seen drivers ignoring them and cutting into the bike lane to get around traffic turning right on the seafront near Brunswick and Palmeira because you have removed the second lane and stopped the flow of traffic.” – So drivers are doing something wrong and irresponsible that’s the cycle lanes fault is it? I also doubt this is really a very big issue at all to be honest, just more exaggerated bollocks.

    • Da Wind Reply

      Well said!

    • Andi Reply

      I see you don’t identify yourself ‘someone’ when you have a rant!, Joanne put all the points very well. Presumably you don’t care about elderly and young walkers, disabled people or car drivers. YOU will also be damaging your health by breathing in polluted air caused by these poorly designed road schemes.

    • Martin Burt Reply

      someone
      Everyone is entitled to their opinions, here the lady informs us she is a cyclists and lives locally and has knowledge of the local area.
      So she is well qualified imo to express her views, it’s refreshing that a cyclist has actually bothered making various points that are shared by many others.
      Your assumptions that the lady is a liar beggars belief, Do you have any evidence it is an out and out lie, or she is retired and only uses the cycle lane when most others are at work. ?

      “The loss of another lane of traffic to add a second lane is going to cause traffic build up for no reason.”
      – I doubt it, its not caused much additional congestion on the seafront since they removed the bit of lane near the pier.
      Agreed, the bit by the pier, but what about the increased congestion and stupid crossing by West Street ?

      Anyone who knows Brighton and Hove, like this lady, myself and many others know Brighton Seafront is at it’s busiest at the pier end and thins out around the i360 area even in the summer.

      It seems you have just a one sided view and you can’t see the implications that have been highlighted. Everybody is wrong except you.
      As a motorist, I do think cycle lanes are needed, where they are needed but I can’t see the justification of tax payers money being spent on this particular project at this time.

  6. Tim T Reply

    To suggest the existing cycle lane doesn’t get congested is total nonsense. It gets extremely busy and is very narrow, particularly between Hove lagoon and King Alfred. There are also several areas of conflict with pedestrians. The new lane goes someway to reduce this, though it’s certainly not a perfect solution.

    On a different point, I love the double standards of this article: motor vehicles should be encouraged but plastic traffic wands are “not environmentally friendly”! I think this tells you everything you need to know about the author.

  7. Reg Armstrong Reply

    Totally agree with Hove Guy through we visit Brighton on a regular basis and my wife being disabled it was a great thing to be able to park on the front now taken up by a cycle lane that I only saw 1 user on the time we were there also we were fined for entering a bus gate of which we were not aware very little warning although we love Brighton this makes us think twice about returning.

  8. Mary Reply

    Agree, I support this as a temporary solution but ultimately a wider two way lane along the existing route is needed, presumably this would involve widening the pavement and removing parking too though.

    • Happy Reply

      Agree with Mary, a wider two way lane on the existing route is the way to go, I rode Westbound on the original cycle lane the other week and it was fine (although if it were a bit wider it would be nicer), the one in the road is a waste of time, noisy, dangerous and now polluted due to the reduction in flow of traffic, I certainly would not use it and will continue to use the perfectly good one we already have. I can only hope the council do a proper assessment next time and implement improvements (I mean proper improvements rather than purposely causing congestion and delays) to roads where cycle infrastructure is needed instead of just trying to make life difficult for motorists and causing bad feeling between cyclists and car users as a result.

  9. Billy Bob Reply

    Some good points here, but the cycle lane does get very busy at certain times. I live by Hove lawns and use the cycle path most days, but during the summer, at weekends its packed and best avoided unless you want to travel at a snails pace – most impractical for a cycle lane.
    But sure, the answer is not to slap another lane in the road and restrict the road traffic. Plans need to be better integrated into pathway. Can someone on the council please visit Holland for an education on how to design and build public pathways and cycle lanes as they seem to be able to do it in a way that all forms of traffic can flow easily and unimpeded.

  10. Happy Reply

    Agree with Mary, a wider two way lane on the existing route is the way to go, I rode Westbound on the original cycle lane the other week and it was fine (although if it were a bit wider it would be nicer), the one in the road is a waste of time, noisy, dangerous and now polluted due to the reduction in flow of traffic, I certainly would not use it and will continue to use the perfectly good one we already have. I can only hope the council do a proper assessment next time and implement improvements (I mean proper improvements rather than purposely causing congestion and delays) to roads where cycle infrastructure is needed instead of just trying to make life difficult for motorists and causing bad feeling between cyclists and car users as a result.

  11. Max Reply

    It’s surprising that someone who lives on the seafront tolerates so much motor traffic. It drowns out the sound of the sea, detracts from the views and is a lethal moving barrier. Surely they really want less and slower motor traffic outside their front windows and a quieter and safer environment beyond their front doors? Maybe I’m wrong and they really love the noise, the smell and the danger. But if I’m right then one way to improve their lives is to help people choose a different way to travel along the seafront, a way that’s peaceful and benign. Better bike lanes will make cycling more attractive and tempt people to leave their motor vehicles behind, giving themselves and seafront residents a better quality of life.

    • Martin Burt Reply

      Max
      You make a lot sense in what you say.
      To quote : ‘Better bike lanes will make cycling more attractive and tempt people to leave their motor vehicles behind’
      No it won’t if someone is travelling in from outside the City.

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