OPINION

Vote provides route back for Old Shoreham Road cycle lane in Hove

Posted On 20 Mar 2022 at 1:18 pm

A recent comment at the end of an email from Bricycles struck me as really important. In a section named “Hove we have a problem”, they highlighted how Hove and Portslade have been increasingly left behind when it comes to “active travel” (walking and cycling) improvements.

As someone who gets around by cycling, and as a councillor in Hove, this is something I care strongly about.

Quieter roads over lockdown have been shown to encourage more women to take up cycling. Official figures from the Department for Transport showed an increase of over 50 per cent of women cycling.

Local data in London could even pinpoint increases in cycling to areas where councils installed Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods, segregating cyclists from fast-moving traffic.

Spacewords Brighton

Not only are women more wary of cycling on busy roads, we know that women and children are among the most vulnerable road users.

It is our duty as a council to provide our residents with the infrastructure to keep them safe as they travel.

In light of this information, I find it difficult to understand why the Labour MP for Hove, Peter Kyle, would fail to support the temporary Old Shoreham Road cycling lane.

In a recent interview on Politics Live, he chose to share a number of mistruths about the temporary walking and cycling measures introduced in Hove during lockdown.

Starting with who actually did it. Despite his claims, it was under a Labour council that the A259 and Old Shoreham Road cycle lanes were planned.

As Greens, we backed it (and I did with much delight as these are both routes I regularly cycle on). But I won’t accept the rewriting of history in this way.

In the public consultation reviewing the temporary cycle lane in Old Shoreham Road, over 75 per cent of respondents who used the lane during the day said they felt safe or very safe doing so.

In fact, 36 per cent of those who cycled in the temporary lane would have previously taken their car for the same journey.

Many have reported to us how they took up cycling as a family. We saw new people cycling to school and work as a result, with an overall 61 per cent increase in cycling between 2017 and 2020 with the introduction of the temporary lane. That’s an amazing achievement.

Now the temporary cycle lane has been removed, some have taken to continuing in a bike train. Others have launched a petition specifically for the reason that they want a safe route for their family.

Councillor Hannah Clare

The lane wasn’t perfect, nor was it totally safe. I agree that we need a permanent solution, properly separated from the road (much like it is on sections of the road nearer Brighton).

That’s why I’m delighted that this week, our Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan was approved – which includes plans for its eventual return.

The Old Shoreham Road temporary cycle lane was successful in enabling more people to safely switch from driving to cycling on this route, with no impact on emergency vehicles.

The vision for what a permanent, well-planned lane will do is incredibly exciting.

Councillor Hannah Clare is the Green deputy leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Gary Gibbon Reply

    ” some have taken to continuing in a bike train. ” = A one way trip once a week with 3 kids. It’s very easy to use statistics to back up false claims, this lane was hardly used and caused huge tail backs and pollution for 0.2% of road users. Peter Kyle is right not to support this lane.

  2. Andy Reply

    This woman has no thoughts about those living on or near this road, who were massively impacted by the increased queuing and reduced air quality … including the young boy of a family I know. She is as far from Green as you can get. She’s just a cycling fanatic, supported by Bricycles who she “uses” to help her own agenda.
    And now … against the wishes of some Green councillors and the majority of the city, she supports spending £13m of our money removing the historic Palace Puer roundabout, and replacing it with traffic lights and cycle lanes. She and her Green cronies are destroying our city.
    And btw, you know she’s misrepresenting the truth when she keeps using percentages. A 67% increase on 3, still only means 5.
    When will these selfish Green councillors start listening?.

    • Ben Dover Reply

      Like Andy said they tried and they keep failing the greens don’t care about the residents when it comes to a cyclist or student they come running. Just wait for the compliments to roll in if OSR returns

  3. Nathan Adler Reply

    The Greens are quite happy to stick it to Labour and the Tories along the OSR because they don’t have any councilors along that stretch – they won’t get the back lash. Of course it’s the usual green selective statistics – failing to say that 68% were against the cycle lane in both the survey and the consultation. Plus the LCWIP is a wish list, plans that may come to fruition with funds and after a detailed consultation – it is not a given.

    • Wayne Sturt Reply

      Typical green screw the environment by increasing pollution in real terms because it fits the profile of their agenda. That lane cause nothing but chaos and a massive increase in congestion leading to unsafe crossings. In fact most ‘cyclists’ used the pavement NOT the cycle lane.
      The Greens have destroyed this amazing city and the sooner the local elections get them out the better.
      As a local business to the road the return of 2 lanes was a godsend

      • Surfer Rosa Reply

        The Greens have to go in May 2023..otherwise Brighton is dead

  4. Peter Challis Reply

    More half-truths from the Greens.

    1. It was the Greens that got Labour to put the temporary cycle lane in as part of the secret coalition agreement that still seems to be in place. Greens then controlled transport policy and still do. Are Labour just tame puppets operated by the Greens?

    2. Why did Labour change from wanting the OSR cycle lane removed to wanting it reinstated? Perhaps “Opposition Spokesperson” Gary Wilkinson would care to explain his change of policy, or was he whipped?

    3. There are 4 Labour councillors on the ETS committee – Gary, Les Hamilton, Theresa Fowler, and Nancy Platts – did they all support the reinstating of OSR cycle lanes that cyclists hardly used and instead just caused congestion, delays, and increased emissions?

    If so perhaps voters in Labour wards affected by these lanes might want to reconsider voting intentions in 2023.

    • Katy Reply

      I believe it was central Government that guided the original OSR active travel measures which were temporary. I remember Labour asked for a pause and consultation. This happened and the committee decided to remove the lane. So not exactly puppets.
      The LCWIP is a strategic 10 year plan to support cycling and walking across the whole city. The OSR is one road in a city wide plan which does not reinstate it at all.Have you read the report. As others say, any individual road plans will need to be consulted on again and come to a committee, so not as you wish it to appear. It is not reinstated, it is for future consideration.

      • Peter Challis Reply

        Don’t forget that they put in the badly planned and implemented temporary cycle lane before the government had made the announcement and didn’t consult, or check traffic volumes, or monitor usage or effects on emissions, until forced to by opposition councillors 😉

        And as we know our council ignores consultations as they know better 🙄

  5. Unblock the gridlock Reply

    I hope that people do not forget this next year, when we have chance to get rid of these awful gridlocking and polluting greens and their labour enablers.

  6. Norina Duke Reply

    how absurd. On 6 separate journeys from Hove seafront to Hangleton, via Olive Nd Stapley
    Roads, prior to the removal of the temporary lane, only on 1 occasion did 1 see 1 cyclist on OSR. Whilst the fumes created by the tailback of cars was horrific.

    • Car Delenda Est Reply

      If motorists could be trusted to see cyclists segregated cycle lanes wouldn’t be the mandated standard..

      • Nathan Adler Reply

        And yet according to crashmap data from the last 5 years the stretch of road had no major cycling accidents and about a dozen slight incidents. There are far more dangerous roads in Brighton, (Portland Road for one), which are ignored. But why base a decision on data let’s just bend our will to a few cycling zealots.

  7. SeanKey Reply

    Put the lane down Church Road or Portland Rd. Flatter, so more welcoming to novice cyclists. Many many more pedestrians, so less lonely and more female friendly. Also this will protect more cyclists as there are more cycling accidents recorded down Church Rd, markedly more, than Old Shoreham Rd.

  8. IanB Reply

    Well said, Hannah, it is time the half-truths and downright fake news around this issue were faced down.

    Labour councillors are in a difficult position of course because it seems they allowed themselves to be manipulated by the Tories into opposing their own original policy, to play the populist card to appease a small but vocal number of anti-bike campaigners.

    No idea what Peter Kyle is playing at but you would have thought his main concern would be helping children get to school more safely, while supporting reduction of carbon usage.

    It’s good news that there is now a process for providing a safe cycling route in this area.

    • Nathan Adler Reply

      No the four Labour Councillors in Portslade were not manipulated by the Tories but actually listening to a deluge of emails, (one councilor said he had more complaints against the OSR than the bin collection). Labour realised once the consultation was in that support for the scheme was clearly not present along any of the wards along the OSR, (some which will be target’s in 2023) and had strongest opposition in North and South Portslade, (potential Tory targets in 2023). As Cllr Wilkinson said we need to carry the city with any active travel scheme- this clearly was not happening with the OSR. It is a quandary for Labour going forward because voters in the central areas of Brightom seem much more pro active travel compared to those who live in the outskirts.

    • mart Burt Reply

      IanB
      It is time the downright fake news around this issue were faced down. Evidence showed beyond any doubts that this lane was used less.

      “to appease a small but vocal number of anti-bike campaigners”
      Thousands in fact objected compared to a few hundred who wanted it kept.

      Another poster who uses the ‘children to school’ card to promote a argument, yet can not produce the numbers to back it up.

      Peter Kyle is an MP and not part of the council…

      It’s good news that there is now a process for providing a safe cycling route in this area, but it certainly isn’t O.S.R. As other have suggested, Portland road is a much better and safer option.

    • Hove Guy Reply

      Yes, a safe cycling route that was hardly ever used, while traffic congestion increased enormously, while road layouts actually became more dangerous. This is an example of the Greens living in cloud cuckoo land, with no clear idea of the real problems now facing the city, resulting from their crazy chaotic projects.

  9. Katy Reply

    The strategic LCWIP was started under Labour and developed cross-party, so it is incorrect for Cllr Clare to claim it as ‘ours’. Also, any particular schemes, such as the Old Shoreham Road, will need to be consulted on and go before committee, so no guarantee of a return.

  10. Julie O'Neil Reply

    67% of the cycle lanes users felt safer….. 67% of the tiny number of cyclists who used the cycle lane is a very small number indeed!

  11. Jane smith Reply

    Why are females more vulnerable than males?

  12. Ben Kelly Reply

    It’s a goof step forward and personally I’m please the OSR has remained a strategic route in this long term plan. It doesn’t mean a lane is going to pop up tomorrow, it might take years since there are some serious issues to resolve in the configuration at the Hangleton end. I think they are solvable and clearly residents and stakeholders will get their say in the inevitable consultations. Not have the OSR in the LCWIP would have been a serious oversight and would have hampered access to Gov funding for much needed walking and road improvements anyway. The section that is single lane anyway along side Hove Rec is a no-brainer and should be the first thing to fix on the OSR – tapping into much needed funding by sheer fact the road remains in the LCWIP. To address Peter Challis’s 2nd point, the Labour position has not really shifted, they voted as a block to remove the temp lane but voted to keep the OSR in the LCWIP for the same reasons mentioned above. It warrents a proper design and consultation.

    • Myyout Reply

      I agree, that OSR should have a cycle lane and I’m sure will eventually get one. I however, have no confidence in a Green council or the current batch of cycle fanatic officers delivering anything remotely beneficial to all users. The residents will not get their say, the consultations are a sham. Any deputations put forward which do not align with their agenda are disregarded as are any amendments submitted by fellow ETS committee members. They will shove it in at the first opportunity with no consideration for residents or any road users other than the cycling fraternity. We will get a 3rd rate solution (as always) which we will then be stuck with. This needs to be deferred until we vote this Green stain out.

  13. David Haskell Reply

    Well said Cllr Clare.

    The decision by Labour to remove it at the time was horrendous for the many reasons you listed but now with fuel prices rising, they have needlessly exacerbated the cost of living crisis that affects the people they claim to represent.

  14. James Reply

    Far too many cyclists are thugs and don’t care about pedestrians. It’s dangerous trying to cross at the give way section of the seafront bike lane as cyclists don’t give way. Instead they speed up when they see pedestrians.

  15. Derek Reply

    Dam ladies, you give them the right to vote and they want to start riding bikes. Well the next time I’m driving my massive gas guzzler on my mile drive to work (can’t walk as there’s no free parking at the NHS so can’t get the help I need) I might just jump out and give one a slap

  16. Elaine Evans BEM Reply

    You don’t know the truth of the situation. On the no. 2 bus which runs up Olive Road and turns left into Old Shoreham Road, when the cycle lane was in place, the traffic was immediately slowed down. I sat in the bus and saw for myself that the traffic lights ahead changed from red to green then back again two or three times before we managed to reach the lights, then move on to our destination at normal speed. People trying to get to work or shopping were held up unnecessarily, including commercial traffic bound for Shoreham Port. Meanwhile the cycle lane was empty! Crazy! I support some Green initiatives but not this one!

    • Car Delenda Est Reply

      Ah, an anecdote from lockdown, how relevant.

  17. Paul Reply

    Stop with the percentage nonsense and give us real numbers.

  18. Simon Munk Reply

    Isn’t it fascinating how over & over whenever a cycle scheme is proposed – anywhere, ever – then suddenly it is the cycle scheme which causes pollution, congestion, it is every single local Cllr and every commenter below the line that is a transport and cycling design expert and perhaps most tellingly of all, it’s always the wrong scheme in the wrong place at the wrong moment.
    There’s a climate crisis, there’s also crises of pollution, inactivity and road danger. And while no scheme is perfect, and every scheme that tilts away from the status quo will have some impacts and some folks will oppose action, it is quite striking to see the nonsense we see from so many frothing at the mouth angry commenters above so keen to direct attention away from ‘more people cycling safely being a good thing’ as a way of avoiding changing driving habits – which we will all need to do as much as we can if we want to leave a planet in any kind of OK state for our kids and their kids.

    In other words, no, there aren’t good sensible alternatives for a cycle track, yes, a cycle track here was needed and used, and if you oppose this scheme coming back what you’re arguing for is Brighton and Hove etc. to continue to cause way more emissions than needed, face way more pollution and road danger all so you can drive a mile to the shops. Shameful, really.

    • Gary Gibbon Reply

      Simon Munk. “Campaigns Manager at London Cycling Campaign; dad; adventurer” “Campaigns manager at London Cycling Campaign

      Studied Psychology at University of Nottingham

      Lives in London, United Kingdom

      From Walthamstow, United Kingdom”
      Do you even know where this road is Simon?

      • Paul Temple Reply

        Does he know where the road is? Of course not but he’s part of a small and very vocal group of cycling activists that lump on any scheme with out knowing any of the details and with a mantra that all cycle lanes are good which is just as illogical as all cycle lanes are bad. Some work, some like the OSR simply did not.

    • Car Delenda Est Reply

      100% agree.

      It’s also strange to think that some people (a very small minority as the most recent consultation has shown) thought that reducing average speed on a school road was an undesirable result, they just can’t seem to comprehend putting others safety first.

      Glad the fake news has finally been put to bed and we can all see that removing the OSR cycle lane was not wanted by the majority.

  19. mart Burt Reply

    Simon Munk
    Some interesting comments. I respect your view but I would like to go through your comments and add a point of view as we go.

    You: Isn’t it fascinating how over & over whenever a cycle scheme is proposed – anywhere, ever – then suddenly it is the cycle scheme which causes pollution, congestion it is every single local Cllr and every commenter below the line that is a transport and cycling design expert and perhaps most tellingly of all, it’s always the wrong scheme in the wrong place at the wrong moment :

    You are slightly mistaken when you say whenever a cycle lane is proposed etc. Some lanes do not cause congestion and work very well, that at Valley Gardens, Lewes Road and a few others work quite well.
    Councillors I’m afraid are often misguided by their own agendas and fail all too often when given expert advice by professionals.
    Sometimes, it is a case of being put in the wrong place and yes, they do cause congestion and pollution.
    A prime example is the fiasco experienced at the Old Steine, when the lane was put in, the congestion caused sever delays to not only ordinary traffic, but more importantly public transport, bus services delayed horrendously and even failed to reach the end of their scheduled routes and were cancelled.
    Therefore that was a direct result of a lane being closed at a very busy road, therefore definitely put in at the wrong place.
    Some of us work in transport, highways and other area’s, so we have a good idea how things should work and can see flaws in plans that won’t work. Often, cyclists will shout about people being anti-bike and will criticise without reading what the posts are about. Most have a view that the only way to solve the problem is by walking and cycling, none rarely recognise the fact those options for various reasons aren’t suitable.

    There’s a climate crisis, no there isn’t. The climate has been naturally changing since time began. Dinosaurs, Ice Age natural happenings and scientists have proven the earth is moving closer to the sun.
    There’s also crises of pollution, yes agreed, yes our immediate environment is toxic and yes we need to do something about it.

    Inactivity and road danger, agreed but there’s plenty of danger not just on roads and people are slowly getting back from the lockdowns.

    Agreed no scheme is perfect, and every scheme will have some impacts and some folks will oppose if that scheme is flawed.
    You state. : it is quite striking to see the nonsense we see from so many frothing at the mouth angry commenters above so keen to direct attention away from ‘more people cycling safely being a good thing’ as a way of avoiding changing driving habits – which we will all need to do as much as we can if we want to leave a planet in any kind of OK state for our kids and their kids:

    Bang, got you on this one, more people cycling, generally it is great that the council have stated more cycling has been recorded in certain area’s, but the councils own data and that from the DfT showed that LESS people were using the OSR cycling lanes.

    So that also blows your next comment out the water. The evidence showed that the Lane wasn’t being used if less people were using it. Sorry but when the OSR was in, it caused way more emissions than needed.

    Walking and Cycling are great, but what about better transport, buses especially are infrequent along this stretch of road, you criticise people for driving a mile to the shops but doing a weekly shop on a cycle just isn’t going to work, and there’s no reliable bus service.
    There has to be more than just cycle and walking facilities, better transport networks that are cheap reliable and frequent would do wonders for getting to grips with the problems.
    There’s lots that can be done to resolve much of the congestion we have already, you don’t need to be an expert to see the various flaws in the traffic management systems.
    I will leave it there for the moment.

  20. Andy Reply

    Greens out spending money on things that don’t matter but should put the money helping the homeless people

    • Hove Guy Reply

      But they are helping homeless people. They have been inviting all homeless people to Brighton and Hove for several years, as part of their City of Sanctuary policy. That is why we see beggars on all the main streets (and some side streets as well). And now I notice beggars on the trains to and from London Bridge. The Greens have made Brighton and Hove a magnet for the homeless, coming from all parts of the country.

  21. Ben Kelly Reply

    Mart, you make some decent points about travel infra generally. I agree cycling and waking isn’t THE solution, but it’s A solution. You were doing really well until you outed yourself as a climate crisis denier. Yes, there are cycle or warming and cooling that span 100s of 1000s of years. Warming events over geological history have led to severe environmental disruptions including extinction events. We, humans, are pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere, at a greater rate than ever which is hurtling us along a dangerous path. The global scientific community is in almost 100% agreement on this fact.

    The OSR temp lane was far from perfect but we should learn from mistakes and not take knee jerk reaction to simply refusing to try and fix them. It’s an important link in the city which should apply to ALL road users. I believe there’s a good cycle lane there, one that could work if the feedback is taken on board and the right time and investment is spent. I might take 2 years on 10, but we all collectively owe it to the city to give it a chance.

    • mart Burt Reply

      Ben Kelly
      Thanks for the reply.
      Reference my comment about the climate. Just to say I’m not a climate denier. My reference really was that naturally the climate is changing I also added, There’s also crises of pollution, yes agreed, yes our immediate environment is toxic and yes we need to do something about it.
      Not sure if you read that bit, perhaps my wording was incorrect and if it came across as being negative then I do apologise.
      I accept what we are pumping into the air is bad and needs to be addressed. Hope that clears that up.

      As for the OSR. Personally, I feel the OSR is unsuited for a Cycle lane with the current road layout. Traffic was delayed waiting behind vehicles turning right into Olive Road. I would probably remove the central Island just past the traffic lights to allow a longer cage for vehicles and/or install traffic lights or make it a complete no right turn except buses etc and install a roundabout further on for traffic to come back to turn left.
      A couple of ideas already but the system could work with a little bit of thought and careful planning.
      I’m not anti-bike, in fact I support most of these schemes but some of these schemes need a little more thought to make them user friendly for all.
      Trouble with BHCC and the ‘Greens’ especially, they implement these schemes quickly without proper planning and ignore what any experts say. The ideas are good, but they need to go the extra mile sometimes.

      • Ben Kelly Reply

        Ok, we cool. I agree the temp lane layout caused a lot of issue at the Hangleton end of the OSR, it was rushed (by the then labour administration) due to pressure from central gov (due to COVID intervention measures). I agree with you that with a bit of careful planning, there is an excellent cycle lane in there somewhere. The fact it quite rightly remains on the LCWIP at least allows for this possibility to be properly explored at some point in the next 10 years. Hopefully sooner of course.

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