Neighbours in Elm Grove have launched a petition asking for their road to be considered in proposed liveable neighbourhood schemes.
A petition title Stop the current Hanover and Tarner Low Traffic Neighbourhood. Bring ‘liveable’ benefits to all the Hanover and Elm Grove ward raises concerns that Elm Grove is treated as a major road.
There are more than 200 signatures on the petition launched by Alison Hughes on Thursday 24 March.
She also created a Facebook group, Elm Grove Residents and Friends, the following day to gather support for reducing traffic along the busy road.
A paper petition is also planned to reach out to those who do not use social media.
Three community engagement workshops have already taken place this month for the Hanover and Tarner Liveable Neighbourhood Pilot, almost two years after Hanover Action environmental group secured cross-party backing from city councillors.
Road closures, one-way streets, bus gates and pocket parks are options for Brighton’s first low traffic neighbourhood, with Elm Grove, Queen’s Park Road and Lewes Road marked out as the boundary.
People living in another area, the streets between Elm Grove and Hartington Road, up to Elm Grove Primary School, asked for their own low-traffic neighbourhood scheme in January.
The formal process has not started yet, but councillors recognised the need to address rat run issues in that area too.
However, Mrs Hughes is concerned Elm Grove will end up with more traffic once both low-traffic neighbourhoods get going and drivers and rat-runners are squeezed out.
She has looked into data relating to other low-traffic neighbourhoods in London and found that boundary roads experience an increase in traffic.
Even though it is used as a main route to the Race Hill and Woodingdean, Mrs Hughes argues Elm Grove is a residential road with homes and a school, unlike the boundary roads in London Boroughs where similar schemes are already operating.
She said: “I walk through Hanover daily, and it’s a car park. I don’t feel like a lot of people are driving to work and school from there.
“It’s a very different landscape. Looking at schemes in London Boroughs, the boundary roads are A and B Roads.
“Where does Elm Grove fit into that? It’s not an A or B road. It’s a residential street.
“This needs a fundamental rethink to address traffic on Elm Grove.”
The petition highlights how the “main” roads on the edge of the Hanover and Tarner pilot scheme include Elm Grove Primary School as well as Pepper-Pot Nursery and the Orchard Day Nursery.
It says: “We want to be clear that we are not against green initiatives – we want to reduce cars in the city. We are just asking for clean air for all.
“The project creates an unfair divide between residents. Certain streets benefit disproportionately whilst others receive no benefit – only higher traffic.
“This project fails to address existing real problems on the streets which need it most.”
The petition concludes: “We demand that Elm Grove is considered as a core part of the constituency and that the council provides a plan to include the street in any future ‘liveable’ projects.
“There is no social justice in creating greater air pollution for those living on the bordering roads, which by all accounts make up the more disadvantaged and vulnerable sections of the community; with more rentals, flats, HMOs, young families, school and nurseries.”
The petition is open on Brighton and Hove City Council’s website until Monday 20 June, the day before the next Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee meeting.
A fourth community workshop for the Hanover and Tarner Liveable Neighbourhood pilot project is at the Hanover Community Centre on Wednesday 6 April, from 5-8pm.