A259 seafront cycle lane to be extended in Hove

Councillors have voted to extend the A259 seafront cycle lane from Fourth Avenue, in Hove, to the Lagoon traffic lights.

One of the current lanes, which is used by cars, buses, vans and lorries, will restricted to cyclists only by Brighton and Hove City Council.

The proposal includes raised “table junctions” at Medina Terrace, Sussex Road and King’s Esplanade and more dropped kerbs to make it easier for wheelchair users cross the road.

The £475,000 project also includes an extra 70 cycle parking spaces – some for specially adapted bicycles – and 26 parking spaces for blue badge holders.

Green councillor Elaine Hills told the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee that the project had received 70 per cent support.

But Conservative councillor Samer Bagaeen told the committee meeting at Brighton Town Hall that, in reality, 48 people responded to a consultation and 34 of those supported the cycle lane extension.

Councillor Bagaeen told the meeting last night (Tuesday 20 September) that there were more than 48 people living in just one block of flats in Kingsway.

He said that so few responses indicated that either the council’s consultation process was flawed or that people were “just not interested”.

Councillor Bagaeen said: “We are meant to consult with residents who are directly affected. We are also meant to consult with residents who are indirectly affected.

“We really need to take a hard look at this. We can’t call it 70 per cent. It is 34 out of 48 responses on a major project that is costing hundreds of thousands of pounds of government money to deliver.”

He was told that the responses came after the council advertised the “traffic regulation order” as part of the legal process of changing the use of the road.

It was the third round of consultation after two previous mailshots to more than 8,000 properties in the area last year and public meetings.

Green councillor Steve Davis said that he believed that there were only 48 responses because people wanted the A259 cycle lane extended.

The cycle lane extension was proposed in response to a government policy document celled Gear Change which urged councils to improve cycling and walking infrastructure.

Councillor Davis said: “Ninety-seven per cent of roads in this city do not have cycling infrastructure on them. Gear Change told us to be bold. So we have to be bold because there is an emergency on here. As an administration, we are delivering on active travel.”

Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth said that many people in his ward were “not won over” by the cycle lane plans.

Councillor Nemeth, who represents Wish ward, in Hove, said: “In West Hove, I fear queues behind cars travelling west turning right and, linked to that, pollution and general congestion of the sort we saw on the Old Shoreham Road.

“I also fear a likely low level of usage, perhaps not justifying the policy. A lot of residents remain slightly perplexed when there is a cycle lane sitting there which they feel is perfectly adequate.”

Labour councillor Nancy Platts said that there was a “culture of hatred” on social media, each often stemming from just one bad experience with a cyclist.

When she went to Seville and Cadiz last year, she said that she noticed a different attitude and separate lanes for the popular bike share as well as electric scooter hire schemes.

Councillor Samer Bagaeen

Councillor Platts said: “One key thing I really noticed was the much more laid-back approach to sharing space than we’ve got here. I feel quite strongly we need to do some work on culture change in the city.”

She said that as Brighton and Hove was a tourist resort, people needed to be aware of others who were unfamiliar with the streets and the “pinch points”. She suggested “slow” or “give way” signs for cyclists.

Councillor Platts asked how the council could reduce conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. She was told that creating dedicated road spaces for cyclists was the solution because it protected pedestrians from bikes and cyclists from cars.

Labour councillor Gary Wilkinson spoke about the proposed “floating bus stops” which would be set away from the pavement between the road and the cycle lane.

He spoke out after the National Federation of the Blind of the UK’s street access campaign co-ordinator Sarah Gayton emailed committee members before the meeting.

She said that the plans were “not fit for purpose” and were “not safe or accessible for blind or visually impaired pedestrians or bus users”.

Councillor Steve Davis

Councillor Wilkinson said: “These floating bus stops can be controversial. We need formal crossings and raised tables to slow cyclists down in these places.

“Floating bus stops can deter people from using the stop, especially people with disabilities and especially sight-impaired people. So if they are used, they need to be designed to be as safe as possible for everyone.”

Green councillor Jamie Lloyd said that he was buoyed by the consultation and the positive response from Brighton Access for Disabled Groups Everywhere (BADGE).

He said: “This is an excellent addition to our growing cycle lane network in this city. We need a lot more but this is a great way to go forward.

“I’m really happy we’ve actually reclaimed proper road space in a way which will benefit not only cyclists but mobility users as well which is really hopeful.”

Councillor Gary Wilkinson

The work is to be funded with £171,000 from the government’s Active Travel Fund and £304,000 from the council’s Local Transport Plan fund.

The committee voted for the extension by seven to two, with Greens and Labour in favour and the Conservatives against.

  1. Nick Reply

    34 of the 8000 people asked said they wanted it. Yet, this is seen as a success! 14 people said no, but the vast majority didn’t say anything. Perhaps aware that the council isn’t listening, whatever they do! But with less than half a percent of those directly in the area saying yes (and the vast majority in the city not even being asked) it goes ahead.

    Half a million pounds could go a long way to making other junctions safer. Fill in potholes (a particular risk to cyclists) or lots of new electric car charge points (which are proven to reduce CO2). But this is done instead…. The majority of the funding comes from local finances, so could be spent in many other ways on transport.

  2. Charles U Farley Reply

    The greens will not be happy until there are no cars at all and everyone travels no further than a bicycle will take them. This, apprently, is progress.

  3. Technique Reply

    I wish this council spent as much time clearing the weeds and emptying the bins, as they did wasting time on cycle lanes that no-one wants or uses.

    • Patrick Miller Reply

      That’s the greens for you making life easy for cyclists at the expense of motorists

  4. Billy Short Reply

    It’s going to be very difficult to know who to vote for at the next election.

    What we do know is that the Greens are now living in their own self-congratulatory bubble, and are so fake in their green agenda that they can’t even see where they are doing bad, when their iinitial ntentions were probably good.
    This is now like Daily mail-style knee jerk politics. On the face of it, a new cycle lane probably seems like a good idea – and that’s how the council are selling it – until we find out what the true negative impacts are, of which more in a minute. Have people simply stopped thinking?

    The underlying problem is that several council committees are now under the thumb of cultist lobbyists who themselves need to justify their own pressure group salaries – and they now force upon us an increasingly-bizarre ideology which is without logic or common sense.
    This is how religion works, starting with good intentions, and then the priest decides to tell you how many children you should have.

    In this case we have money wasted on a duplicated cycle lane which offers no more to cyclists than they already had. At the same time this scheme changes the very nature of west Hove seafront – in that visitors and Hangleton locals in cars now have to unload their kids or elderly parents into the middle of the road when simply wishing to visit the beach.
    Pedestrians – including seafront residents like me – now have to negotiate several conflicting lanes of traffic when trying to cross the road..
    Seafront businesses also have worse access for their customers and for their deliveries. And we’ll now have a continual line of polluting traffic all along our seafront because no true alternative has been provided for commuter traffic and those on other essential journeys trying to cross the city by car or taxi or when driving a van.
    Reducing the seafront A259 road to a single lane also substantially slows up what little public transport we have, and no new bus or tram routes have been even mentioned.
    The park and ride schemes – deemed as essential by the council’s own Climate Change Forum – also seem to have been forgotten about.

    Above all, none of this scheme actually helps residents or city visitors in any way or contributes to a local reduction in greenhouse gasses.
    You also have to question how this latest scheme fits into any city wide transport strategy. But then maybe there isn’t one…

    And it’s the basic idea, that we will all cycle from now on, that is at fault here. The Greens have pinned all their city transport ideas onto one strategy based on the idea that they can predict the future. And yet apparently people are cycling less.
    What we do know from the existing cycle lanes is that when it rains, nobody cycles. When it’s hilly, people choose another route – rather than the old Shoreham road. That earlier mistake should already have been a lesson learnt.
    But when it’s windy, nobody cycles either. When it’s night time very few people cycle. When it’s winter, nobody cycles. And so on. So that’s most of the time then.

    As it happens I cycle a lot because I’m lucky enough to live in an area of the city that has less hills. But what I also know is that when I leave my bike locked up anywhere in Brighton there’s a good chance it won’t be there when I get back. I’ve had two stolen so far.

    If someone can explain to me the benefits of this bodged latest scheme, then I’d love to hear. It just feels like a selfish land grab by those who like to wear lycra – and for those fake trust fund eco-warriors who are convinced they are saving the planet by growing beards and showing off their expensive consumerist cargo ebikes. And in fact that’s an identity thing, and just as crass as a 1990s teenager driving around in a sports car.

    Can we please have some councillors who aren’t just good at shouting, but who live in the real world? Most of us love our unique city and we can’t bare to see it so mis-managed in this way.

  5. Adrian Reply

    In terms of pollution; if you distance people from the pollution you will reduce exposures. Exposures is the most important thing (if it is there but we don’t breath it in and can avoid it then we won’t be directly affected by it). Just by increasing the distance between the source of pollution and people by the distance of a few metres (ie, the width of a cycle lane) will reduce the pollution on the pavement, homes and for cyclists by between 10% and 20%. Congestion does cause pollution, clearly, but the amount of congestion needed to undo the improvement from extra distancing would be really unlikely. This is why the Valley Gardens project, which did reduce road space, has generally seen lower levels of pollution for people walking and cycling.

    • Billy Short Reply

      Except in this case Adrian, the pedestrians crossing the road will have worse pollution, as do the visitors arriving and parking their cars in the middle of the road.
      And they far outweigh the cyclists in terms of numbers.

      To be honest, air pollution has not really been an issue on the seafront in Hove up to now. Although single lines of slow moving traffic could make it so.

      My objection to this scheme is mostly that it seems to have a negative impact on every road user, be they visitors or residents, or those just passing through.

    • Dave mac Reply

      Massively incorrect.
      Valley gardens works because they have removed the traffic lights outside the north lane pub as well as streamline the road layout so the traffic now travels more freely with less stopping.
      All this will be undone when they put the cycle lane in Northbound at the viaduct as it will create a major bottleneck at an already extremely busy Preston circus, equally when they remove the roundabout by the pier to the south this will also cause backlog into valley gardens, pollution will be out of control as nothing will move.

      When you create needless standstill traffic you double the pollution, Lewes road is a perfect example between the level and BP. Another great example was old Shoreham road in how not implement cycle lanes.

      What’s so frustrating from someone like myself who does cycle is the simple fact that the quickest and cheapest way to make roads safer for cyclists and massively reduce pollution for everyone is to build a park and ride scheme at falmer station and A23 patcham interchange.
      Why is it easy, so easy:
      The space is there,
      the railway is there,
      it wouldn’t cost more than this council has wasted over the past 5 years on pointless under used cycle lanes.
      What also isn’t accounted for is there is actually quite a lot of people who cannot cycle on medical grounds, especially in a very hilly city like ours, just because they don’t have a blue badge does not mean they are not disabled in some way.

      It will be nice when we can vote these idiots out at the next election as the green party are no longer an environmental group. I can’t think of a single thing they have done that has actually improved this city’s environment

      • mart Burt Reply

        Dave mac
        Valley gardens works because they have removed the traffic lights outside the north lane pub as well as streamline the road layout so the traffic now travels more freely with less stopping.

        What a load of old cobblers, VG or Grand Parade as it should be known is a disaster.
        So they’ve removed a set of traffic lights, great, lets all clap for joy.
        They’ve streamlined the road to cause gridlock around St Peters, they’ve removed the dedicated bus lanes that makes journeys longer. Buses and traffic are held, (if you actually had some common local knowledge) at London Road, St. Peters Place two sets, Lewes road junction with Richmond Parade, Grande parade/Morley street and Edward street.
        Less stopping, you’re a dreamer.

        As for the gardens themselves, utter disgusting place with fumes flowing across from the stationary traffic you say is free flowing, ground works ruined by all the events held there, no rubbish bins, dangerous with two way traffic now on both sides of the island.
        Might be better for cyclists, and that’s great, but for everyone else it’s a shambles.

        Otherwise I really agree with everything else in your post.

  6. Car Delenda Est Reply

    14 people voted against, I’m guessing that’s the usual suspects from the B&HN and Argus comments section.

    • Helen Reply

      Hmm, and only 34 voted for it, outweighs 14 by a good majority until of course we consider the apparent ‘thousands’ of cyclist who use this, why haven’t they supported this scheme ?

  7. Pippa Hodge Reply

    To be clear, BADGE were pleased to see improvement to the provision of protected disabled bays for Blue Badge holders and that the south side disabled bays will remain on the prom opposite Maroccos, as these are very popular with elders who have Blue Badges as well as families. We remain concerned about parking that is sandwiched between a cycle lane and the vehicle lane and safe access to/from vehicle/pavement but we have worked constructively with the Project Manager to make it work as well as possible within the overall scheme. We also raised concerns about the bus boarders, and wonder if a physical mock up and soft trial of this aspect might be beneficial.

  8. Brighton Resident Reply

    The local Green Party misrepresents the views of a disability group for political ends yet again.

  9. Keith Reply

    So, what happens to the existing cycle lane already along that stretch? If it stays, I vote for another motor vehicle lane. Fair’s fair

  10. mart Burt Reply

    Hmm, some interesting quotes to follow up.
    “We are meant to consult with residents who are directly affected. We are also meant to consult with residents who are indirectly affected.
    Implying that they haven’t done so.

    “We really need to take a hard look at this. We can’t call it 70 per cent. It is 34 out of 48 responses on a major project that is costing hundreds of thousands of pounds of government money to deliver.”
    Can’t call it anything % in reality, self admittance that they haven’t consulted the city residents, leads on nicely to the next bit.

    He was told that the responses came after the council advertised the “traffic regulation order” as part of the legal process of changing the use of the road.

    So they already decided to make these changes before the vote was taken prompting replies to the TRO notice.
    Fantastic from BHCC as usual.
    Just proves the ‘Greens’ couldn’t careless about anything.

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