Brighton's new bus and cycle lanes deemed a success for sustainable transport

Second lane of dual carriageway now reserved for bikes, buses and taxis

by Sarah Barth   December 14, 2013  

bus-lane-with-cycle-lane

A two-mile bus and cycle lane, taking up half of a dual carriageway into Brighton, has been hailed a success by the city council who say bicycle and sustainable transport is significantly increased.

The road, which connects Brighton to towns and villages to the north east of the city, is a busy commuter route with frequent rush-hour traffic jams.

But the council says that since the new lane was built, the number of cars and lorries using the stretch between 7am and 7pm has decreased by 13 per cent, down from 18,377 to 16,035, as compared with the period October-November last year.

Brighton and Hove City Council spent £1.9 million and 10 months widening the bus and cycle lanes along the two mile stretch, with the work completed in September. The work saw half of the dual carriageway made into wide bus and bike lanes in each direction between the Vogue Gyratory and Falmer.

Cyclist numbers are up 14 per cent, with daily numbers of cyclists increased from 2085 to 2383.
Bus passenger numbers are up 7 per cent, but despite increased numbers, both operating companies in the city report better punctuality, and taxi use was up 40 per cent.

Despite a decrease in the amount of room for private cars on the road, the council says each car journey is only taking an average of a minute or so longer, although this has been disputed by a number of frustrated drivers.

Lead councillor for transport Ian Davey said:  “It is still early days but already the scheme appears to be delivering exactly what we promised. 

“More people are using buses, taxis and bikes to travel along this key route because it’s now safer and more reliable.  And for those people who need to drive there has been only a small average increase in rush hour journey times.

“As word gets around I would expect more people to make the switch to cycling, buses and taxis.

“I’m particularly pleased that taxi numbers on the route appear to be increasing.  Bus lanes provide rapid travel for cabs too so hopefully that’s helping boost their business.”

Brighton & Hove bus company is selling a week’s travel on the buses for £9.99, rather than £12.50 to celebrate the success of the scheme.

8 user comments

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That's great. London, take note.

Some separation would be nice.

posted by drmatthewhardy [299 posts]
14th December 2013 - 12:35

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Fantastic to hear taxi use is up, taxis those wonderful sustainable private motor vehicles so often driven by angels of the road.

@rich22222

posted by rich22222 [106 posts]
14th December 2013 - 13:29

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What I see from that picture is an excuse for bus drivers to get far too close when passing cyclists. Bristol, why didn't you install a physical barrier? Look at all the green space between the carriageways and the green space to the left. Why not use some of that?

posted by Peowpeowpeowlasers [60 posts]
15th December 2013 - 11:16

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Not sure I agree on that closeness comment. Barriers would be too expensive by far. Better to educate bus drivers to reduce their speed a little when they pass. Most of the problems I have with other vehicles is the speed differential. The nearer and faster they pass unnerves me frequently. If people pass a little slower if they have to get close is far less stressful. All a car driver has to do to achieve this would be to flex their right foot a little.

posted by Guyz2010 [281 posts]
15th December 2013 - 12:11

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It would've been nice if they'd put in actual bike lanes. There's no reason buses cannot drive in these perfectly legally. I'd prefer to see a physical barrier, although that would make overtaking difficult at busier times. The bus-stop bypasses are good though. The CS2 extension has some, but they're narrower and the angle is sharper in London.

posted by teaboy [149 posts]
15th December 2013 - 12:32

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While I like the idea, I am still concerned about the times when the bus needs to pull into a bus stop.
Are there the floating bus stops? Those golorious invention which have pedestrians snaking across a cycle lane, that also have the segregated lane behind the bus stop often too narrow for road sweeps and so they fill with leaf and other detritious.

posted by Wolfshade [93 posts]
16th December 2013 - 11:02

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I'm not a fan of dedicated cycles paths when theres a road available, pedestrians/joggers are worse than cyclists constantly getting in the way. Not so long ago coming off the road ontoa cycleway the wheels went clean out from under me in what was a slimey shiney path, then on the same path months later a jogger without looking jogged off straight into the cycle lane from a foorpath. Nah I'll stick to roads where I need to, wearing a helmet of course!

posted by Guyz2010 [281 posts]
16th December 2013 - 14:35

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Guyz2010 wrote:
I'm not a fan of dedicated cycles paths when theres a road available, pedestrians/joggers are worse than cyclists constantly getting in the way. Not so long ago coming off the road ontoa cycleway the wheels went clean out from under me in what was a slimey shiney path, then on the same path months later a jogger without looking jogged off straight into the cycle lane from a foorpath. Nah I'll stick to roads where I need to, wearing a helmet of course!

You seem not to be a fan of crap cycling infrastructure, rather than dedicated cycle paths. There's a huge and important difference.

posted by teaboy [149 posts]
16th December 2013 - 15:12

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