Online petition seeks to save Brighton cycle lanes

Council unmoved and still planning to rip out facility

by Mark Appleton   February 23, 2011  

Brighton cycle lanes on Grand Avenue and The Drive.jpg

On online petition protesting at plans to remove continental style cycle lanes in Brighton has garnered well over 2000 signatures.

However, it appears that Brighton and Hove’s Conservative led council is determined to press ahead with their plans, ignoring the wishes of many local cyclists.

We reported earlier this month on how the council wants to remove the semi-segregated lanes on Grand Avenue and The Drive an estimated cost of up to £1.1m. And there could be a further £300,000 to be paid back to the Department for Transport, as this was the sum provided by the now defunct Cycling England to help pay for the facility, installed in 2008 at a cost of around £800,000.

Sustrans has also got behind the campaign to save the cycle lanes and Simon Pratt, Sustrans' Regional Director for the South East, said: "If the Council wants to spend money wisely, it seems utter madness to remove routes at such a huge cost especially when they are well used by local people.

"The cycle lanes in Grand Avenue form part of the National Cycle Network in this area, linking the seafront to the South Downs, and losing them would be a step backwards."

But at a recent council cabinet meeting, Council chairman Mary Mears was questioned by Labour councillor Gill Mitchell about the wisdom of spending over £1m scrapping the cycle lanes in light of significant cuts to services for vulnerable people, and anticipated council worker redundancies.

Cllr Mears indicated that the removal would go ahead as she claimed the cycles lanes were insufficiently used by cyclists. According to the online petition set up to help save them, at the latest count, 2427 people would beg to differ.
 

7 user comments

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it would be interesting to see how many cyclists would sign an on-line petition to have these cycle-lanes removed and have them replaced with ones that are better designed and less hazard laden

posted by VecchioJo [800 posts]
23rd February 2011 - 13:35

1 Like

I cannot believe there are over 2000 cyclists that have USED those lanes.

Personally, I'd prefer to take my chances on the road where I'm not hemmed in on both sides by kerbs. Added to that, there are the dangers presented by the maintenance of the lanes, which are often strewn with debris like leaves, plastics & glass that cannot be accessed by conventional road cleaning vehicles.

It's not use these 'dedicated lanes' - I've ridden the cycle lanes along the sea front in the middle of summer and it's not a pleasant experience for either pedestrians or cyclists.

I truly believe that the safest way for cyclist to use the roads is for motorists to be more aware of the dangers and hazards faced by cycling (weather, potholes, other traffic - not just cars and lorries, but other cyclists!) than to partition of sections of shared road permanently, making them less usable for all.

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [417 posts]
23rd February 2011 - 14:55

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andylul wrote:
I cannot believe there are over 2000 cyclists that have USED those lanes.

Personally, I'd prefer to take my chances on the road where I'm not hemmed in on both sides by kerbs. Added to that, there are the dangers presented by the maintenance of the lanes, which are often strewn with debris like leaves, plastics & glass that cannot be accessed by conventional road cleaning vehicles.

It's not use these 'dedicated lanes' - I've ridden the cycle lanes along the sea front in the middle of summer and it's not a pleasant experience for either pedestrians or cyclists.

I truly believe that the safest way for cyclist to use the roads is for motorists to be more aware of the dangers and hazards faced by cycling (weather, potholes, other traffic - not just cars and lorries, but other cyclists!) than to partition of sections of shared road permanently, making them less usable for all.

Eh....I take it you've never been ran over by a car then?

posted by mowatb [20 posts]
23rd February 2011 - 15:44

1 Like

I have as a matter of fact - on a dual carriage-way while cycling to the left of the solid white line, and I'd still use conventional roads rather than cycle lanes.

Dotted lines denoting a cycle lane encourage motorists to drive as if the entire space between the lane and the centre of the road belongs to the car, often not taking in to account any drains, pot holes, parked cars and other obstacles that the cyclist has to negotiate

Hit a pothole or drain in a car and you get a bit of a bump. Hit it on a cycle and you're likely to faceplant or, at best, wobble/serve/pinch flat/utter weapons-grade swearing.

If another road user believes that your not allowed out of that designated channel and has no awareness, the consequences don't bear thinking about.

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [417 posts]
23rd February 2011 - 17:09

2 Likes

andylul wrote:
I cannot believe there are over 2000 cyclists that have USED those lanes.

I've signed the petition, not because I'm a user of the cycles lanes - as I said on another thread; they're ill-conceived - but because I think it's absurd to spend so much money on this.

Rob

posted by robert.brady [158 posts]
23rd February 2011 - 21:40

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It sounds like Ms Mears isn't worried about having to pay any of Cycling England's money back, if this article is anything to go by:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2011/feb/23/brighton-hov...

posted by don_don [149 posts]
24th February 2011 - 11:42

1 Like

Firstly I apologise for my comment, & I complely agree with the points you have made, generally the cycle lane appears to be the worst section of road & I personally don't cycle in them either.

I believe the section in the article is for a completely segregated section of road designated for bikes & doesn't have other traffic such as busses on it. This way it's safe & flat. Plus you can still use the road if you really want to. I think it's a good thing & can't see any negatives to it.

Obviously the council here, much like my own in North Lanarkshire, put cyclist & pedestrian safety below other priorities. If it saves 1 life a year surely it's worth the expense.

posted by mowatb [20 posts]
25th February 2011 - 19:50

1 Like