Opposition councillors in Brighton & Hove have combined forces to vote against plans to scrap a high-profile cycle lane in the South Coast city, with the proposal defeated by just one vote.
The planned measure, put forward by the ruling Conservative Party, which has 25 seats on the council, was part of a budget drawn up in the face of £30 million spending cuts resulting from a reduction in funding from central government.
However, it was defeated after Labour and the Green Party, with 13 seats each, combined forces, reports the website Brighton & Hove News.
Speaking to road.cc last month, the Conservatives had claimed that scrapping the segregated bike lane, installed on Grand Avenue and The Drive in Hove three years ago at a cost of £800,000, would cost less than the £1.1 million allocated in the budget.
However, it is believed that they would also have had to repay £300,000 to Cycling England that had been used to part fund the facility when it was first installed.
With demonstrations taking place outside the town hall and protesters also present in the public gallery, the meeting had to be adjourned twice, with one person ejected and those present reacting angrily to comments from Conservative councillor Lynda Hyde who was reported to alleged that those causing disruption did not pay council tax.
Other measures vetoed as a result of amendments tabled by Labour and the Greens included a 1% cut in council tax and a planned reduction in residents’ parking charges, which will instead be frozen.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.