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Brighton "death trap" bike lane fixed in double-quick time

Brighton & Hove Council leaps into action after at least five riders hurt

A Brighton cycle lane branded a "death trap" after at least five riders fell because of a hard-to-see raised kerb separating it from the traffic lanes has been repaired.

Where the lane previously had a white line and shallow kerb to distinguish it from lanes for cars, there is now a pair of double yellow lines and the kerb has been filled with tarmac to provide a ramp for riders needing to access it.

Problems with the section of the new cycle lanes around Vogue Gyratory on Lewes Road came to light on Friday December 19 when three riders crashed in the space of five minutes.

It subsequently emerged that at least two other riders had fallen at the same spot previously in the week. One of them, Bev Wells, sustained a broken hand when she fell. She faces six weeks off work and can't drive to see her family for Christmas.

One of the riders who crashed on Friday morning, Sian Hughes told "There's a very temporary asphalt ramp built up along one section, but others with the half kerb are completely unchanged. Asphalt already appeared to be degrading and is not a permanent fix."

The bike lane, part of a £600,000 revamp of the gyratory, had only opened at the beginning of the week.

The Transport and Parking department of Brighton and Hove Council coned off the problem area on Friday afternoon and over the weekend workers removed the single white line, painted in a double yellow and built a ramp from the traffic lanes to the cycle lane.

Brighton and Hove Council confirmed that the tarmac ramp is a temporary fix. 

A council spoksperson told "We have put in some temporary measures and additional signage warning of the new layout."

The council says the design was not just dreamt up by road engineers who don't ride bikes. 

The spokesperson said:  "Cycle representatives were involved in the new design of the new junction, and we will involve them in any future review.

"Most cyclists using the new facilities have had no problems and the feedback we’ve had has been generally good.

"We will continue to monitor the performance of the junction closely, as we do with all our new transport schemes."

The problem appears to have come about because the bike lane was raised slightly above the main roadway, a design that Brighton-based transport consultant and cycling advocate mark Strong says is common in Denmark.

The intention, Strong said, was "to deter overrunning by motor vehicles which has always been a problem there."

However, the designers don't appear to have anticipated riders needing to enter the lane from the right-hand edge.

The ramp seems to have solved the problem, if this tweet from Brighton rider Simon B is any guide.


In one part of the gyratory, though, the bike lane was a bit confusing for this driver.



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