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Anti-cycle lane councillor now furious that HGVs are putting schoolchildren in danger

Brighton and Hove councillor Dawn Barnett, who last year threatened to paint over a bike lane used by children to ride to school, has called for lorries to be banned from residential areas

A Conservative councillor in Brighton and Hove – who last year threatened to cover up a bike lane used by schoolchildren with black paint unless it was immediately removed – has launched a petition calling for HGVs to be banned from residential areas as they put schoolchildren in danger.

In August 2021 councillor Dawn Barnett offered to personally speed up the removal process of a contentious bike lane on the Old Shoreham Road, which was set to be scrapped during the following month by Brighton and Hove City Council after just over a year in operation.

“I’m sorry it’s not being removed quicker than that after it went in overnight,” she said at the time. “I’ve offered to go along there with a tin of black paint to cover up the white lines.

“I understand Highways have got to remove the high signs and burn off the white lines, but I don’t want it dragging on. The council could go along there and get the posts out. It shows willing and lets people know it is happening.”

> Councillor offers to paint over cycle lane lines to speed up Old Shoreham bike lane’s removal 

Barnett made headlines again a few months later, when she said that guerrilla activists – who had painted makeshift markings where the ripped-out cycle lane had been – should be prosecuted for their “ignorant” actions.

The councillor’s steadfast opposition to the Old Shoreham Road bike lane, which she insisted “wasn’t safe and wasn’t used”, stood in direct contrast to the feelings of local parents, who launched a petition for the bike lane to be reinstalled a month after its removal.

> Councillor who said she’d paint (now removed) bike lane black slams “ignorant” people who painted it back 

In response to the “shameful” decision to bin the temporary lane – which also saw the council docked government funding – the parents of children attending the Bilingual Primary School in Hove set up a ‘bike train’ to get their kids to school safely.

“Using that road is a lot more dangerous when you don’t have a cycle lane there. Cars whiz past at speed and in volume. It was not a nice journey in comparison,” said one parent.

> Parents set up ‘bike train’ for school run after council rips out bike lane 

While Tory councillor Barnett seemed happy to ignore the concerns of parents regarding the Old Shoreham Road, this week she has put the safety of schoolchildren at the forefront of a petition calling for HGVs and lorries to be banned from residential areas in the Hove suburb of Hangleton.

Barnett told the Argus that “extremely heavy vehicles are doing circuits” around Hangleton Valley Drive, St Helen’s Drive, Hangleton Way, and (the appropriately titled) Broad Rig Avenue as part of apparent lessons for HGV drivers, which she claims is “detracting from the amenity of the neighbourhood and causing vibrations under houses”.

She continued: “The residents would like to see the council take action to stop these juggernauts using residential roads and we are calling for the council to put in place road weight restrictions.”

> Council docked government funding over ripped out bike lane 

The councillor also noted that she saw one of the lorry drivers mount the pavement on Hangleton Way and argued that the “juggernauts” could prove dangerous for children travelling to school as the new term gets underway.

“We’ve got four schools in the area and loads of nurseries, but I stood up there the other day and one of these great big juggernauts had hardly any room to get past the cars.

“This is a conservation area – residents shouldn’t have to put up with it.”

Barnett and another councillor have lodged a petition on the local Conservative Party website calling for a weight restriction on the roads in question, which will be presented to the council at the end of the month.

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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steaders1 | 1 year ago

This busy body, think she knows best, give them a bit of power and it goes to their head councellor needs removing from office

DeuceDog | 1 year ago

Absolutly agree with her .....perhaps a weight limit of 250Kg would be more than enough ? yes

LookMumNoHands | 1 year ago

Dawn is my local councillor, as far as I know has been for the 20 years I've lived here. By local councillor standards, she's actually pretty good (for a Tory) - she'll happily wade in on stuff most would skirt such as travellers pitching up on the various playing fields round here.

However... like many of her political leaning, she does like a good bit of dog-whistle politics, especially when it comes with a big old dollop of Othering. She's supported in this by the local rag The Argus, which is Daily Mail Lite for the local frothing right wing contingent who all regard it as their god given right to drive and park anywhere they like (but will lose the plot if anyone parks outside their house). 

She is bordering on mad, but she's no fool - she knows full well that the majority of the people who bother voting locally here are the aforementioned frothing self-entitled nutjobs who regard cyclists as a menace, and want to see Britain returned to the 1950s (when everyone cycled everywhere because cars cost more than houses). 

Thankfully, and despite the best efforts of The Argus, most people in this city are cycle aware, and getting around by bike is fairly free of hassle and danger. 

brooksby | 1 year ago

I'd missed this on the first read.

So she wanted to get rid of the cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road (which crosses the south of her ward, although I don't know if that was the bit she was complaining about or on which the cycle lane had been built) because it was blocking up traffic or something, but she now wants to ban HGVs from Hangleton Valley Drive, St Helen’s Drive, Hangleton Way, and Broad Rig Avenue.

Those roads are (coincidentally!) much more central in her ward and are also adjacant to Greenleas, a road on which the register of councillors interests says she owns land.

Definitely not NIMBYism at work, then...


enndotsee | 1 year ago

"Dawn has a strong connection to her ward and is very well known in the local community having lived in her present home in the ward for the past 21 years." From

Great that she is speaking up for the concerns of others rather than her own interests.

Clem Fandango | 1 year ago

Unless they're attempting to ride to school though....

" of these great big juggernauts had hardly any room to get past the cars" -  this does does kind of point to another problem does it not?  

“This is a conservation area – residents shouldn’t have to put up with it.”

And I do just wonder if, just maybe, she happens to live in or around one of those particular streets & personal prejudices and inconvenience are perhaps just maybe influencing her arguments a tad?    

chrisonabike replied to Clem Fandango | 1 year ago
1 like

A little fishing today?

brooksby | 1 year ago


The councillor also ... argued that the “juggernauts” could prove dangerous for children travelling to school as the new term gets underway.

Except that they'll be fine because she's been campaigning against anyone taking their kids to school any way other than in a big car, hasn't she? What a silly woman <shakes head>

hawkinspeter | 1 year ago

She should start her own Leopards Eating People Faces Party

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