Labour councillors call for temporary cycle lane in Hove to be scrapped

Labour councillors in the city are calling for the temporary cycle lane in Old Shoreham Road to be removed.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 4:09 pm
The cycle lane in Old Shoreham Road, Hove, taken by Darren Cool Images
The cycle lane in Old Shoreham Road, Hove, taken by Darren Cool Images

It comes as feedback from a public consultation on the bike lane is due to be presented to the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee later this month.

According to the Labour councillors, draft findings from the report show residents are not in favour of the scheme.

Councillor Gary Wilkinson, opposition spokesperson for environment, transport and sustainability, said: “Having seen the draft findings from that consultation, Labour feel residents have made their feelings clear and want the temporary cycle lane scrapped.

The cycle lane in Hove

“We stand with residents in calling on the Green minority administration to remove the temporary cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road and scrap the planned extension, in favour of looking at alternative routes.”

The councillors said the bike lane had caused ‘considerable congestion and headaches’ and suggested an alternative cycle route was created on Portland Road or Church Road.

“Labour are keen to ensure there is more active travel infrastructure built around the city, however the party have always been clear that residents must be the drivers of any transport changes, and their opinions must be respected,” the group said.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove Council said it would ‘not be appropriate’ to comment on feedback from the consultation before it is published.

“Improving cycling and walking facilities is a key part of our work towards becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030, and to help improve health and wellbeing,” the spokesman said.

“We agree that further work is needed to explore further ways of improving east-west links across the city.

“However, simply swapping the Old Shoreham Road cycle lanes for ones on another road would leave a large part of the west of the city without the improvements they need.

“In addition, the only way the government would let us transfer the money it has committed for the current cycle lanes would be if we had an alternative scheme that had been planned and consulted on in the same detailed and methodical way.

“Plans for other routes are part of the council’s overall strategy to enhance active travel, in addition to routes we have recently consulted on.

“But the money the government is currently committed to giving us only applies to the schemes that we have bid for and consulted on, including Old Shoreham Road.

“The schemes to take forward to consultation were agreed at last December’s special ETS meeting.

“It would not be possible to meet the requirements for other routes that are not already part of the temporary and proposed Old Shoreham Road scheme in time for the government’s deadline of March 2022.

“We are keen to ensure residents have options for safe and sustainable travel across our city.

“Our strategic transport plans are focused on increasing these opportunities, and making improvements so existing lanes work better for our residents.”

The Brighton and Hove Cycling Campaign (Bricycles) has called for the bike lane to remain.

It has called Labour’s demand for alternative routes ‘a terrible idea’ and is urging residents to write to their councillors and MP in support of the cycle lane – find out more here.