New A259 seafront cycle route in Hove – everything you need to know

COUNCILS have voted to extend the A259 seafront cycle route from Fourth Avenue in Hove to the traffic lights at the Lagoon.

One of the current lanes, used by cars, buses, vans and lorries, will be reserved by Brighton and Hove City Council for cyclists only.

The proposal will see raised “table crossings” at Medina Terrace, Sussex Road and King’s Esplanade, as well as more lowered curbs to make it easier for wheelchair users to cross the road.

The £475,000 project also includes 70 additional bike spaces – some for specially adapted bikes – and 26 spaces for blue badge holders.

Green Councilwoman Elaine Hills told the city council’s Environment, Transportation and Sustainability Committee that the project had 70 percent support.

But Conservative councilor Samer Bagaeen told the committee meeting at Brighton City Hall that in reality 48 people responded to a consultation and 34 of them supported the cycle lane extension.

Cllr Bagaeen told Tuesday night’s meeting that more than 48 people lived in just one block of flats in Kingsway.

He said so few responses suggested that either the council’s consultation process was flawed or that people were “just not interested”.

Cllr Bagaeen said: “We are to consult with the residents directly affected. We should also consult with indirectly affected residents.

“We really need to look at that. We can’t call it 70 percent. It’s 34 out of 48 responses to a major project costing hundreds of thousands of pounds of government money to implement.”

He was told the answers came after the council announced the “traffic regulation order” as part of the legal process to change the use of the road.

It was the third round of consultations following two previous mailings to more than 8,000 properties in the region last year and public meetings.

Green councilor Steve Davis said he believes there were only 48 responses because people wanted the A259 cycle route to be extended.

The Argus: An artist's impression of what the new cycle path extension on the A259 could look likeAn artist’s impression of what the new cycle path extension on the A259 could look like

The cycle path extension was proposed in response to a government document titled Gear Change, which called on councils to improve cycling and walking infrastructure.

Cllr Davis said, “Ninety-seven percent of the streets in this city have no bike infrastructure. Gear Change told us to be bold. So we have to be brave because here is an emergency. As administration, we offer active travel.”

Conservative councilman Robert Nemeth said many people in his community were “unconvinced” by the cycle path plans.

Cllr Nemeth, who represents Wish Parish in Hove, said: “In West Hove I am concerned with queues behind cars going west and turning right and with that the pollution and general congestion that we have seen on the Old Shoreham Road.

“I also fear likely low usage, which may not justify the policy. Many local residents remain somewhat at a loss when there is a cycle path that they think is completely sufficient.”

Labor Councilor Nancy Platts said there is a “culture of hate” on social media, often stemming from just one bad experience with a cyclist.

The Argus: Kingsway Cycle Lane as it is nowKingsway Cycle Lane as it is now

Driving to Seville and Cádiz last year, she said she noticed a different attitude and separate lanes for the popular bike-sharing and electric scooter-sharing schemes.

Cllr Platts said: “One key thing that really struck me was the much more relaxed approach to space sharing than here. I firmly believe that we need to work on cultural change in the city.”

She said that as Brighton and Hove is a tourist spot people need to be wary of others who are unfamiliar with the streets and the ‘pinch points’. She suggested “slow down” or “give way” signs for cyclists.

Cllr Platts asked how the council could reduce conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. She was told that creating dedicated road spaces for cyclists was the solution as this would protect pedestrians from bicycles and cyclists from cars.

The Argus: The parking bays and left lane will be removed to create additional sidewalk and bike laneThe parking bays and left lane will be removed to create additional sidewalk and bike lane

Labor Councilor Gary Wilkinson spoke about the proposed “floating bus stops” which would be removed from the pavement between the road and the cycle lane.

He spoke out after Sarah Gayton, coordinator of the National Federation of the Blind of the UK’s road access campaign, emailed committee members ahead of the meeting.

She said the plans were “not fit for purpose” and “not safe or accessible for blind or visually impaired pedestrians or bus users”.

Councilor Wilkinson said: “These floating bus stops can be controversial. We need formal crossings and raised tables to slow down cyclists in these places.

“Floating bus stops can discourage people from using the bus stop, especially people with disabilities and especially people with visual impairments. So when they are deployed, they need to be designed to be as safe as possible for everyone.”

Green Councilor Jamie Lloyd said he was encouraged by the consultation and positive response from Brighton Access for Disabled Groups Everywhere (Badge).

He said: “This is an excellent addition to our growing network of cycle lanes in this city. We need a lot more, but this is a great way to move forward.

“I’m really glad we actually reclaimed decent road space in a way that not only benefits cyclists but mobility users as well, which is really hopeful.”

The work is to be funded with £171,000 from the Government’s Active Travel Fund and £304,000 from the Council’s Local Transport Plan Fund.

The committee voted seven to two in favor of the extension, with the Greens and Labor in favor and the Conservatives against.

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22558028.new-a259-seafront-cycle-lane-hove—need-know/?ref=rss New A259 seafront cycle route in Hove – everything you need to know

Fry Electronics Team

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