Western Road in Brighton: Fears over bus diversion amid redevelopment work
The diversion of buses from a key route has prompted local residents to voice their concerns about increased traffic and pollution on their previously quieter street.
Labor Councilor Gary Wilkinson raised the issue after “a large number of residents” told him of their concerns about buses and other vehicles being diverted along Upper North Street and Montpelier Terrace.
The diversion will come as part of Western Road’s transformation, which is expected to take up to two years and will include road and sidewalk renewal, creation of a ‘median’ and more intersections.
Speaking at a Brighton and Hove City Council meeting last night, Cllr Wilkinson asked: “What specific traffic monitoring has been carried out on these roads to date in relation to the scheme and if so at which locations?
“So far, are there any signs of congestion in any part of the city as a result of the scheme?
“Is there monitoring for the impact of rerouting buses and other heavy vehicles on homes on these streets?
“If there is program specific air quality monitoring at Montpelier Terrace and Upper North Street, and if so, how often is that data reviewed for safety levels?
“Please list any streets where this information is stored and how local residents can access this information.”
Two Green councillors, Steve Davis and Elaine Hills, co-chairs of the council’s Environment, Transportation and Sustainability Committee, said they regretted that people were being inconvenienced but work along Western Road made the situation “inevitable”.
They said the decision to reroute eastbound buses was not “taken lightly” and various options were being considered.
Regarding the monitoring, they said: “For the detour route, there is no specific obligation to do this. However, officers have installed devices to monitor traffic levels, speed and nitrogen dioxide.
“This is in response to concerns raised by some residents prior to the diversion to monitor compliance.
“Two speed enforcement devices have been installed and are located at Montpelier Terrace and Upper North Street, one for each direction.
“Additional nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes were installed at Montpelier Road, Upper North Street and at the Regent Hill junction.
“These don’t give us live readings, but the results will be reported in the annual air quality status reports scheduled for July.
“Finally, on your point about congestion, I am happy to say that to date there is no evidence that the system is causing additional congestion issues.
“Indeed, initial data from bus operators suggests they have not been affected by delays as a result of the diversion.
“I would also like to note that no general traffic has been diverted as other vehicles can only use the Western Road in the opposite direction, which has been kept open.
“I realize there will be some disruption to work for a while, but this program will bring long-term benefits to our residents, businesses and local economies for years to come.”
A petition started in December by retired doctor Gillian Durham and headed “Stop Half a Million Buses on Brighton’s Upper North Street and Montpelier Terrace” on Change.org currently has 653 signatures.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23296354.western-road-brighton-fears-bus-diversion-revamp-work/?ref=rss Western Road in Brighton: Fears over bus diversion amid redevelopment work