Road Cycling

Councillors and residents criticise latest Old Shoreham Road cycle lane proposals – Brighton and Hove News

Cycle lane changes proposed by the council will add to traffic jams and increase pollution, making walking and cycling even less attractive, according to people living closest to the scheme.

Neighbours said that the current chaos would get worse along the A270 Old Shoreham Road, with plans to stop traffic turning right into Stapley Road.

It would also force more people driving to the Knoll Estate, which includes a business centre, to take longer routes using Hangleton Road, Holmes Avenue, Nevill Road and Nevill Avenue.

The latest proposals also involve closing or restricting other junctions, creating new crossings and extending the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane to the boundary of Portslade and Southwick.

A consultation is under way and Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett, who represents Hangleton and Knoll, wants residents to register their views.

She is outraged at proposals to restrict traffic in and out of Stapley Road, at the southern end of the Knoll Estate, from Old Shoreham Road.

Councillor Barnett said that the proposed changes were outlined in a Brighton and Hove City Council survey called Changes to Travel and Transport in the City.

The work would be funded with a £2.4 million grant from the government to promote “active travel” to encourage people to drive less.

The consultation document said that the proposed changes to the Olive Road and Stapley Road junction include

  • Increased space for vehicles turning right from Old Shoreham Road into Olive Road, with an increase in queuing space from 6 to 12 vehicles
  • No right turn (except cycles) from Old Shoreham Road into Stapley Road – to allow extra space for vehicles coming the other way and queuing to turn right into Olive Road
  • No right turn (except cycles) from Stapley Road into Old Shoreham Road – to allow queuing space for the above

Since the cycle lanes were created last May as a temporary coronavirus measure, queues of traffic have built up regularly alongside the little-used cycle lanes.

The dual carriageway has been reduced to a single carriageway on both sides of the road between The Drive in the east and the Hangleton Road traffic lights in the west.

Councillor Barnett said: “The Greens have lost of the plot. They are depriving people living on the Knoll Estate of their way home, only allowing buses, not cars.

“The traffic is going to be horrendous on the Old Shoreham Road because of that unwanted cycle lane.

“Cars will be backed up there when they’re dead and gone.”

Councillor Dawn Barnett

Thousands of people signed a petition objecting the changes last year, qualifying for a debate at a meeting of the full council.

But Councillor Barnett was frustrated when the full council refused to hear a petition and a deputation opposing the controversial cycle lane last year.

The originally temporary cycle lane was created using a government grant aimed at helping people to maintain social distancing on pavements and improve active travel infrastructure.

But people living on the Knoll Estate have shared their concerns on social media, describing the idea as bringing “chaos”.

Last year Kathryn Stanley took a four-mile diversion along the A27 to take her foster child to school in the Lewes Road area to avoid the cycle lane.

She said: “The cycle lane is a good idea, but in practice, it just is not worth it. Could we not have a cycle lane on a decent-sized pavement lane instead?”

Kathryn Stanley, of Wilfrid Road, said that the proposed changes to the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane would make life worse for Knoll Estate residents

Her neighbours are worried that ambulances might not reach them promptly in an emergency although the council said that emergency vehicles would still be able to turn right into Stapley Road.

Another neighbour told Mrs Stanley that his work as a delivery driver was taking longer because he was stuck in traffic.

Mrs Stanley, of Wilfrid Road, said: “These unworkable proposals show that the council has not taken into account the health and livelihoods of local people.

“There is a business park (Bizspace) on the estate which HGVs use. The environmental implications of redirecting traffic to get on to the estate are going to pollute streets surrounding the estate.

“It is going to bring chaos.”

Conservative councillor Samer Bagaeen, who represents Hove Park ward, has received emails from residents in Weald Avenue concerned that the proposals would block their access to Old Shoreham Road.

Councillor Samer Bagaeen

All traffic for the area will have to turn up at the busy Holmes Avenue junction, used by people visiting the Co-op there. The junction is on a busy bus route and opposite the planned Big Yellow Storage depot and offices. Weald Avenue is also a direct access route to Hove Allotments.

The council said on its consultation leaflet that there would be pedestrian and cyclist access only at the Weald Avenue and Old Shoreham Road junction, with vehicles having to use Cranmer Avenue.

Councillor Bagaeen said: “This consultation is disappointing in that officers did not reach out to councillors beforehand to inform us about what was being proposed.

“I have said I cannot support any part of this consultation with officers needing to reach out more, but earlier.

“Part of the consultation explores options for a cycle lane in Nevill Road, and it is disappointing that this was not conceived as a continuous one connecting to the lane proposed as part of the Toad’s Hove Valley development.

“We cannot and should not be building disparate and separate bits of infrastructure, hoping that they will work together somehow.”

Councillor Amy Heley

The council consultation leaflet said: “To improve access to schools in the area, we have proposed a protected cycle lane in Nevill Road, between Old Shoreham Road and Nevill Avenue.

“This would need to be a permanent change as it would not be possible temporarily. The detailed design of this scheme would be the subject of an additional, more detailed consultation.”

In December, Conservative councillor Lee Wares criticised the consultation saying that the public should be offered a “yes or no” choice.

But Green councillor Amy Heley, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said that the consultation would not be a referendum on the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane.

The consultation also covers changes planned in Western Road, Brighton, and along the A259. The council plans to resurface the road and pavement along Western Road between the Clock Tower and Montpelier Road.

The council said that it was working with West Sussex County Council on a long-term cycle route linking Brighton and Hove to Shoreham.

It proposes extending the current A259 cycle lane between West Street and Fourth Avenue further west to the Hove Lagoon traffic lights.

The survey is open until Sunday 14 March on the council website at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/onejourneybetter.