Monday, 28 February 2011

Bricycles warns Conservatives of being seen as "anti-cycling"

Campaign group Bricycles today warned the Conservative administration of Brighton and Hove that their proposal to demolish the Hove Cycle freeway risks being seen as "anti-cycling" and is at odds with their 2010 election manifesto.

Bricycles is the largest cycling campaign group in Brighton and Hove and is affiliated to CTC, the UK’s national cycling organisation. Bricycles has been giving input into plans to improve cycling.

In a press release titled: "Grand Avenue: from Grand Design to ground zero in 3 years?" Becky Reynolds, Bricycles Campaigns Officer, called on the Council to remedy the problem areas rather than demolish the cycle lane three years after they were installed - at a total cost of installation and demolition of "about £2 million". (more>>>)
On Friday last week, Conservative leader Mary Mears reaffirmed her determination to scrap the lane. Today's Argus newspaper reported that she would consider a replacement cycle lane after the demolition.

Bricycles press release said: "By persisting in their proposals, the Conservatives in Brighton and Hove are in danger of being perceived as simply anti-cycling, and will give a gift to their opposition. Their stance is at odds with the 2010 Conservative manifesto which said:
"We will support sustainable travel initiatives that work best for local communities by: giving the concerns of cyclists much greater priority."
We urge the Leader of the Council to reconsider the decision to spend a large amount of public funds in this way."

Becky Reynolds said: "The cycle lanes in Grand Avenue and the Drive are part of a cycle route to the Downs (Route 82) which was never finished properly. The council has not yet addressed those points along the route which are most difficult for cyclists i.e. getting across junctions and other conflicts with traffic. Leaving out the “difficult bits” is a common flaw in cycling provision. For the Grand Avenue / The Drive cycle route to be fairly assessed, it should be completed and any outstanding safety issues addressed to the benefit of all road users. This would cost substantially less money than demolishing the whole scheme, and would reduce injuries which generally occur at junctions. A good crossing needs to be put in place across the Old Shoreham Road, and retained across the A259."

"Removing the cycle lanes before finalisation, in order to make room for more motor traffic, including HGVs will make the roads more hazardous for cyclists and pedestrians. It is also a wasted opportunity and a waste of funds. We see no justification for spending public money in this way."

Contact Bricycles:
"Bricycles is the Brighton-based ‘Brighton, Hove and District Cycling Group"

The quoted 2010 conservative party manifesto is at: 

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