Conservatives councillors - who have minority control of Brighton and Hove City Council - "are shifting transport policy firmly into reverse,” a Green councillor said of the council’s budget proposals released on Friday, 11 February 2011.
Brighton & Hove City Council’s budget for the coming year boasts of reducing council tax, and announces cuts of over £34 million, involving cuts to front line services. Yet the budget proposes spending £4.5 million on improvements to car parks, and £1.2 million removing the protected cycle lane along the Drive, Hove, which was part of the city's flagship "Cycling City" scheme.
Green Transport spokesperson councillor Ian Davey said the Conservative administration was "wasting public money on ill thought out transport projects".
Councillor Davey said it was only three years since the council spent over half a million pounds of public money on installing the cycle lanes. "Now they plan to spend more than twice as much taking it out. At the same time they are planning to spend £4.5million on doing up car parks. In good times such expenditure would be questionable. In times of austerity this proposal is grossly irresponsible. The Tories clearly do not have a coherent vision for transport in this city. Their ill thought out proposals, combined with their cuts to staff numbers including those in road safety, will only worsen the problems of traffic congestion, air pollution and road safety that blight this city. They are shifting transport policy firmly into reverse.”