Sunday, 14 August 2011

Scary Places on Official Cycle Routes - No 1. Vogue Gyratory on Route 90 in Brighton

The Vogue Gyratory in Brighton is a classic cyclists nightmare. Named for an old blue movie cinema that used to be on the site, the gyratory was built in the 1980s with no provision for cyclists. Yet it is on a main traffic artery Brighton to the Universities and Lewes - and on official Regional Cycle Route 90.

Left filtering cars cut across your path as you cycle to Lewes & Uni on Regional Cycle Route 90
As you cycle north along the Regional Cycle Route 90, which follows the main Lewes Road connecting London to Brighton, the cycle lane disappears and you find yourself on a multilane gyratory. You are cycling uphill, and have to cross left filtering traffic in order stay in the middle lane and get to the exit where route 90 continues. In the middle of this is a traffic light where advance advance stop lines for cyclists have been painted.

You can negotiate this gyratory with an assertive attitude, but as an official cycle route, surely it should be safe for intermediate level cyclists? Remembering we are encouraging school children to cycle to school.

Brighton's city council has won a £4.5m grant to develop sustainable transport along this route, aka Lewes Road Corridor. But it does little to address this unfriendly Gyratory, except for proposing 'green wave' priority for cyclists at the traffic lights. Really, a separate cycle lane is needed, not minor provisions such as the proposed 'green wave'.

We need a new city plan to undo the damage of decades of planning exclusively for motorcars.

Painted lines and green waves alone don't make things safer for cyclists and pedestrians - this gyratory is a short distance from the underpass where a cyclist was killed in a collision with a van only a year ago, also on cycle route 90, while cycling along the cycle lane.

More on the Lewes Road sustainable transport project on my blog

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