Thursday, 1 March 2012

If we kept the Old Shoreham Road closed to cars? Unexpected side effect of cycle lane construction - quiet residential streets

There has been some complaining in the letters page of the Argus: the closure of the Old Shoreham Road to build cycle lanes has apparently increased journey times for some of those who like to commute the mile or two from Hove to Brighton by car. But it hasnt brought the city to a halt, and I think it shows us we don't really need these "arteries" for cars as much as we think we do.

I happen to live in the area affected near the railway bridge. Normally our street is a hectic 'rat run' for cars associated with the Old Shoreham Road traffic. Now, it's blissfully quiet.

My friends who drive cars tell me its a pain having to use alternative routes, such as the A27 bypass, to get from Hove to Brighton. But it's not really that much of a pain, a few minutes extra.

If we closed the Old Shoreham Road to car traffic, then the buses would run superfast into Brighton. And my friends might think of taking a bus to get to the other side of town. Or even, heaven forbid, a bike.

This is the kind of city planning used by the Dutch. Design the residential areas in 'cells' using one way systems to control traffic. To get between 'cells' by walking or cycling or bus, use the most direct route. But if you want to go by car, you have to use a longer, fast flowing bypass: you can't "rat run" through the residential streets (injuring people along the way). 37% of journeys in Holland are by cycle, only 2% in the UK. We need to change the way we design our cities.

I thought it needed an integrated city plan to work properly. We need the rapid buses AND we need to rearrange traffic priorities AND we cycling and walking routes... or maybe the way is to do it quietly, one street at a time...


  1. Brighton Road User20 March 2012 at 23:41

    It must be recognised that all the traffic which usually uses the A270 Old Shoreham Road, hasn't just disappeared into thin air at the whim of the green Party, it has been displaced. While it may not be currently using your road, it's certainly having a major impact on other roads in the area, not just Davigdor Road and Dyke Road, but other quiet residential side streets like Wilbury Avenue, Hove Park Road, and other routes avoiding the jams caused.

    Prior to the capacity reduction on the Old Shoreham Road, there has been nothing stopping the bus company running superfast services along there other than the lack a demand and there obviously not being a sufficiently viable business case for them to do so. Once the road re opens, there will then be the additional impediment of the increased congestion compared to before.

  2. The idea of limiting the vehicular acces to old shoreham road is the best proposal, the council realt haven't thought the situation through. I know for a fact that they have not followed the proper protocol in the planning of the scheme. The best thing to do with the road is to now limit vehicular access to busses and emergency vehicles.
    As far as people's playing football, this is lovely to see but I have consistently had kids kicking footballs against my wooden fence and footballs in my garden which they think they have the right to jump over the fence to retrieve even though I am in the garden!.
    The narrow road will cause problems for the emergency services as they use this road very frequently to access the city from all directions.