Thursday, 24 May 2012

Plan to ban cars from Brighton's town centre is being considered by the city council who say the "old town" was "not designed for cars"

View of Bond Street in North Laine's warren - "not designed" for cars (pic Google)
Brighton and Hove city council is considering banning or reducing numbers of non-essential motor cars from the "Old Town" centre, which remains the heart of the city. Sustainable transport options are being improved throughout the city, although this latest move has been announced as a tourism and business promotion.

A press release issued Tuesday 22 May 2012 announced: "Proposals to make the Old Town area of Brighton a more attractive destination and better environment for business are now on display."

Option A would restrict vehicles from accessing any of the Old Town unless they have a specific reason for being there, for example they are delivering to a business, are a resident, parking for shopping, taxi or an emergency service.

Option B would allow vehicles to continue to come into the area with overall vehicle flow reduced by using restrictions designed to deter through traffic. In addition the section of Prince Albert Street between Black Lion Street and Ship Street would become traffic-free, and East Street would become an 'access only' area.

If agreed, the improvement scheme could start January 2013.

Councillor Ian Davey, chair of the city's transport committee, said: "The Old Town is one of the oldest and most popular areas in the city and part of its appeal is the quirky, narrow streets which people love to wander around. We want to explore ways of improving the area for everyone to enjoy, while allowing essential users to still have access. We are responding to requests to make improvements here and we'll be working with the community to find the best solution. The consultation results will be reported to a future Transport Committee meeting."
A council spokesperson said: "The Old Town's narrow streets were not designed for the high volume of 'through' traffic now travelling through them. Originally the heart of the old fishing town of Brighthelmstone, the Old Town has developed since the 13th century and retains its original street pattern.

"This is the next phase of making the Old Town, which includes the historic Lanes, more accessible for those who enjoy the area and wander through it to the seafront. The scheme has already put in improvements from Middle Street to Black Lion Street and extended it along to East Street. Work was completed ahead of the busy tourist season. An important aim of making infrastructure improvements to the area is to maximise the potential of one the city's historic centres for local businesses by making it more attractive and comfortable for visitors.

"Residents, businesses and visitors can view the two new proposals to further improve the Old Town for the hundreds of thousands of people that live, work and visit in the area every year"

There will be an unstaffed exhibition in the foyer of Bartholomew House from 23 May to 29 June and staffed exhibitions at the Friend's Meeting House in Ship Street on Thursday 14 June, 12 noon–8pm and Saturday 16 June, 9am–5pm and at Bartholomew House, Bartholomew Square, Thursday, 28 June, 8.45am–4.45pm.

Related information and links
View the details online and complete the questionnaire
Information and questionnaires will be sent to residents and businesses in the Old Town.
The Old Town is the area bounded by East Street, North Street, West Street and the sea which forms the historic core of Brighton.
The Old Town is most well-known for The Lanes, and intricate maze of twisting alleyways.
Latest proposals on view to improve Brighton's Old Town

Friday, 11 May 2012

Cyclists to be allowed to cycle both ways on one way streets in Brighton's North Laine

Twelve one way streets in the North Laine area of Brighton are to be opened up for cycling in both directions following a decision taken by Brighton & Hove City Council's Environment, Transport and Sustainability Cabinet Member Meeting on Friday, 4 May, 2012.

Councillor Ian Davey, cabinet member for transport and the public realm, said: "This is designed to make the area easier for people to move around. It will address issues raised by local residents and businesses about cyclists who use pavements and twittens, by permitting people to cycle legally on the street. We will continue to work with the local community as the changes are rolled out. The council will be taking into consideration the views of the people who live and work in the North Laine when designing the contraflow so that it is safe and works well."

Headcam vid shows excitement of cycling down Lewes Road in Brighton

Brighton's council proposals to improve cycling along the Lewes Road were backed up by a headcam video of the cycling experience. The measures are expected to increase bus journeys by 25%, increase cycling, and reduce car trips by 10%.

Cllr Ian Davey explains Brighton & Hove City Council's proposals to improve transport and safety on Lewes Road. These include wide bus and bike lanes and safety measures for the Vogue gyratory junction. Click here for full story on the proposals.

Brighton council to increase road space for buses and cycles at expense of cars on traffic artery to Lewes Road

Brighton and Hove City council has proposed to reduce the space allocated to cars on the A27 which is the main traffic artery heading inland eastwards out of Brighton toward Lewes. The road is a dual carriageway and one of the two lanes in each direction will be re-designated as a bus and cycle lane.

It is hoped that the measures will improve bus journey times by 30%, increase bus passengers by 25%, reduce the number of car journeys by 10% and get significantly more people cycling.

Improved bus journey times will make buses a more attractive option, and increase the number of people using buses. This should reduce car traffic, and further ease congestion, decreasing the amount of traffic pollution in the area (NO2 pollution exceeds EU limits). See PR issued yesterday (Click for Link)

Details of the council's Second stage consultations are given below, and a link to the council web page is given at the foot of this article. The proposals don't specifically say that cars will be allocated less space, but that is implied by allocating one lane to other (sustainable forms of Transport

Lewes Road Sustainable Transport Scheme: Second Stage Consultation

Picture of how the proposed plans may look on Lewes Road [The image above is a visual of what the proposed traffic lanes might look like]

The consultation on detailed proposals for Lewes Road transport improvements is now open until 25 May 2012. You can comment on the proposals by completing the consultation questionnaire.
The proposals include changes to one of the city’s most hazardous spots for cyclists – the Vogue Gyratory system near Lewes Road Sainsbury’s. They also include:
  • Wide bus and cycle lanes in each direction between the Amex stadium and the Vogue Gyratory.
  • A continuous on-road two metre-wide cycle lane both north and south through the Vogue Gyratory system.
  • Widening the shared pedestrian and cycle lane for 300 metres north of Coldean Lane.
  • An enhanced cycle network to the north giving access to the Amex stadium and both universities.
  • Extending the 30mph speed limit northwards to near the Amex.
It is hoped that the measures would:
  • improve bus journey times by 30%
  • increase bus passengers by 25%
  • reduce the number of car journeys by 10%
  • get significantly more people cycling   
The video below shows a bird's-eye view of cycling around the Vogue Gyratory on Lewes Road, while Cllr Ian Davey explains Brighton & Hove City Council's proposals to improve transport and safety. These include wide bus and bike lanes and safety measures for the gyratory junction.

Commenting on the proposals
To tell us what you think about the proposed changes to Lewes Road complete the online Lewes Road consultation questionnaire. A printable version of the Lewes Road consultation questionnaire [PDF 286kb] is also available, which can be returned to us in an envelope using the freepost address given on the form (no stamp required).
The closing date for comments is 25 May 2012.

This text was originally posted on Brighton and Hove City Council's website on this link:

Green councillor says sustainable transport on Lewes Road will benefit the majority, since more people use buses than use cars, and bus services will improve

Cllr Davey at Save The Drive Cycle Lane 2011
Proposals to increase space for buses on the Lewes Road will benefit a majority of the road users, according to Brighton and Hove City Council's cabinet councillor for transport Ian Davey.

A statement released on 9 May 2012 by Brighton and Hove City Council said: "The top two myths about plans to improve safety and transport on Brighton's Lewes Road are being exploded by the city council."

The authority has been monitoring early responses to a 30,000 strong survey of residents about plans to improve safety and smooth transport along the key route.

Main proposals are to change the road from being a dual carriageway into a route with one lane in each direction for (motor) vehicles. The other lane would be turned into dedicated bus and bike lanes.

There would also be wide bike lanes at the Vogue gyratory system near Sainsbury's - scene of 25 accidents between 2009 and 2011.

The statement said the two main misconceptions among some residents are as follows:
1) The scheme will only benefit students. Cllr Ian Davey said: "It's true many students will benefit from improved bus and cycling connections. But getting them onto alternative transport should reduce traffic jams for people who have no choice but to drive. It will also benefit commuters and supporters of Brighton & Hove Albion. They are among the most avid users of sustainable transport of any fans in the UK. That's why the club is officially supporting the changes."
2) The changes will damage the economy because people will be stuck in traffic, unable to get to work. Cllr Davey responds: "Research shows that most people travelling the route do not use a car. About 35,000 use the bus compared to about 27,000 in cars. We want to increase further the numbers using sustainable transport because of serious traffic jams and air pollution in the city. That will happen if these changes speed bus journey times and improve reliability."
Residents can have their say in the public consultation on the Lewes Road proposals on the council's website at This includes a link to a YouTube video featuring a cyclist's-eye view of the hazardous Vogue gyratory and an explanation of the proposed changes from Cllr Davey.
Closing date for public views is May 25.