The new Labour Administration in Brighton & Hove is today announcing proposals for an exciting redesign of the A259 Seafront road in the city. The proposed redesign will seek to deliver both a two-way cycle lane and will keep current traffic lanes.
The proposed redesign of the route between Fourth Avenue and Hove Lagoon, and the reasons for it, will be examined at a special meeting of Brighton & Hove’s Transport Committee tomorrow (Wednesday).
The new Labour Administration has asked officers to review and redesign the scheme, previously approved by the former Green council, particularly to look at ways to improve the road space for all users including pedestrians and cyclists and to allow cycles, people and cars to safely share the seafront.
The redesign will address three key concerns. Firstly, where possible the cycle lanes in both east and west directions should be next to each other and not separated by footpaths, in line with national standards. Secondly, that the scheme keeps traffic flowing. Thirdly, that the cycle lane ‘loop’ around King Alfred is removed in favour of a continuous two-way cycle lane along the seafront road.
Cllr Trevor Muten, chair of the council’s Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “We are today announcing exciting new proposals for a redesign of the planned active travel scheme for Hove Seafront to allow for a continuous two-way cycle lane while maintaining a two-way vehicle lane.
“Cycle lanes are hugely important to our city and are a crucial part of our travel and sustainability plan. We have to get them right. Most importantly, they must be safe and accessible for cyclists and pedestrians.
“And we must remember that our seafront is an arterial route into and across our city for motorists, including those visiting the hospital, especially because we keep other city centre routes clear of all traffic except taxis and buses.
“We need a better transport system that works for everybody however they choose to travel. Cycling, walking and driving along Hove seafront must be safe for all. Providing safe cycle routes encourages more people to cycle. Good traffic flow along main roads avoids cars on smaller roads and avoids congestion. Accessible pavements, distinct from cycle routes, make walking safer.
“Two lanes for vehicles in both directions means good access for buses and car-users including our disabled residents, the elderly and those with mobility issues.
“A two-way cycle lane separate from the pavement avoids putting pedestrians amongst cyclists and avoids having cyclists along the prom in front of Medina Terrace.
“These common-sense improvements within the space available on the A259 in Hove will be better, safer, more accessible and more enjoyable for all.”
Cllr Bella Sankey, Leader of the Council said: “Our announcement today has the potential to be a win-win-win for pedestrians, cyclists and road users. We passionately believe in promoting walking and cycling in Brighton and Hove and delivering the highest quality, permanent, active travel infrastructure.
“We are also committed to retaining and maintaining key arterial roads for buses and motorists and we believe that our city deserves all of these things. We want our proposed redesign to serve all residents and make our beautiful and iconic seafront safer, fairer and more accessible to all.
“Should our plan be approved by the committee tomorrow we’ll be engaging with our residents to ensure the best possible redesign for Brighton & Hove.
“Delivering a better-quality transport infrastructure for the seafront will necessarily incur greater costs. The current scheme is part-funded by the government’s Active Travel Fund and once we have redesigned this scheme we will allocate further funding, including from the Local Transport Plan Capital Budget and other potential sources.
“We have brought forward this special meeting in a truncated timeframe in order to ensure we can pause construction on the current redesign, if necessary, in a timely manner, and before incurring costs.
“We value public involvement in transport policy and will ensure that there is meaningful consultation on the proposed redesign should the Committee approve the recommendation.”