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Cycle and bus lane deemed a success
A bus and cycle lane has been deemed a success after officials claimed car use was down by more than 10%.
Opinion has been split on Brighton and Hove City Council’s £1.9 million scheme for a two-mile stretch of dual carriageway in Lewes Road, Brighton.
Some claimed it has pushed people on to sustainable forms of transport, while others claimed it had caused congestion and delays.
But an official year-on-year survey by the local authority has shown that the number of cars and goods vehicles has dropped by nearly 2,000 vehicles a day.
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In the same time Brighton and Hove Bus Company has reported a seven per cent increase in the number of passengers, while 40% more taxis were recorded.
Ian Davey, the council’s lead member for transport, said: “It is still early days but already the scheme appears to be delivering exactly what we promised.
“More people are using buses, taxis and bikes to travel along this key route because it’s now safer and more reliable.”
The new wider bus and cycle lanes were opened in September after ten months of construction.
Research collected in October and November has been compared with the same period in 2012.
It shows the number of cars and lorries using the stretch between 7am and 7pm has decreased by 13 per cent, down from 18,377 to 16,035.
Despite bus passenger num- bers increasing, officials said both Brighton and Hove Buses and the Big Lemon are reporting improved punctuality and reliability.
The data also reported cycle trips are up 14%, from 2,085 to 2,383.
Officials added there had only been minimal increases in journey times for general traffic, with a typical trip from Falmer to Old Steine in the morning increasing from 14 minutes to 15 minutes.
The reverse journey in the evening takes about a minute-and-a-half longer.
Officials also rejected any suggestion of increased rat-running in adjacent streets and significant displacement into other routes such as Ditchling Road and London Road.
However, Katie Baines, who lives in Hove but works off Lewes Road, said there had been an “utter destruction” of Lewes Road and her morning commute had doubled in time from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
To mark the report, passengers can buy a week’s travel on the new route on Brighton and Hove Buses’ smartphone app for £9.99.
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