AN experimental race between different modes of transport has shown two wheels are better than four when it comes to the rush hour commute. The Commuter City Challenge saw a motorcyclist, cyclist, car driver and public transport user race from Claremont Road, Seaford, to Queen’s Road, Brighton.
The 14 mile route, leaving at 7.36am was chosen to represent a genuine commuter journey during peak rush hour.
The motorcyclist arrived first after 29 minutes, the cyclist arrived after 34 minutes, the car driver was next taking 59 minutes and the public transport user, who had travelled on foot and by train, took 62 minutes.
The cycle commute was tackled by Tracy Harris, a triathlete and “contender” in the original 1992 ITV series Gladiators. Mr Harris, 51, of Marine Drive, Rottingdean, who works for the local authority, said: “It was great fun. I knew I wouldn’t beat the motorcyclist but I was really pleased to finish within five minutes of him.
“It’s far, far better to go on two wheels than on four if you want to save time, whether it’s a motorbike, scooter or a push bike.
“When my boss and my co-workers finish work at the same time we often have an unofficial race back to Rottingdean, me cycling and them in their cars. If it’s rush hour they don’t stand a chance.”
Brighton and Hove was identified in the 2014 TomTom Traffic Index report as the fifth most congested city in the UK. In 2013 journeys in the city took on average 31 per cent longer than they would in free-flowing traffic conditions. Times increased to 58 per cent in peak periods. Shirley Pattison, project manager for international event Ride To Work Day, said: “The challenge was very successful and it proved that in Sussex it’s bikes which get there faster.
“When you drive or take the train you are at the mercy of other factors. The advantage of a bike or motorbike is you can leave home at the same time every day and know exactly when you’ll get to work.”