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Road changes slammed by cycling campaigner
7:30am Monday 14th July 2014 in News
A cycling campaigner has slammed changes to a city centre road.
Plans to develop North Street were approved by Brighton and Hove’s City Council’s Environment and Transport Committee earlier this month despite pleas by cycling campaigners for a rethink.
The improvements put forward and paid for by the Royal Bank of Scotland include widening pavements, upgrading and adding new crossings, adding trees and benches and installing new bus shelters.
The bank states the changes are necessary to improve the area, which suffers from high shop vacancy rates and overcrowded pavements.
But cycling campaigners say the changes have nothing for them.
Becky Reynolds (pictured), of Brighton and Hove cycle campaign group Bricycles, said: “The North Street scheme is good news for pedestrians and bus users, but there is almost nothing on offer for cycling.
“I gave feedback at one of the workshops about the plans for North Street and I’ve contacted the chairman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee to make some points.
“It is acknowledged that this scheme’s main benefits are for pedestrians and bus-users, and in the words of the consultants, the biggest challenge is cycling.”
Dani Ahrens, who works for Brighton Resource Centre in Tilbury Place, wrote to the council asking for them to consider the impact on cyclists.
Ms Ahrens wrote: “The proposals will go some way towards making cycling on North Street safer, but it will remain very daunting, and entirely off putting for anyone not already used to cycling in traffic.”
Ms Reynolds said Bricycles “substantially agree with what’s expressed in the letter.”
Mark Strong, who tweets as ‘ibikebrighton’ and is the representative for Brighton and Hove Community Works for transport, said: “We expressed concern that cyclists were not taken into account, designers acknowledged this at the meeting but nothing concrete has appeared.”
A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said: “The proposals to make environmental improvements in North Street will make it safer for all road users, improve air quality and rejuvenate this important shopping area.
“We will be working with the designers and the developer to make sure that the improvements, funded by RBS, deliver maximum benefits for residents, businesses and visitors.”