THE next phase of road works on one of the city’s busiest carriageways is expected to start today.
The northbound carriageway of Brighton’s Upper Lewes Road will be temporarily closed at the Lewes Road junction as part of Brighton and Hove City Council’s plans to improve safety of the Vogue Gyratory.
The works initially began on July 14, where a single lane on the northbound carriageway was closed to facilitate footway works in the centre of the gyratory.
Phase two of the project is expected to start today, which will see the introduction of temporary pedestrian crossings and, at times, the reduction of the northbound carriageway to a single lane.
The initial proposals for the Vogue Gyratory were developed as part of the authority’s Lewes Road Improvement Scheme.
The project will see priority green signals created for cyclists at traffic lights, providing a three-second head start to reduce traffic conflict.
The creation of a continuous two-meter wide northbound cycle lane through the gyratory system is designed to increase drivers’ awareness of cyclists.
Cyclist Matthew Easterbrook, a lecturer of psychology at the University of Sussex, welcomed the improvements.
He said: “Cycling out of town along the Gyratory is just a disaster waiting to happen at the moment - cars, buses and lorries force you to squeeze up dangerously close to the curb as you set off from the traffic lights before you have to cycle across three lanes of traffic.
“It's not much better for the motorists either.
“They have to change lanes within about 50 meters or risk going completely the wrong way.
“It's understandable that drivers get annoyed with cyclists blocking their way, and understandable why a lot of potential cyclists forego their ride to work because of the dangers around the Gyratory. “I am looking forward to a safer and less dangerous journey to work, and expect that it'll really help improve cycle numbers in Brighton.”
The scheme also aims to make improvements for traffic flow by replacing traffic signal equipment using up-to-date technology and replacing the road surface and clarity of road markings.
When asked about the work’s effect on local businesses, a Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said: “The location of the Upper Lewes Road closure is not in front of businesses or residences which means that access to both can be maintained.
“The council has been working with the local businesses to ensure that their deliveries can take place during the works.”