Rapid transport rap in Brighton and Hove

A £12 million Government grant for a key transport project is under threat.

Brighton and Hove City Council has been chastised by the Government and the South East England Regional Assembly (Seera) for not pushing forward with its Rapid Transport Scheme.

The bus-based system was earmarked to start in 2008 after the council convinced Seera and the Department for Transport (DfT) to make it a priority.

But the start date has now been pushed back to April 2011 at the earliest and it is looking increasingly likely the council will be required to reapply for the money for a revised scheme.

In a letter to Seera, the DfT wrote: "Delays in the provision of satisfactory information by Brighton and Hove have prevented progression of this project.

"Given the history of this scheme and its lack of progress the region may wish to review its continued support for the scheme in the second regional funding allocation round."

Seera's transport board responded: "The lack of progress with the scheme is extremely disappointing all the more so given that the board has supported a proposition to accelerate the delivery of the scheme in the past."

At its last meeting the board asked the secretariat to report back on the current situation with regards to the scheme.

It is clear that several factors have changed since the scheme was prioritised, not least of which more recently the impact of the downturn in the economy means that the business case for the scheme needs to be reviewed.

The Tube-like buses would run on dedicated lanes and have a limited number of stops and station-like platforms.

The route would connect Brighton Marina, Brighton Station and the King Alfred.

But the business plan was based on hundreds of homes being built at the King Alfred and at Brighton Marina and millions of pounds being invested by the developers.

A council spokesman said: "We remain committed to the delivery of a Rapid Transport Scheme and to a park-and-ride solution for the city.

"The national economic downturn has had a significant impact on local development and this, in turn, has had an effect on the progress of the RTS."

Comments (10)

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4:40pm Thu 15 Jan 09

The Garden Slug says...

make roger french pay for it, then charge ze big lemon when they use it
make roger french pay for it, then charge ze big lemon when they use it The Garden Slug

5:19pm Thu 15 Jan 09

davyboy says...

yet again, we have a plan which is reliant on hundreds of homes being built. WHY???? other towns do not rely on new housing for transport links, so why does brighton? there are already enough people in brighton to make use of this new rts, especially those living at the marina already. and what is the point in linking up with the king alfred, when it is a useless eyesore. surely a rts should link p&r sites, via the station, to the marina.
yet again, we have a plan which is reliant on hundreds of homes being built. WHY???? other towns do not rely on new housing for transport links, so why does brighton? there are already enough people in brighton to make use of this new rts, especially those living at the marina already. and what is the point in linking up with the king alfred, when it is a useless eyesore. surely a rts should link p&r sites, via the station, to the marina. davyboy

6:44pm Thu 15 Jan 09

Mr. Kipling says...

My guess is the contract to run it will have to be put out to tender, so JR will have to wait in line with Sir Moir Lockhead and Brian Souter (First and Stagecoach, respectively) for the contract. If First get it they`ll have to open a depot, and that`ll mean they`ll start registering local routes too, and B&H`s monopoly will, for better or worse, be broken
My guess is the contract to run it will have to be put out to tender, so JR will have to wait in line with Sir Moir Lockhead and Brian Souter (First and Stagecoach, respectively) for the contract. If First get it they`ll have to open a depot, and that`ll mean they`ll start registering local routes too, and B&H`s monopoly will, for better or worse, be broken Mr. Kipling

9:41pm Thu 15 Jan 09

Voice of the silent Majority says...

Would it be to hard just to build a Park and ride system with deports at Shoreham Harbour, Watehall Falmer and Peacehaven with rapid buses Trams or a monorail into the centre
Would it be to hard just to build a Park and ride system with deports at Shoreham Harbour, Watehall Falmer and Peacehaven with rapid buses Trams or a monorail into the centre Voice of the silent Majority

5:19am Fri 16 Jan 09

colavey says...

I am not at all surprised; Brighton council has for many years frittered away half of any government grants on expenses and consultation fees, they are doing the same with the government grant for remodernisation of its housing stock. Like many others I agree that we need a good rapid movement system not like the one being run by Mr French where in this area it has become the norm for two busses to follow each other.
I am not at all surprised; Brighton council has for many years frittered away half of any government grants on expenses and consultation fees, they are doing the same with the government grant for remodernisation of its housing stock. Like many others I agree that we need a good rapid movement system not like the one being run by Mr French where in this area it has become the norm for two busses to follow each other. colavey

1:16pm Fri 16 Jan 09

bug eye says...

unfortunately the previous administration couldnt organise anything properly despite some good schemes such as a new leisure centre, conference centre etc etc. all it managed were more boxy badly designed and built flats, useless cycle lanes and a now dangerous bus lane and road layouts. i hope the relatively new administration will stop wasting our money and get on with real improvements to the tourist and business industry and not so many new flats, and keep our roads moving and not congesting them up with ridiculous schemes. park and ride and rts are important but to be honest if it wasnt for the narrowing of roads and impeding road traffic by the council then getting around this city is relatively easy. the argument environmentally is different and that needs a multi faceted approach of cheap clean reliable regular and safe public transport which is not provided by roger french.
unfortunately the previous administration couldnt organise anything properly despite some good schemes such as a new leisure centre, conference centre etc etc. all it managed were more boxy badly designed and built flats, useless cycle lanes and a now dangerous bus lane and road layouts. i hope the relatively new administration will stop wasting our money and get on with real improvements to the tourist and business industry and not so many new flats, and keep our roads moving and not congesting them up with ridiculous schemes. park and ride and rts are important but to be honest if it wasnt for the narrowing of roads and impeding road traffic by the council then getting around this city is relatively easy. the argument environmentally is different and that needs a multi faceted approach of cheap clean reliable regular and safe public transport which is not provided by roger french. bug eye

2:11pm Fri 16 Jan 09

davyboy says...

Voice of the silent Majority wrote:
Would it be to hard just to build a Park and ride system with deports at Shoreham Harbour, Watehall Falmer and Peacehaven with rapid buses Trams or a monorail into the centre
not really, but only normal folk can see this, not the politicians. makes absolute sense to me.
[quote][p][bold]Voice of the silent Majority[/bold] wrote: Would it be to hard just to build a Park and ride system with deports at Shoreham Harbour, Watehall Falmer and Peacehaven with rapid buses Trams or a monorail into the centre [/p][/quote]not really, but only normal folk can see this, not the politicians. makes absolute sense to me. davyboy

3:49pm Fri 16 Jan 09

Arriseme says...

This is real local government la-la-land. A huge grant is dependent on a transit link between areas that can't presently sustain one and do not need one, but could (might?)if two giant apartment building schemes go ahead. Those building schemes have now both hit the rocks, and yet Seera (unelected quango, chief executive on mega-salary, nothing worthwhile to do, etc., etc.) is moaning that there's not enough progress. Meanwhile, outside this bubble in the real world, Brighton & Hove's existing road network remains clogged, pot-holed and stuck in the third world.
This is real local government la-la-land. A huge grant is dependent on a transit link between areas that can't presently sustain one and do not need one, but could (might?)if two giant apartment building schemes go ahead. Those building schemes have now both hit the rocks, and yet Seera (unelected quango, chief executive on mega-salary, nothing worthwhile to do, etc., etc.) is moaning that there's not enough progress. Meanwhile, outside this bubble in the real world, Brighton & Hove's existing road network remains clogged, pot-holed and stuck in the third world. Arriseme

12:13am Sat 17 Jan 09

GaryS9 says...

Rapid Transport System and Bus in the same sentence - surely thats a joke? A Rapid transport system makes me think of trams, underground trains or monorails... the last thing we need is more busses causing traffic problems on every street in town. We must have the only bus-jams in the country - its a joke! A London bus service in Brighton is not required - half of them slouch through the streets half empty! Wider roads, better parking and closer park and rides... thats what is needed!
Rapid Transport System and Bus in the same sentence - surely thats a joke? A Rapid transport system makes me think of trams, underground trains or monorails... the last thing we need is more busses causing traffic problems on every street in town. We must have the only bus-jams in the country - its a joke! A London bus service in Brighton is not required - half of them slouch through the streets half empty! Wider roads, better parking and closer park and rides... thats what is needed! GaryS9

3:54pm Sat 17 Jan 09

Mr. Kipling says...

A proper rapid transit system would be an Underground line. Forget the monorail idea, what if it nreaks down? You`d need airline style chutes to get everyone off, with a tram you just pull the emergency door open thing and everyone steps off. An underground line could run a deep level circle round from the Marina, Roedean, Falmer Stadium, University, Moulsecoomb, the Steine, Churchill Square, Brighton Station, Hove Park, Palmeira Square, and then back along the coast, with another line, possibly deeper down, could go from the Marina and along the coast with stations at the Palace Pier, King Alfred, Hove Lagoon, Shoreham Harbour, Shoreham Beach, then under the river again, SHoreham BR station and then surfacing before taking the old Steyning line up to Steyning.
A proper rapid transit system would be an Underground line. Forget the monorail idea, what if it nreaks down? You`d need airline style chutes to get everyone off, with a tram you just pull the emergency door open thing and everyone steps off. An underground line could run a deep level circle round from the Marina, Roedean, Falmer Stadium, University, Moulsecoomb, the Steine, Churchill Square, Brighton Station, Hove Park, Palmeira Square, and then back along the coast, with another line, possibly deeper down, could go from the Marina and along the coast with stations at the Palace Pier, King Alfred, Hove Lagoon, Shoreham Harbour, Shoreham Beach, then under the river again, SHoreham BR station and then surfacing before taking the old Steyning line up to Steyning. Mr. Kipling
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