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£4 million grant to improve Brighton's Lewes Road
One of the busiest and most polluted routes into Brighton and Hove has been awarded a £4 million grant for improvements.
On Tuesday the Lewes Road Corridor bid was announced as one of the successful projects to be given cash under a multimillion pound green transport funding pot.
The total cost of the project is expected to rise to £6million once contributions from Brighton and Hove City Council and other organisations are taken into account.
It will be used to encourage commuters to use public transport, and includes changes to make the road more bus and cycle-friendly, upgrades to traffic lights, improvements for pedestrians and better links to the new South Downs National Park.
After announcing the grant, Lib Dem Transport Minister and Lewes MP Norman Baker told The Argus that Brighton's bid had met the demands of improving the economy and cutting carbon emissions.
He said: "It will be focused on public transport, walking and cycling access.
"We have three key arterial routes into the city centre, and there have been problems with congestion over the years.
"That has led to poor air quality, noise pollution and unreliable transport.
"It's good news for the people of Brighton and Hove."
Responding to Labour claims that the transport budget had been cut, he insisted the grant was "brand new money".
Ian Davey, the council's cabinet member for transport, said: "One of our key aims is to give the city the infrastructure it needs to be open for business. A crucial part of that is sustainable transport, enabling people and goods to move around without spoiling our streets or the air we breathe.
"This is a great opportunity for the council to work with residents and business to alleviate some of the transport problems in the area, particularly poor air quality caused by congestion."
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said the grant was "fantastic news", adding: "Developing more sustainable transport options for the city is a real priority, so this project is a step in the right direction - and I'm hopeful it will have a positive impact on local well-being by reducing congestion, air pollutants and noise, as well as helping to reduce CO2 emissions from transport."
Work on the changes is set to begin this year.
Tory Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown, gave a more guarded reaction, warning that some residents had no choice but to use their cars on the road.
He added: "Encouraging people to walk is good, but not if it means motorists are removed from the equation."
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