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Funding row over £200,000 travel website
7:30pm Friday 16th March 2012 in News
A travel website which attracts an average of 220 people a day will receive nearly £200,000 of funding over the next three years.
The £190,000 investment in the JourneyOn website – which equates to about 75p per visitor – is part of £20 million proposed investment in the Brighton and Hove’s roads and transport infrastructure until 2014/15.
Other projects include repair potholes, £1.5 million to set up 20mph zones and £160,000 on improving the Dyke Road cycle lane which bosses claim will get the city moving.
Opposition councillors welcomed the spending but had reservations about the allocated money to the website.
But transport cabinet member Ian Davey said: “The website raises awareness of the many different ways of travelling around the city and supports the wider strategy of helping everyone to get where they want to go efficiently and safely.
“We want to give people more choice in how they travel and make it easy.”
The website, which was set up to include all travel information in one place, includes links to live bus and rail information; journey planners and maps; taxi details; walking and cycling routes and the latest roadworks.
In the last year it had 81,449 individual visitors. Funding will go towards improvements to the website and promotional campaigns, as well as staff costs.
Conservative councillor Geoffrey Theobald said: “JourneyOn is an excellent idea and we spent a lot of time and effort in developing it.
"However, I would query why it requires such a large amount of funding, given that it already seems to work pretty well.”
Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “I support the continuation of the website but will asking to see evidence about the claims that more sustainable travel patterns will be increased across the city.”
About £6.5 million of work for 2012/13, double last year’s funding, was signed off by Brighton and Hove City Council’s cabinet last night.
Another £13.8 million is expected to be granted for 2013/14 and 2014/15.
About £3.5 million will be spent on road maintenance in the next year which includes surface repairs on major roads including the A23 London Road, A259 coastal road, A270 Old Shoreham Road and A2038 Hangleton Road.
A further £1 million is being spent on structures such as bridges, retaining walls, the seafront arches and the Brighton Marina tunnel.
About £900,000 will be used to upgrade street lighting while more energy-efficient bulbs will cut bills and reduce the city’s carbon footprint.
Elsewhere other priorities are making streets safer, which includes work on the Seven Dials junction, at an estimated cost of £625,000 over three years.