THE city council has asked the government for money to build a cycle lane which received a “red” rating in its own commissioned impact assessment. 

Brighton and Hove City Council’s latest bid for government cash includes a proposal to build a seafront cycle lane from Boundary Road, Hove, to the city’s western boundary near Sussex Beds in Portslade. 

But the June assessment, which analysed the impact both for the schemes currently implemented and those proposed, gave the route an overall rating of red – the highest warning on the scale.

Every scheme was rated over 13 categories and given either a “green”, “amber” or “red” rating. (Use our tool to find the cycle lane near you below)

The Argus:

The Mott MacDonald’s Interim Covid-19 Response Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) report was presented to councillors in June.

It said the route from Boundary Road to the city’s western boundary would substantially reduce the capacity for vehicular traffic and “risks significantly increasing congestion”.

It was given a “red” rating for its “impact on traffic flow”.

The council was also told through the report that it would not be possible to provide a lane within the highway boundary without significant infrastructure works.

Because of this, it was given a red rating for “available width”. 

The Argus:

The Tranche 2 bid has asked Government for money to build the route 

It was also given the red rating for “value for money”, meaning it would require significant, costly infrastructure with lower expected demand and little likelihood that it could be made permanent.

The council was told it would require a permanent or experimental Traffic Regulation Order – meaning it was given another “red” rating for “legislative requirements”.

After being presented with the report, the Labour administration agreed to go ahead with the route.

The new Green administration has now asked the government for money to build it in its £2.6 million  “tranche two” bid. 

Old Shoreham Road also received a “red” rating for the scheme between The Drive and Hangleton Road under the “interaction with junctions” category.

However, the scheme received an amber warning overall. 

The consultants reported the route would have at least one junction defined as “critical” and this would require significant intervention to overcome. 

When asked by The Argus, the council did not say which junction this was or whether significant intervention had taken place.

See details of what (🟢G) (🟠A) and (🔴R) means for each impact in the key at the bottom of this article 

Going ahead is 'madness'
The Argus:

Conservative councillor Lee Wares has raised concerns with the assessment, claiming it failed to spot problems with the schemes which have now been implemented.

He said: “The council can no longer rely on the consultants’ assessments to implement more schemes. 

“When routes assessed as amber, meaning having challenging issues to overcome, are still implemented and then seen to fail, to progress with routes assessed as red, such as continuing the A259 cycle lane to the western boundary in Portslade, is madness. 

“Before the administration does any more damage to the city it should stop what it is doing, fully assess the impacts of what it has done and fix the problems. Then it should undertake proper impact assessments, consult and then implement what is needed.”

Councillor Chris Henry – who is one of five Labour representatives who have broken ranks to criticise the schemes brought in under their party – has also expressed concern.

He said: “So it’s incredibly disappointing to see that evidence was ignored in the rush for accolades and the ideological pursuit of the eradication of the car. 

“We all want cycle lanes and we all want people to be able to move quickly and easily around the city but this cannot be at the expense of ignoring evidence and experts and without considering people’s need to get to work and school and of the needs of the tourist industry.

“It has also been given a red rating by residents and road users.”

On Wednesday night, council workers removed part of the controversial seafront lane from the Aquarium roundabout to West Street, Brighton.  At about 10pm staff began taking the bollards from the route which had officially opened days earlier.

It came after Brighton and Hove Bus Company voiced concerns about bus journey times and congestion. The council’s lead member for transport Pete West said: “Congestion on this stretch has had a knock-on for major bus routes and delays to bus journey times – that is unacceptable.”

'Cycle lanes have been subject to further design'
The Argus:

BRIGHTON and Hove City Council said cycle lane plans have been subject to further assessment and design.

The report, which the council said was not a risk assessment, detailed the feasibility of the lane from Boundary Road, Hove, to the city’s western boundary. 

It said: “The section west of Boundary Road is more constrained in width meaning the introduction of an on-carriageway facility as a temporary measure would not be possible for this section. 

“This could be mitigated by providing improved north-south connections to Old Shoreham Road allowing cyclists to join the seafront route further east.”

When the council asked the government for cash for the route, it said it will be creating the route by the “reallocation of road space, and removal and reconfiguration of parking to create a temporary on-road westbound segregated cycle lane to meet the high demand for cycling on this busy active travel corridor”. 

It said: “While this scheme is temporary, the council has agreed to progress plans for a high quality, bi-directional segregated cycle lane along the whole length of this scheme (tranches 1 and 2), from the Palace Pier to the western city boundary.”

A council spokesman said: “The Interim Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is not a risk assessment. It is a high-level review of all temporary measures considered by the council.

“Those routes that have been taken forward were subject to further detailed design and assessment prior to implementation, including an independent road safety audit.

“The interim LCWIP concluded that the schemes identified by the council within the Urgent Response Transport Action Plan were consistent with the emerging LCWIP strategic network. 

“It also concluded there was value in progressing them both as temporary measures but also as routes with the potential to form part of a future network. 

“This includes measures to introduce temporary cycle facilities on the A23, A259 and Old Shoreham Road.”

Find the impact assessment for lane near you

THE Argus has put together a searchable tool to find the assessment for the cycle lane near you. 

See the (🟢G) (🟠A) and (🔴R) key below

Value for money:

🔴R= Temporary measure would require significant, costly infrastructure with lower expected demand and little likelihood that it could be made permanent

🟠A= Measure would require a higher level of expenditure but this would have the potential to provide a longer term benefit for active travel and have higher expected demand

🟢G= Measure would be low cost

Interaction with junctions:

🔴R= At least one junction defined as critical using the LCWIP Route Selection Tool (RST) and this would require significant intervention to overcome

🟠A= At least one junction defined as critical using the LCWIP RST but mitigating measures may be possible

🟢G= No junctions defined as critical using the LCWIP RST

Impacts on public transport users (buses and taxis)

🔴R= Route passes a number of bus stops served by frequent services and would either impact on the ability of buses to serve these or introduce significant conflict with cyclists and / or bus route (including bus and taxi lane) would be diverted / removed as a result of scheme with likely journey time implications

🟠A= Route passes a number of stops or has interaction with buses, but services are infrequent or interaction with cyclists limited (i.e. low risk of conflict)

🟢G= No conflict with buses

Impacts on traffic flow

🔴R= Route would substantially reduce capacity for vehicular traffic and risks significantly increasing congestion

🟠A= Route would substantially reduce capacity for vehicular traffic but this is expected to have a limited impact

🟢G= No increase in congestion is expected as a result of the scheme

Equality implications

🔴R= Scheme is likely to have a substantial adverse impact on group(s) with protected characteristics and this cannot be mitigated

🟠A= Scheme has the potential to have an adverse impact on group(s) with protected characteristics; however, it is expected that this could be satisfactorily mitigated

🟢G= The scheme is not expected to have an adverse impact on groups with protected characteristics

Legislative requirements

🔴R= Require a permanent or experimental TRO

🟠A= Could be introduced under a temporary TRO or parking could be re-provided or addressed through suspensions

🟢G= No legal process required

Impacts on loading / freight deliveries

🔴R= Route likely to have an unavoidable impact on loading opportunities and no alternatives exist

🟠A= Route would be likely to have an impact on loading but this could be relocated or mitigated

🟢G= Route would not have an impact on loading

Impacts on parking

🔴R= Route would have an unavoidable impact on parking and there is no realistic alternative for those who would lose parking (for example residents in an area of high parking stress)

🟠A= Route would have an unavoidable impact on parking; however, this is not essential (e.g. shops) or could be displaced elsewhere with limited impact

🟢G= Route would have limited impact on parking

Impacts on pedestrians / public realm

🔴R= Route would significantly reduce space for pedestrians to the extent that this would be detrimental to efforts to maintain social distancing

🟠A= Route would have some impact on pedestrian provision but there is sufficient capacity to accommodate this

🟢G= Route would either not impact on pedestrians or enhance provision (for example by replacing a shared facility with on-carriageway segregated cycle route)

Available width

🔴R= Not possible to provide a facility within the highway boundary or without significant infrastructure works

🟠A= Route could be provided but to a limited quality (less than 2m available for single direction within the highway boundary)

🟢G= 2m or greater available in each direction providing opportunity for a fully segregated route without the need for significant works

Connection to wider network

🔴R= Route is isolated and would not connect to the wider network

🟠A= Route has some connections to a wider network but these are currently of low quality

🟢G= Route has connections to a wider network and these connections are generally of higher quality (or these are to be provided / upgraded through a planned complementary scheme)

Expected demand

🔴R= No evidenced need for intervention. May have low potential use or a significant barrier to uptake.

🟠A= Some limited evidence for intervention such as route is on desire line to major trip attractors. May have some constraint to potential use such as steep gradient.

🟢G = Demand or potential demand is evidenced by existing data and/or an area-wide strategic assessment

Strategic linkage

🔴R= No linkage to existing strategy

🟠A= Some alignment with existing or emerging policies or plans but not direct

🟢G = Complete alignment, route included in LCWIP or similar document