A GROUP of about 50 protesters gathered to voice their anger at several changes to Brighton and Hove's roads in recent months.

They gathered at the Peace Statue at noon to call for an end to "the council's war on BN residents, motorists and businesses".

Group members delivered impassioned speeches from a platform at the statue with many members carrying banners emblazoned with slogans such as "stop the gridlock" and "council clown".

During the coronavirus lockdown, several temporary measures have been introduced in Brighton and Hove to encourage active travel and give residents more space to exercise.

The Argus:

These include the closure of Madeira Drive to cars, as well as new bike lanes along the A259 seafront road and A270 Old Shoreham Road.

But protesters claimed these changes were responsible for congestion in the city, and a resulting increase in delays to public transport.

READ MORE>>>Anti-cycle lane protesters gathered outside Hove Town Hall last month

They argued that this had the knock-on effect of causing pollution to rise in Brighton and Hove, with cars sitting in traffic.

One person's sign addressed this directly.

The Argus:

It read: "Restore the A259 and A270, and reopen Madeira Drive."

The road changes have split opinion since their introduction in recent months, with some groups campaigning for the extension of the bike lanes and a permanent closure of Madeira Drive.

READ MORE>>>Meet the cyclists who love to ride around Brighton and Hove

But there have also been counter-campaigns calling for the removal or reworking of the schemes.

The Argus:

Late last month there were several reports of widespread congestion in Brighton and Hove following the introduction of the seafront cycle lane between Brighton Palace Pier to Fourth Avenue in Hove.

As a result, part of the lane between the pier and West Street was removed.

READ MORE>>>Cycling group Bricycles says more bike lanes are needed in Brighton and Hove

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.

"Sadly, attempted changes to adjust traffic light timings have not provided the answers needed as there is still insufficient capacity for the volume of traffic heading towards West Street.

The Argus:

"We recognise the serious concerns raised by public transport users and providers that congestion in a small section of the additional temporary A259 cycle lane has caused unavoidable delay to public transport in the city.

"We have therefore reluctantly agreed to suspend this short stretch of the lane.

READ MORE>>>Part of seafront cycle lane is removed

"In the midst of a pandemic which attacks our lungs, as our city recovers we are committed to ensuring that we have many good sustainable transport options including public transport, walking and cycling – and ensuring that these form part of a network of attractive alternatives to private car use.

The Argus:

"We urge those using cars to consider alternative travel options, the necessity of their journey and the impact this has on others by creating congestion.”

Pictures by Andrew Gardner/@andrewgardnr