CONTROVERSIAL cycle lanes could be extended under new plans which will be put to the public for consultation.

Brighton and Hove City Council recently received £2.376 million from the government’s active travel fund to progress cycle lane schemes, on top of the previous government award of £663,000 in June.

Under the plans, the temporary protected cycle lanes on the A270 Old Shoreham Road would be extended with lanes from the Hangleton Road junction to near the western city border at Applesham Way and Wolseley Road. 

READ MORE: New bike lanes proposed as Brighton council awarded millions

The Argus:

The temporary protected cycle lanes in the A259 Kingsway and Wellington Road would also be extended from Fourth Avenue to the west of the city.

Existing cycle lanes on the A23 London Road would be permanently upgraded to protected cycle lanes, with upgrades at key junctions, while there would also be permanent improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users in Western Road in Hove.

Councillors will meet next Friday to approve plans for how the public and stakeholders will be consulted on the proposals. Methods which have been suggested include questionnaires and focus groups with key community stakeholders, such as disabled people and older people.

Public opinion surveys will also take place before and after any implementation, the council said.

READ MORE: Disabled groups say they were not consulted on cycle lanes

There will be a six-week consultation period starting on February 1 at the latest, before proposals are subject to approval at a future committee.

The Argus:

It comes after the council failed to consult disabled groups on the Old Shoreham Road and A259 seafront road cycle lane schemes earlier this summer, after a bid had already been submitted to government.

At the time, disability campaign group Possibility People described the council’s failure to consult properly as “unacceptable”.

The Tranche One bid was submitted under the previous Labour administration. 

The cycle lanes have proved controversial among residents, with neighbours in Old Shoreham Road warning they had "had enough" of increased congestion in the road, which they said was due to the temporary cycle lane.

READ MORE: Anger over decision to keep Old Shoreham Road cycle lane

Speaking to The Argus in October, one resident described the pollution as “absolutely dreadful”, and neighbours reported having to keep their windows closed to avoid inhaling fumes from long traffic queues.

The council said that changes to the cycle lane schemes would support the city "in both the short and long term", in tackling challenges posed by Covid-19 as well as the climate crisis - including the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Amy Heley, Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: “The way we are moving around our city is changing and we need more options for travel.  

"We are using this time to ensure a consultation plan is in place so residents and other interested parties can comment.

The Argus: Cllr Amy HeleyCllr Amy Heley

“Covid-19 continues to present us with huge challenges and how we travel around the city has a part to play in our health.

“Providing more options for safe travel around our city can reduce toxic emissions and improve air quality, as well as improve our own physical and mental health and wellbeing.

“It’s important residents, schools, businesses, community and stakeholder groups get to have their say on these measures and I am looking forward to a meaningful consultation early next year.

The Argus:

“The Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has said consultation ‘should not be confused with listening only to the loudest voices’ and I’m very keen to hear what our city as a whole has to say on these ambitious plans for active travel.”

SEE ALSO: Call to reverse decision to scrap Shoreham cycle lane

Changes to Madeira Drive, agreed by councillors in September, will be consulted on separately as they are being delivered under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order.

Currently the road is operating one-way eastbound, with further work to be completed on a new cycle lane, more blue badge bays and changes to the orientation of Pay and Display parking.