THE city is split on whether to reallocate road space for walking and cycling, a huge survey has revealed.

Roughly 50 per cent of Brighton and Hove are in favour of the idea, however most of the comments left about current schemes are negative.

Thousands of Brighton and Hove residents filled out a survey earlier this year to give feedback on schemes across the city.

The council was awarded £2.376m from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund to support new travel options for the city.

This funding award was in addition to the £663,000 awarded last June, which was used to install temporary cycle lanes on the A259, Old Shoreham Road, and widen pavements in parts of the city.

The city council received more than 4,695 individual responses to the consultation on its schemes.

Residents divided on reallocation of road space

The survey shows that residents in the city are split on whether to reallocate road space to walking and cycling in their area.

About 50 per cent were in favour of the idea and roughly 44 per cent were against.

The remaining residents neither supported or opposed changes, or did not know.

Views depend on your mode of transportation

There were dramatic differences in views depending on the respondent's mode of transport.

For example, nearly 80 per cent of cyclists believed the road changes were a good idea. However, that figure fell to about 23 per cent if the respondent never cycled.

Of the drivers who responded to the survey, roughly 30 per cent said they supported reallocating space. However, about 69 per cent were opposed.

The largest group, people who walk once a week or more, were generally in favour of the idea. Of those that responded, 57.2 per cent agreed with road changes, 37 per cent were against.

Negative feelings for the current schemes

Most comments about the current schemes were negative, however the council previously said this consultation "should not be a referendum about keeping or scrapping new routes".

Most of the feedback on A23 Preston Circus road changes was against, with 19 negative comments and 12 positive ones.

When comparing comments about the A259 seafront road and Old Shoreham Road cycle lanes, the majority were against.

Of the comments about the A259 cycle lane, 239 wrote were negative and 31 were positive.

The negative feeling was most stark about the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane. There were 49 residents who wrote positive comments and 510 who wrote negative ones.

Councillors told to keep all routes (and build new ones)

Despite the majority of councillors now publicly against the Old Shoreham Road route, council officials are recommending that all of them should stay.

A special meeting of the environment, transport and sustainability committee will take place next Wednesday to discuss and vote on recommendations for existing and additional Active Travel Fund schemes in the city.

Council officials are telling councillors that they should:

  • Keep Phase 1 of the Old Shoreham Road temporary cycle lane in place as an experimental scheme, with a number of improvements
  • Not to proceed with Phase 2 of the Old Shoreham Road temporary cycle lane at this stage
  • To proceed with proposed pedestrian changes to Old Shoreham Road at Newtown Road and near Hove Park
  • Proceed with proposed temporary changes to increase vehicle queuing space at the Olive Road / Stapley Road junction
  • Not to proceed at this stage with the proposals for Nevill Road, Windlesham Close, Weald Avenue and Stapley Road
  • To keep the Phase 1 Seafront A259 temporary westbound cycle lane in place (from West Street to Fourth Avenue) as an experimental scheme, with scheme improvements including disabled parking
  • To proceed with the proposals for Phase 2 of the Seafront (A259) temporary westbound cycle lane scheme including pedestrian, loading and disabled parking improvements
  • To proceed with introducing an experimental traffic scheme on King’s Esplanade (and adjoining roads)
  • To officers progressing with a new Active Travel Fund (2021/22) bid to secure future funding for schemes, including consideration for Marine Parade, Old Town, A23, Old Shoreham Road and a "mini-Holland" proposal for the city.
  • Preliminary designs for Western Road, to a consultation on changes to Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO), and to begin construction on other parts of the scheme
  • Preliminary designs for the A23 scheme and that further designs are developed for an additional public consultation
  • To progress a trial park and ride site at Mill Road from summer 2022

'Vital we're given the chance to have our say'

Amy Heley, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said: “I’d like to thank the thousands of people who responded to the public consultation we launched in February. Travel and transport affects everyone who lives, visits or works in our city and it’s vital we are all given the chance to have our say.

The Argus: The results of a Brighton and Hove consultation on road layout changes have been revealed

“The government was clear that a consultation is not the same as a referendum – and that we should be looking at ways we can improve existing active travel infrastructure, so more people can get around safely and easily. So as a result of the feedback from the consultation, we have now proposed changes to the temporary schemes, so they can keep improving.

“People have also said that they want us to take action to address concerns they have - about issues like road safety, air quality and congestion, all reflecting what we heard at the city’s Climate Assembly last year. We’ll continue to listen and engage, and respond to this feedback.

The Argus: The results of a Brighton and Hove consultation on road layout changes have been revealed

“There are so many ways we can support our city into the future and to recover from the pandemic. Active, sustainable and inclusive travel is a part of this, as it remains key to our health and wellbeing, as well as helping us to reach our goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. We want everyone in our city to have access to sustainable travel options that will support healthy living, cleaner air, and safer communities."