A ROW has erupted after barriers were removed at a railway bridge to improve access.

Staggered barriers at Aldrington Tunnel in Hove have been removed and the area is now a shared space for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Those supporting the scheme say it is a "massive improvement" which has improved access for people with disabilities.

However, a row broke out online after Conservative councillors claimed it was done "after lobbying from a cycle group" and might be abused by delivery riders on scooters using it as a shortcut.

"I signed this off and I am an elected councillor," tweeted Green Transport chief Amy Heley in response to the claims.

The Tories argue a risk assessment should have been carried out amid fears delivery riders would use the area as a shortcut leaving people "jumping out of the way".

Wish Ward councillor Robert Nemeth said: “Not talking to residents, or any of their elected representatives, is obviously discourteous but it is also dangerous.

"Just a tiny amount of local knowledge would have flagged up just how dangerous the tunnel now is for anybody who doesn’t have the ability to jump out of the way, including those with disabilities or tiny children."

The Argus: Barriers removed at Aldrington Station

Signage in the area advertises it as "share space" and a "no cycling" sign on the floor has been removed.

Pedal People, which campaigns for more accessible access for bicycles, claim the now-removed barriers were against The Equality Act and has celebrated them being taken away.

"Access is for anyone walking or wheeling. Equality is for everyone," tweeted the group.

"People using buggies, mobility scooters, or walking or wheeling including wheelchairs."

Labour councillor Chris Henry also supports the change, describing it as a "massive improvement".

"It's humanised that stretch," the Westbourne Ward representative said.

"It is now much more pleasant for walkers, cyclists and mobility scooters to navigate - improved access to a really important little train station.

The Argus:

"The one thing I'm keeping an eye on is delivery scooters abusing the shortcut."

Brighton and Hove City Council: "The barriers in question were removed following complaints that disabled cyclists couldn’t get through them.

"The removal of the barriers was approved by the chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee."

Have you got a story for us? Email news@theargus.co.uk or contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01273 021 400.