PLANS to extend a seafront cycle lane and widen the pavement are facing criticism amid fears about pollution.

Brighton and Hove City Council has proposed changes to the A259 Kingsway, from Fourth Avenue to Wharf Road in Hove to encourage walking, cycling and accessibility along the seafront.

The current plans will be reducing the road from two lanes to one, extending the current cycle lane from Hove Lawns, extending the pavement around the shops in Kingsway, adding loading bays so deliveries do not block one lane of the A259, as well as creating additional disabled parking spaces.

Garry Peltzer Dunn, Conservative councillor for Wish Ward, said he is concerned the council has “failed to address” the impact on the air quality in the area once the two lane carriageway is reduced to one lane, if it causes traffic.

The council told The Argus that the “potential for better air quality” is one of the positives it sees in the A259 scheme, but admitted that benefits to air quality might not be immediately clear after the scheme is finished.

Brighton and Hove City Council would not reveal figures for air pollution monitoring in the area, but said a report containing further information about levels of air pollution with the A259 scheme will be given to councillors in “due course”.

Cllr Dunn said: “Many residents have been in contact with me regarding the potential pollution levels rising due to tailbacks of traffic caused through the westbound A259 being reduced to a single lane.

“The Green party administration is proud of its green policies and I have therefore asked for the location of the existing pollution testing sites on the A259 and to the existing pollution level readings obtained.

The Argus: The A259 at Kingsway currently and what the proposed plans will look likeThe A259 at Kingsway currently and what the proposed plans will look like

“I have also requested when will further readings be taken (and the proposed timetable thereafter) and that the readings made public. If pollution levels have risen it is reasonable to ask what level of increase would represent cause for concern and what would the administration do in such circumstances.”

A spokesman for the council said: “The potential for better air quality is one of a number of positives we see in the new A259 improvement scheme.

“The scheme is part of our commitment to make travel easier, safer and more accessible for all in our city, and to do more to facilitate low-emission transport – in line with government guidance.

“The new A259 scheme is not just about cycling. Most of the work we are carrying out is related to improving pedestrian access for all.

“For example, we are very aware of concerns that the Victoria Terrace area is seen as a ‘no-go’ area for some people, because the footway is so poor and small.

“We believe that enabling more people to travel safely in the city has a range of benefits.

“Alternatives to high-emission transport, like better walking and cycling routes, also help ease traffic congestion, and improve public health through lower pollution levels and by more people taking exercise.

The Argus: Current plans are supposed to go ahead this yearCurrent plans are supposed to go ahead this year

“The A259 scheme is part of a wider programme of walking and cycling infrastructure improvements across the city.

“Tackling bad air quality is a priority and creating walking and cycling routes are just one of the many ways we can do this.

“We are constantly monitoring air pollution levels in key areas of the city. A report containing further information about the levels in the area of the new A259 scheme will be put before councillors in due course.

“However we also know that shifts from using one mode of transport to another can take time. Any benefits to air quality are often realised over a longer period, rather than being felt immediately after a cycle lane or footpath is installed. So updates will be provided more than once.”

The consultation for the A259 scheme ends this Sunday (January 9).

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