An election candidate is calling for a bus lane along the A259 to be reconsidered to ease congestion along the highway.

Campaigner Nigel Smith is running against current independent councillor Bridget Fishleigh in the new Rottingdean and West Saltdean ward for tomorrow’s local election in Brighton and Hove.

Mr Smith, founder of the A259 Action Group, has fought to improve air quality and bus times in the area in recent years and now is looking to take his activism to the council chamber.

He said: “When I was growing up here, there wasn’t much traffic around, but there has been far more development recently. However, the infrastructure always seems to come second, if at all.”

He also said that new developments have also put increasing pressure on local GP services, dentists and schools, as well as bus services in the area.

“The bus times have deteriorated substantially because traffic is much slower on the A259 and the bus lane has now outgrown its natural life,” Mr Smith said.

While he said he is a supporter of bus lanes, the lane along the A259 is often empty because buses are caught up in traffic in Telescombe and Peacehaven.

Mr Smith is calling for a trial to open up the bus lane to some traffic to allow congestion to be eased.

“At least then the buses wouldn’t be sat in traffic in Peacehaven and would be getting where they need to go, and I think you would begin to see traffic in Rottingdean beginning to ease to quite some degree,” he said.


The 66-year-old said he is standing as a “true and traditional independent” where he was born and where he lives in Rottingdean.

Mr Smith criticised Cllr Fishleigh, the city’s first elected independent councillor for more than a decade, for creating an independent group standing candidates across the city.

The Argus: Nigel Smith said he is the only 'true independent' standing in Rottingdean and West SaltdeanNigel Smith said he is the only 'true independent' standing in Rottingdean and West Saltdean

He said: “When voters look at the ballot paper, they will see my name and independent - everyone else will have a party alongside them. I’m the only one representing residents of Rottingdean and West Saltdean as an independent.

“The correct way to increase the number of independent councillors is for all genuine independents to stand in their own right.

“The Brighton and Hove Independents cannot by definition be independent - they may be independent from Westminster, but they will all stand under the banner of a political party whilst all purporting to be independent. This is a contradiction of terms.”

The Argus:

He said that he wants to see greater value for money from council tax and the smooth delivery of council services, including bin and recycling collections and weeding.

“I wouldn’t let residents down. I would do the best I could for the area and I have been doing that for a long time,” Mr Smith said.

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Voters go to the polls across the city tomorrow to elect 54 councillors for the next four years.

Those voting in person will have to show a form of photo ID at polling stations in order to cast their ballot.

Accepted forms of ID include passports, driving licences, blue badges and older person’s bus passes.