Plans to redesign a new seafront cycle lane along the A259 have been approved by councillors.

The Labour administration on Brighton and Hove City Council put forward changes to the project, originally approved by the former Green council, which will stretch from Fourth Avenue to Wharf Road.

The redesign, expected to take around six months, aims to address concerns from residents by scrapping plans to separate the two cycle lanes by footpaths, keep traffic flowing, and removing the cycle lane “loop” around the King Alfred Leisure Centre in favour of a continuous two-way cycle lane along the seafront road.

The redesign has proved controversial among some pro-cycling groups, who have claimed that the move is an attempt to scrap the scheme entirely - something that the council strongly denies.


Councillor Trevor Muten, chairman of the council’s transport committee, said: “We are really pleased that the meeting voted to allow us to look at improving the scheme for the A259.

“It is a great shame that our plan to make this stretch of road safer for cyclists and pedestrians has created protest from the people we hope to help.

“Now that people understand the sense of our plans, I sincerely hope we can put the rhetoric behind us and all work together to make our seafront and all of our city more environmentally sound.

“We believe that giving everyone the best cycling and walking facilities we can, and publicising the benefit of using them, will encourage people to choose active travel.

“We cannot force people to do anything, but we can make it really attractive for them to choose the best way. That is our aim.”

Both the Greens and the Conservatives voted against the proposal made by Labour in a meeting of councillors this afternoon.

The Argus:

The Green Party described the plans as “uncosted, unconsulted and undemocratic”.

The party’s transport spokesman and group leader Steve Davis said: “Labour’s first decision on transport in this administration has already cost the city thousands in contractor delay costs and, judging by the rough estimates offered to the committee, will cost the city hundreds of thousands more.

“The active travel scheme that was proposed by the Greens and supported by Labour previously had been costed, funded, debated and supported multiple times in council committees, supported across the city and primed to begin any day.

“By contrast, Labour’s proposal is uncosted, unconsulted and undemocratic.”

Cllr Bella Sankey, leader of the council, said: “Our plans will enhance safe travel for pedestrians and cyclists.

“We think it is incumbent upon us to make sure we implement the very best scheme for this road.

“We have learned from everyone using the first phase of the seafront scheme from West Street to Fourth Avenue what does not work for cyclists, pedestrians or motorists - what is safe and what creates traffic congestion and pollution.

“We must get the next phase, from Fourth Avenue to Wharf Road, right.

“We will implement changes to the plan as fast as we can.”