Brighton and Hove City Council have dropped plans for the Old Shoreham
Road cycle route whch was to run from BHASVIC college in Hove to
Applesham Way in Portslade. This important route has been in the
pipeline for some years and 15,000 people, schools and businesses were
consulted on the plans in 2009 at an estimated cost of over £100,000.
The proposed route was believed to be highly popular but also
came under criticism from cycling and transport experts for
discontinuity, narrow lanes, pinch points and inadequate junction
The decision only came to light in a response to a question to Mary Mears, Leader of the Council, by Green Cllr Ian Davey at the 11th February cabinet meeting. Mears responded, “I can inform Councillor Davey that at the present time we do not intend to go ahead with the proposals for a cycle lane on the Old Shoreham Road. A report, scheduled to go to the Environment Cabinet Member Meeting in March, will give further details.”
Cllr Ian Davey responded via a press release, “The route was core to Brighton & Hove’s whole Cycling Town project – which has seen the city given in excess of £3 million pounds. The right response to constructive criticism is to take it on board and amend your plans accordingly, not abandon them. Scrapping this scheme will disappoint thousands of residents, undermine cycling in the city more generally and send a clear message to residents about the Tory administrations priorities.”
This is the latest in a string of botched public consultations and mis-spending of scarce cycling funds from the council. In the recent North Street consultation the most popular cycle route proposal was ignored and the council instead implemented a scheme that was not even included in the original proposals. Hundreds of thousands of pounds were then spent on a cycle lane on Madeira Drive that does absolutely nothing to connect residents, schools, shops and businesses and thus serves almost no purpose to cyclists in the City, and is blocked on most summer weekends due to tourist events.
We will report further on the scrapping of the Old Shoreham Road scheme following the Environment meeting on 25th March.