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Act now to save our cycle lanes!

We risk losing recent improvements to make cycling safer. We risk losing a further £2.7 million of government money for future improvements.

The Labour group of Brighton & Hove City Council has publicly come out against the recent emergency covid cycle lanes. They’re calling for a consultation and a review of existing lanes.

Because of our council’s ambitious plans, the Government awarded our council £663,000 to aid cycling and walking and help with social distancing.

On 29 September, the council’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee will discuss these measures – including the popular School Streets, which have allowed children and parents to return to keep safe in a traffic-free environment.

Labour intends to table a motion against further schemes, requiring the current ones to be halted pending consultation. If this happens, the council will have spent the existing money for nothing. Because of the delay, it’s likely to lose out on a further £2.68 million of central funding to make cycling and walking safer.

The result will be that recent work to make cycling safer will be undone, meaning more people in cars, more congestion and more pollution.

So far, many of our councillors have listened to people who are frustrated about cycle lanes. Few have listened to people who want safer cycling. It’s time to make our voices heard.

Please write to your local councillors and the members of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, asking them to support current and planned measures to improve cycling in Brighton & Hove.

Email your councillors in three easy steps:

1. Click here to find out who your ward councillors are and get their email addresses, then put them in the ‘To’ field of your email message, along with Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove & Portslade peter.kyle.mp@parliament.uk

2. Copy this list of email addresses for the ETS Committee, and paste them into the CC field of your email message:

Amy.Heley@brighton-hove.gov.uk, Carmen.Appich@brighton-hove.gov.uk, Gary.Wilkinson@brighton-hove.gov.uk, Jamie.Lloyd@brighton-hove.gov.uk, Lee.Wares@brighton-hove.gov.uk, Pete.West@brighton-hove.gov.uk, Steve.Davis@brighton-hove.gov.uk, Theresa.Fowler@brighton-hove.gov.uk, Vanessa.Brown@brighton-hove.gov.uk, Gilliane.Williams@brighton-hove.gov.uk

3. Write your email using these bullet points for inspiration – or if you’re pressed for time, copy and paste our template below.

  • Ask your councillors to support the current temporary measures for cycling, and to back further measures.
  • Tell your councillors about your personal experience of cycling around our city. Let them know what you stand to lose if protected space for cycling is removed. Send them a photo if you’d like to.
  • The existing pop-up lanes have allowed more people to cycle, with a 61% increase in cycling on the Old Shoreham Road.
  • 40% of households in Brighton & Hove don’t have cars. We all need a socially-distanced way to get around.
  • Congestion and pollution are at unacceptable levels. We’ve been encouraging car use for too long, and discouraging cycling by not providing safe routes.
  • Inactivity costs the NHS up to £1bn a year.
  • High street walking and cycling improvements increase retail sales by up to 30%.
  • Five times as many people can be carried by a cycle lane than the equivalent space given to cars.
  • Congestion and pollution are caused by excessive car use. Cycling is the answer, not the problem.
  • Cycling allows people of all ages and fitness levels to remain mobile. This includes people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions and disabled people who use adapted cycles.
  • Better cycling conditions don’t mean worse conditions for driving. The reverse is true – with more people cycling, there will be more road space for those who really need it, including emergency vehicles and disabled people
  • 65% of disabled cyclists describe their cycle as a mobility aid, so protected space for cycling is an equality issue.

Dear [INSERT NAME OF COUNCILLOR],

I am disheartened to see Labour councillors join Conservatives in threatening the future of our cycle lanes and I ask all councillors to back the new infrastructure and support developing it further.

Stakeholders were consulted before the cycle lanes were implemented and a live public consultation is underway. We don’t need any further consultation.

If you move to suspend the pop-up cycle lanes pending consultation, our city will miss out on a further £2.68 million to help people walk and cycle in a socially-distanced manner.

The existing pop-up lanes have allowed more people to cycle, with a 61% increase in cycling on the Old Shoreham Road.

Anything we do to discourage cycling will bring more cars onto our roads. Inactivity costs the NHS £1bn a year. Congestion and pollution are at unacceptable levels across the UK, most of which does not have protected cycle lanes. Kids can no longer play on our streets as there are cars everywhere. We’re in a climate crisis and need to act now to reduce the number of cars on our roads. This can only happen if people have transport choices – and that means safe cycling, which councils now have a duty to provide, following the government’s Cycling & Walking Plan.

40% of households in Brighton & Hove don’t have cars. Public transport capacity is reduced, and difficult for social distancing. 65% of disabled cyclists describe their cycle as a mobility aid, so protected space for cycling is an equality issue.

By getting more people cycling, road space will be freed up for people who depend on motor vehicles, including emergency services and some disabled people.

We can’t wait for further consultations, or for permanent schemes. We need safe streets for cycling and walking now.

Kind regards,

[INSERT YOUR NAME]

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