Elm Grove Junction Review

Last November, Brighton & Hove City Council passed a Notice of Motion that the council should sign up to the Space For Cycling Campaign

Space for Cycling is a campaign run by Cycling UK (at the time of the NoM known as CTC). The campaign is divided into six main themes:

  1. Protected space on main roads and junctions
  2. Removing through motor traffic in residential areas
  3. Lower speed limits
  4. Cycle-friendly town centres
  5. Safe routes to school
  6. Routes through green spaces

Following an incident last week where a cyclist was struck by a lorry at the junction of Lewes Road and Elm Grove, the council has the opportunity to act on its commitment to cycling in the city as local resident Dani Ahrens submits a petition for a junction review and urgent improvements at this location.

tom druitt elm grove crash twitter_jpg_gallery

Dani comments

The junction of Elm Grove and Lewes Road is nerve-wracking to cycle through from any direction, and with good reason. On July 9th, a local cyclist was hit and seriously injured by a lorry turning left into Elm Grove. There have been two other serious accidents at the same junction in the last five years, one involving injury to a pedestrian and the other involving a cyclist being injured. Two further serious accidents have occurred at the nearby junction of Union Road with Lewes Road, and both locations have seen numerous less serious incidents in recent years.

Junctions like this are a huge part of the reason why many people don’t cycle. Having to cross multiple lanes of traffic, position yourself assertively in the centre of your lane, and race ahead of left-turning vehicles is simply too terrifying for a lot of people. Making a mistake shouldn’t mean risking your life. A moment of inattention shouldn’t render a driver responsible for putting someone in hospital.

Suggestions for improvement include:

  • Simultaneous green lights for cycling only. This is a system that is commonly used at road junctions in the Netherlands. Here is a page with more information, videos and photographs showing how this works in practice: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2014/05/the-best-traffic-light-solution-for.html
  • Removing railings
  • Straightening the pedestrian crossing on Lewes Road, just north of Elm Grove
  • Adding a pedestrian crossing south of Elm Grove (improving access to Park Crescent surgery)
  • Protected cycle infrastructure, connected with the cycle paths at the Level, enabling people on bikes to cross or bypass this junction without conflict with other road users.

Please support this petition and to make sure that the council lives up to the commitment to Space for Cycling which it made last year. The petition can be found HERE and it will be open until 29th September 2016 before being presented to the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee meeting on 11 October 2016.

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These cycle tracks need traffic barriers!

Over the last three months we have recorded several instances of motor vehicles crashing onto cycle tracks next to the A23 and A27 near Brighton. The risk to people walking or riding on these tracks is clear. As the vehicles clearly can’t be relied upon to stay on the road, crash barriers are needed. Among the incidents, two lamp posts on the A23 were flattened in separate crashes.

Bricycles welcomes ruling on Unchain’s misleading 20 mph casualties ad

IMG_1011ed212 November 2014: Bricycles welcomes today’s ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority on this advert about casualties on 20 mph roads.

The ad from pro-motoring group “Unchain the Brighton Motorist” appeared in The Argus on 18 July 2014. One of the headings read “Casualties rise by more than 20% on 20 mph roads”. The ad implied there was a relationship between 20 mph speed limits and an increase in casualties. The ad has been judged to be misleading and unsubstantiated by the advertising regulator. The ASA have told Unchain to ensure they do not make claims in future about the relationship between speed limits and casualties if they cannot substantiate them. The ad breached the code on misleading advertising, substantiation and qualification, and it must not appear again in its current form.

This is the third time the ASA have ruled that advertisements produced by the Unchain group have been misleading. There have been four rulings in total on Unchain the Brighton Motorist, with three upheld or partially upheld

Becky Reynolds of Bricycles said “We complained to the ASA about this ad and we welcome their ruling which confirms our view that the ad was misleading. We don’t want to see the public misinformed about a crucial area like Road Safety. Far from an increase in casualties, the data in Brighton and Hove for phase 1 of the 20 mph area shows that there has been a decrease in both the number of casualties and the severity of injuries when the figures for 8  April 2013 to 7  April 2014 are compared with the previous three years. Collisions are also down. We are strongly in support of slower traffic speeds which are a great step forward for the safety of all road users.”

Figures for the first year of 20 mph Phase 1 implementation are at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/20mph Casualties and collisions are significantly down. Figures for Phase 2, implemented in July 2014 are not available yet.

In a separate ruling, following a complaint from the Unchain group about a Brighton and Hove City Council leaflet, the ASA supported the Council’s statement that a 20mph speed limit leads to a reduction in road collisions and the severity of casualties and improves the quality of life of local neighbourhoods. It’s good news that the ASA agree on this crucial and frequently disputed point. However they ruled against the Council’s claim that 20 mph limits encouraged more walking and cycling for local trips which in turn would bring significant health benefits and reduce congestion. They do not accept that there is enough evidence!

Preventing cycle crashes in Brighton & Hove

There have been a number of reported crashes recently in Brighton and
Hove where cyclists were injured. Bricycles have requested from the
Council Environment Directorate details about the circumstances and
outcomes of the crashes, and the remedial measures which have been put
in place to prevent repetition.

Continue reading “Preventing cycle crashes in Brighton & Hove”

White bike removed from Devils Dyke

The white bike placed by Bricycles at the scene of James Danson
Hatcher’s death has been removed. The Council told Bricycles that "The
police were of the opinion that this bike was a potential distraction
to other road users… and contacted the City Council requesting that
the ‘ghost-bike’ be removed on safety grounds." The Council added that
their policy allows roadside memorials to be left by the roadside for a
maximum period of twelve weeks from the date of the collision.

Continue reading “White bike removed from Devils Dyke”