In 2008, Cycling England awarded £800,000 to half-fund a semi-protected bike lane in Brighton and Hove. The local council is now proposing to spend £1.1m to remove this bike lane to "improve traffic flows."
CTC and Bricycles, the local campaign group, are opposed to the plans. Both were also opposed to the original poor design of the bike lane, which is not built to Dutch-standards and, for many cyclists, has made cycling on this stretch of road even more dangerous than prior to the bike lane.
But rather than improving the bike lane, Brighton and Hove council is proposing to rip out the kerbing and resurface the road.
Before the route was installed, an artist’s impression showed a route suitable for children but, as the picture of the actual route shows, the cycle route is often blocked by motorised vehicles, with cars and trucks mounting kerbs.
Instead of removing the law-breaking cars and trucks on Grand Avenue and The Drive, Brighton and Hove council is proposing to remove the cycle route.
"In order to improve the visual impact and traffic flow along this important north – south corridor including access to the A27 / A23 from the A259 / Shoreham Harbour it is proposed to remove the cycle lane along both sides of Grand Avenue and The Drive. An indicative cost of removing the lanes including changes to the signalling is £1.1m to be funded by a further topslice from LTP grant. Detailed costings have yet to be undertaken and any residual funds would be given back to the LTP. There is a low risk that up to £0.3m grant funding may need to be repaid."
The proposals go to the Cabinet on 17th February before being discussed at Full Council on 3rd March.
CTC and Bricycles are urging local cyclists to fight the cycle lane removal and lobby for upgrading instead.
Campaigners are urging that the cycle lane should be improved and that spending £1.1m on removing the whole lane is a waste of money.