Issues we found while cycling on Brighton and Hove seafront Brighton News

I JOINED a ‘bike swarm’ with city leaders to identify issues for cyclists in Brighton and Hove.

While jumping on a Bike Share bike – my primary mode of transportation since the start of the pandemic – I met cycling activists, Green Advisors and Lloyd Russell-Moyle at The Level.

From there, we experimented with the bike paths built as part of the Valley Garden project. As expected, they felt great to ride. Crossing the road felt safe but you have to do it with pedestrians on serpentine islands.

At the end of the current Valley Gardens program, you are faced with a host of issues associated with the area around Brighton Palace Pier.

It is not immediately clear how to cross the road at the junction of the A23 with Grand Parade. I was grateful to be with the city’s decision makers, otherwise I would have felt I was doing something wrong.

We then approached the Junction Aquarium, which is a nightmare. I normally choose to descend and cross with pedestrians to avoid facing the volatile traffic at the roundabout, considered one of the least safe in the country.

After navigating the roundabout you need to find a path on the waterfront lane from the road. A difficult task given that the area is one of the busiest in the city.

You are forced to squeeze between people who seem totally oblivious to the path. For example, last Thursday I was completely arrested due to an impromptu dance party.

A temporary cycle path covering this route was removed last year after being blamed for traffic jams. The irony of its removal is that this is where more room for cyclists was needed most.

Continuing by bike to the west, we arrive at the new cycle path occupying one lane of the A259. Residents will no doubt be aware that many cyclists have chosen not to use it.

The new program, introduced last year, means only eastbound cyclists can use the properly separated cycle path above Hove Lawns.

Westbound cyclists must now use this new lane on the road, and many choose not to.

To me, it’s obvious why. Its use extends the duration of your trip, it is less practical and it is less safe.

Firstly, it can be difficult to get onto the lane as you have to pass eastbound cyclists which can be frustrating on a busy day.

And now that you’re on the road, you now face several traffic light expectations.

Some of them are not accompanied by a crossroads, nor affected by maritime traffic, which makes one wonder why it should be done.

Guess that’s the reason I’ve seen a lot of cyclists ignore them.

The new disabled parking by the sea obliges holders of blue badges to cross the cycle path to get to the sidewalk from their car. This makes you cautious that you might unintentionally hit someone while doing so.

And then, more worryingly, at the end of the alley, near Third Avenue, it suddenly turns into a bus stop. I have seen a cyclist having to turn into the traffic lane to pass a parked bus.

This worries me given the incident in April. A cyclist who entered traffic on the A259 due to road works was struck by a hit-and-run driver. He broke the bones of three of his limbs.

Considering these points, as someone who has been cycling seaside for over a decade, I don’t understand how this can be better than the previous option.

I agree with Sussex sage from Argus, Adam Trimingham, who described the current route as “dangerous”.

Due to the much appreciated return of automotive events to Madeira Drive, namely the Classic Car race, we were unable to experience the new greenway.

Having used it before, I can say it was great to have so much space on the road, which now has an impressive number of visitors on a sunny day.

However, removing a lane means cars are waiting in huge queues that can only move after the person in the front line has finished parking.

Seeing those long lines, it’s no wonder some Chancellors park on the bike path itself for a quick drop-off.

It’s like a road stuck between two futures and city planners have to do something to make sure the space works for everyone.

Showing drivers how much space is left on the road before entering, an idea I saw on Twitter, could help solve the traffic jam problem.

In summary, as a cyclist I salute the attitude of the council in its desire to make our roads safer.

However, when, or if, these changes have become permanent, better solutions must be found which take into account the feedback of all road users.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-06-13 06:53:43

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *