26 September 2013

Lewes Road bus lanes in operation from Monday

Brighton’s new Lewes Road bus lanes, promising speedier journeys for passengers, are legally enforceable from Monday (September 30).

In future any vehicles apart from buses and taxis in the lanes risk a £60 fine, reduced to £30 for quick payment.  By law any fines collected can only be spent on transport measures.

Officials predict bus journey times will be improved by up to 30 per cent, while faster travel could attract 25 per cent more passengers. The number of car trips is expected to drop by 10 per cent.

An official opening ceremony happens on October 5.

Before the scheme, surveys showed the bus was already the most commonly-used mode of transport on the route – cited by 72 per cent.  Over 4000 responses were collected, showing over 60 per cent supporting the proposed bus and bike lanes.

Deputy council leader and lead councillor for transport Ian Davey said:  “Our approach is to try to make it easier for everyone to get about.  So this route will be better and quicker for buses and taxis and more pleasant and safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

“If you have to drive, there will be fewer cars on the route than there would otherwise be, so your journey might be better too.”

The council says drivers have been observing the bus lanes well, even before enforcement.  Bus passenger journeys on the route are already up seven per cent, compared to four per cent citywide.

Physical works to the road including bus and bike lanes have cost around £1m, paid for with a government grant that can only be used for transport.