16 April 2014

Brighton & Hove set example in UK campaign for better bike facilities

Brighton & Hove is cited in a national campaign for best practice in encouraging cycling, launched this week.

New cycle lanes in Brighton & Hove feature on the campaign website for Space for Cycling, organised by national cycling charity CTC.

The campaign challenges local councils to provide better facilities for cycling.  The CTC says thousands of councillors from across the country will be asked to create the conditions where anyone can cycle anywhere, as CTC and local cycle campaign groups join forces to demand space for cycling.

Getting more people on bikes will mean better health, reduced congestion and lower emissions, says the charity.  With a public health crisis linked to physical inactivity rapidly rising up the political agenda, local councils can use cycling to improve health, say organisers.

Between 2001 and 2011, the number of people cycling to work in Brighton & Hove more than doubled to over 6,500, according to census data. It is the highest increase in the country outside of London.

Cllr Ian Davey, deputy leader of Brighton & Hove City Council and lead member for transport, who was recently invited to give evidence to the Commons Transport select committee inquiry into cycle safety, said:

 “I am pleased that our efforts to make the roads safer for cyclists here in Brighton & Hove are gaining so much national interest. We’ve been creating space for cycling on our main roads, reducing traffic speeds, opening up one-way streets to allow two-way cycling and making it a better, more liveable city. I fully support the CTC campaign to call on other councils to make space for cycling if they want to improve health, curb congestion and reduce pollution.”

Hear Councillor Davey talking about Space for Cycling here

The new cycle lanes in Lewes Road led to a 14 per cent increase in bike journeys in the first month after opening last October.  Bus journeys were up by seven per cent while early monitoring suggests peak time car journey times have increased by just one minute. 

Other pro-cycling improvements in the city recently have included:

*Segregated cycle lanes along Old Shoreham Road.
*Changes to the road layout at the hazardous Seven Dials junction
*Introduction of cycle contraflows in Brighton’s North Laine, enabling bikes to travel in both directions in streets which are one-way for cars
*Widespread roll-out of 20mph limits on residential streets
*An off-road cycle and walking path linking Woodingdean and Falmer

Plans to change the notorious Vogue gyratory junction near Lewes Road Sainsbury’s, making it more cycle-friendly, are also in the pipeline..

CTC chief executive Gordon Seabright said:  “Space for cycling means tackling the biggest barriers to getting more people cycling: creating safe conditions on our major roads and junctions, lowering speed limits and reducing through motor traffic on residential streets. We’ve examples from around the country of where local authorities have made tremendous improvements, but we’re still a very long way from creating conditions where anyone can cycle anywhere.”

Notes from the CTC...

Nationally, although 39% of people say that they could just as easily make a 2-mile car trip by bike as they do by car [1], only 2% of trips are actually made by bike and just one in ten people cycle once a week or more [2].

67% of people say that they are not confident cycling on busy roads, with heavy, fast moving traffic and a lack of safe space for cycling being the biggest barrier [3].

Campaigners are asking people to show their support via a Twibbon campaign here: http://twb.ly/1jw6wIi

CTC President, the newsreader Jon Snow, explains and supports the national launch in a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNHh6wuK_9E

[1] Department for Transport, Public Attitude Statistics ATT0318

[2] Department for Transport, National Travel Survey NTS0604

[3] Department for Transport, Public Attitude Statistics ATT0321