15 January 2014

Improved junction will be safer and simpler

Changes have been approved to enhance safety on one of Brighton’s most notorious road junctions.

Councillors on the environment committee yesterday (January 14, 2014) agreed a package of improvements for the Vogue Gyratory outside Lewes Road Sainsbury’s.  The changes have been particularly designed to protect pedestrians and cyclists while maintaining traffic flows.

This revised scheme was designed after computer modelling showed that initial proposals last year would have delayed traffic too much.

Main features are: 

* A continuous two-metre wide northbound cycle lane through the Gyratory system.  A southbound lane already exists.

* Introduction of a new-style ‘floating bus stop’ with the cycle lane going behind - like others on the new Lewes Road scheme.  These prevent buses having to cross the path of bikes. It will also mean Service 25 bendy buses can call at this stop for the first time.

* Raised pavements across the entrance to Sainsbury’s car park, giving pedestrians priority over cars coming out.  Previously emerging cars blocked pavements for pedestrians.

* Creating more space at the entrances and exits to the Gyratory, giving more room for cycles and vehicles to move through the junction without coming into conflict or causing delay.

* Improved and simplified pedestrian crossings 

* Replacement traffic signals to improve efficiency and traffic flow

* Advanced green traffic lights for cyclists heading north.  These give a three-second headstart to reduce conflict.

The next stage would be to consult on a formal Traffic Regulation Order showing fine details of the scheme in coming weeks.  Works are most likely to start late spring or early summer and last four months. Traffic is lighter in summer holidays due to reduced commuting.  Costs of £600,000 are being met from budgets ring-fenced for transport.

Chair of the committee Cllr Pete West said: 

“There’s no easy or ideal way to improve this junction.  But the new scheme does make things better for everyone, however they choose to travel. Rather like the Seven Dials junction the aim is to make the junction simpler to understand, thereby making it safer.

“These improvements will provide the finishing touches to the Lewes Road scheme which is successfully increasing bus travel and cycling without appreciably delaying cars.

“There may be some disruption during the works for which we apologise in advance.”