6 February 2015

National award for Lewes Road improvements

Brighton & Hove City Council has won a national transport award for the Lewes Road improvement scheme.

There were 87 entries for the Smarter Travel Awards and Brighton & Hove won the ‘most improved journey to work’ for improvements to Lewes Road.

The council was also shortlisted for the JourneyOn travel planning website www.journeyon.co.uk in the ‘best smarter travel app’ category.

The Lewes Road improvement scheme involved converting the existing 4.5km long dual carriageway between the Vogue Gyratory and Falmer into a single carriageway for general traffic alongside a dedicated bus lane with a widened cycle lane. The council added pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities at various locations along the route.

Initial findings from the monitoring of the scheme showed a 7% increase in the number of bus passengers; daily cyclist numbers on Lewes Road rose from 2,085 to 2,383 following implementation of the scheme – an increase of 14% and general traffic on Lewes Road reduced by 13%.

Proposals were subject to wide scale public consultation with 63% of respondents supporting the Lewes Road scheme plans.

Councillor Ian Davey, lead member for transport at Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “We’re delighted to win this national award in recognition of the improvements to Lewes Road.

“One of the main aims of the Lewes Road scheme is to make sustainable forms of transport more attractive, where it is a practical option for those concerned. Although the scheme has only been in place for a short period, the initial monitoring is very positive.”

Cllr Davey added: “It was also good to see the JourneyOn website shortlisted in the awards. The JourneyOn website has been developed with users in mind and to fit with whatever digital device they use and that too is proving popular.”

The website, designed with the help of residents, was re-launched last September and automatically adapts to mobile devices which means travel advice on tap the moment you step out the door.

Users can compare information to work out the quickest or cheapest travel option, find out about calories burnt, the amount of CO2 produced by choice of journey and inclines for cycling trips – particularly useful in a hilly seaside city.

People can follow ‘digital walks’ around the city, including one that takes in famous film locations. See live bus and train times, plan journeys in Brighton & Hove or across Sussex, with journey alerts and departure information, as well as ‘My location’ for quick trip planning on GPS enabled devices. The council has added maps showing car parking, cycle parking, taxi ranks and roadwork locations and linked the site to its traffic live twitter feed relaying traffic incidents and possible hold ups.

Since the relaunch there were 21% more users in just two months and the site is the most often visited council travel and transport webpage next to the parking pages. There have been 7% more visits from mobile phones which shows that the site is becoming more popular with users “on-the-go”. The impact of JourneyOn is wide-reaching; 28% of site visits are made from London.

In September last year Brighton & Hove was named European ‘City of the Year’ by Civitas for policies to promote clean transport and shortlisted for the National Transport Awards ‘Transport Authority of the Year.’ In October it was highly commended for the Lewes Road and the Seven Dials improvement schemes. In November Lewes Road got the Bronze award at the UK Bus Awards 2014 for Local Authority Bus Project of the Year.

Note to editors:
Lewes Road transport improvements