25 February 2015

Seafront bike lane open as arches work progresses

The cycle lane on Brighton’s seafront has fully reopened for the first time since 2012 thanks to progress restoring historic arches beneath.

The lane has been cleared over a 100m stretch near the West Pier and resurfaced with smooth tarmac. 

It forms part of the National Cycle Network route 2 from Cornwall to Kent and carries up to 2,500 riders a day in summer.

Meanwhile works are continuing to rebuild a row of 33 new seafront arches beneath.  These are scheduled to be finished in the autumn - though such work can always be delayed by weather or building snags.

The city council’s transport department is in the middle of a £5m, three-year strengthening of the upper promenade, essential to keeping the A259 road open.

It will ensure the arches can support the current highway loadings from the road for the next 120 years. The road itself is unaffected by the arches works.

When complete the arches will be used for commercial premises, storage and beach chalets.  In a previous phase, 26 arches further west were rebuilt and turned into retail outlets and new public toilets.  The scheme has regenerated a once run-down area of the seafront.

Lead councillor for transport Ian Davey said:  “It’s great to have the cycle lane open again.  I know it’s been inconvenient for cyclists to have to cross the road and thanks to them for bearing with us.  The arches works are essential if the A259 is to remain open as a road. This is the first time a council has made a serious commitment to that since they were built over 100 years ago.”

Brighton's seafront cycle lane fully reopened