13 March 2015

Transport Plan will provide choice and improve air quality

A long-term strategy and 4-year investment programme for the city's roads and highways infrastructure will be presented to the Policy & Resources Committee on 19 March.

Despite severe financial challenges, since 2009 the city council has successfully bid for more than £30 million to invest in improving roads and structures. This is in addition to the government's allocation for the Local Transport Plan and revenue funding.

£5.45 million has been provisionally allocated for the Local Transport Plan this year which includes £1.189 million from the 2016/17 budget to carry out essential work on the seafront infrastructure. Government direct funding is reducing this year and for the next four years.*

Councillors will discuss the new Local Transport Plan, known as LTP4, which outlines how the council plans to develop, manage and deliver transport over the next four years. Funding will be split between maintenance (including street lighting) £3.175 million and transport improvements, road safety and education £2.275 million.

Recently delivered major transport projects include the award-winning Lewes Road sustainable transport corridor linking the city centre to the universities and the football stadium, a redesign of the Seven Dials roundabout, previously a notorious hotspot for collisions, half of them involving cyclists, and introducing the first low emission zone in the city.

Councillor Ian Davey, lead member for transport, said: “This is a significant piece of work which builds on the current plan and the success of schemes and measures that the council has delivered.

“Over the last three years Brighton & Hove City Council has provided more than £23 million through the capital programme which paid for a number of programmes, including significant investment in street lighting.”

Successful schemes that will continue in 2015/16 include improvements around Brighton Station and Valley Gardens, and extending 20mph to areas where residents have asked for them. Investment will also continue on local priorities such as road safety and pedestrian crossings.

Local Transport Fund money will continue to support the major regeneration of the Victorian seafront arches with Phase 2 of the strengthening work under the King's Road, next to the i360 viewing tower site, due to be completed this autumn.

Cllr Davey added: “One of the challenges we have is that money from the Local Transport Plan is used to pay for the seafront infrastructure which needs significant investment, so we need to think ahead and prepare for alternative ways of funding this most important area of the city.”

Planned seafront works include the reconstruction of the former West Street Shelter Hall, part of the historic Arches. Built in the 1880s this unusual building actually supports the upper promenade at the junction of the A259 and West Street and is in a very poor condition and needs to be replaced.  The council has applied to the government's Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund for £9 million to carry out the bulk of the work and in the meantime allocates £250,000 from the Local Transport Plan budget so that work can begin this year.

Councillor Jason Kitcat, chair of the Policy & Resources Committee, said: “We are very well placed to secure investment to ensure ongoing funding for our transport network and the seafront. This council was instrumental in securing a six year regional investment programme through the Local Enterprise Partnership and in establishing the Coast to Capital Local Transport Body. This will provide access to significant levels of capital investment for transport that will support our economy, provide access for all sections of the community and improve the environment.”

More about the Local Transport Plan at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ltp

* Government funding for Brighton & Hove in 2015/16 is £5.682 million compared with £7.479 million in 2014/15. This year the council also has to pay back £1.421 million which was borrowed from reserves in 2014/15 to help pay for the strengthening of the Seafront Arches.

Read the reports for the Policy & Resources Committee here: http://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=689&MId=5095

The Local Transport Plan4 is agenda item no. 162

Top 10 facts about transport in Brighton & Hove

 *   Around 25,000 workers travel in to Brighton & Hove and around 28,000 people who live in the city travel outside its boundaries for work

 *   Car ownership is the lowest in the south east region and one of the lowest nationally – 38% of households don't own a car

 *   Brighton railway station has the highest daily passenger volume of all stations along the south coast between Kent and Hampshire

 *   Brighton & Hove was named 'Civitas Transport City of the Year' in 2014

 *   It was the first city outside of London to install talking bus stops for blind and visually impaired people

 *   Only 37% of residents drive to work, compared to 60.8% in the south east region, 21% walk to work (double the national average) and 14% take the bus (three times the south east average)

 *   Cycling to work in Brighton & Hove doubled between the 2001 and 2011 census

 *   Total bus journeys have doubled since 1992/3 to 44.8 million in 2012/13

 *   The seafront includes 375 highway structures (often referred to as Arches) covering an area of 21,000 square metres; it also has 2.5km of retaining wall and 4.4km of listed railings

 *   On average Brighton & Hove's seafront is used by around 30,000 pedestrians, 2,500 cyclists and 36,000 vehicles every day