3 February 2016

Lewes Road monitoring

A council spokesperson said: “The Lewes Road improvements were undertaken to provide improved, sustainable transport links to meet a projected increase in demand from the planned major developments, university expansions and Falmer Stadium along this busy arterial road.
“Work on Lewes Road was completed in September 2013 and for the Vogue Gyratory in December 2014. The council has just published the second set of monitoring data which gives an indication of potential trends.

“The monitoring shows a 9% increase in the numbers of passengers boarding buses as well as better punctuality and reliability. Since the scheme was implemented a new 25X express bus service has been introduced on Lewes Road.
“There has also been a sustained growth in cycling and high satisfaction with the ‘floating’ bus stops which allow cyclists to travel around the bus stop and avoid conflict with buses.

“Numbers of cars, vans and lorries have also reduced on Lewes Road (by 15%) but there has been a slight increase (less than a minute) in journey times for all vehicles during peak hours. Part of the reason for this is that the speed limit north of the Vogue Gyratory was reduced from 40mph to 30mph and south of the gyratory from 30mph to 20mph.

“The monitoring also shows a small increase in traffic on alternative main routes such as Ditchling Road and Falmer Road and some nearby residential roads, mostly at peak times. We will continue to monitor the impact of the scheme which includes the surrounding network.

“A number of factors affect air quality, including weather conditions and where readings are taken. In some places buildings more tightly bound the street reducing the opportunities for pollutants to dissipate. We need to work together across our services and with partners in the city to improve air quality and reduce health risks from pollution and air quality. Air quality on Lewes Road will be monitored at regular intervals and will inform future actions.

“We will continue to monitor the effects of the Lewes Road scheme for safety, air quality and traffic in the surrounding area. It is only just over a year since the whole scheme was finished and we need at least three years of data to be able to fully understand its impacts.
“The council will use all the information gathered to look at whether minor changes are needed to improve performance of the Lewes Road scheme.”

Martin Harris, Managing Director, Brighton & Hove Buses added:
“The Lewes Road highways improvements have delivered strong growth in bus passenger usage, not just because they have delivered improved certainty for bus users with more consistent running times, they have also encouraged further investment in bus services by us.
With significantly increased bus patronage and cycle usage, what would have happened to air quality had the Lewes Road scheme not been introduced? This year we will upgrading more low emission buses on the route.

“There have been delays and congestion at Woodingdean traffic lights for many years and from our observations traffic congestion is worse at the Downs Hotel than it is along Lewes Road for cars. I would be surprised if many car drivers would choose a route via Downs Hotel over a route via Lewes Road.

“It would be pointless and counter-productive to open up access to bus lanes at times when the other traffic is at low volumes. There would be no tangible benefit to road users at those time and a considerable risk of more confusion, abuse and weaker enforcement at other times.

“We also need to remember the considerable safety improvements - especially for cyclists - that the road scheme has brought.”

To read the report visit:  http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/parking-and-travel/travel-transport-and-road-safety/lewes-road-transport-improvements