Western Road scheme awarded £1.5m by the Department for Transport
Following a bid earlier this year, the city council has successfully secured £1.5m from the Department for Transport’s Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund for our Western Road repair and improvement scheme.
The scheme involves resurfacing large areas of Western Road that have been badly damaged by bus movements, the removal of islands that will be replaced with improvements to crossing points for pedestrians and the creation of a cycle route.
This funding, which was announced by central government earlier in the week, will complement the work to make it easier to travel into the city centre by public transport as well as making it safer for pedestrians, in line with making our city centre more accessible for all our residents and visitors.
Prioritising long term development
The Western Road scheme is an example of how the council is prioritising long term development to the public transport infrastructure in the city.
Improvements to Western Road will mean that one of our public transport arteries will run more smoothly for those walking, cycling and using public transport to get into the city centre - making it easier to use public transport when moving around the city.
Although in an urgent short term response to Covid-19 we have been proactive in supporting active travel in the city, highlighted by BTN BikeShare celebrating their one millionth journey a week ago, in the long term we know that effective public transport links are pivotal for our vision of a carbon neutral Brighton & Hove by 2030.
Encouraging even more sustainable travel
Cycle use has sky-rocketed in the first quarter of 2020, with a mix of those using them for their lockdown exercise and also by those choosing a new way to travel when there was less traffic in the easing of restrictions, the implementation of changes along Western Road will build on this new found cycling confidence providing another key access link in the cycling infrastructure of the city. The road is also part of the city’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone.
Providing the best surface possible will also cause less damage to buses and bikes as they head in and out of the city centre, complementing the new zero-emission technology equipped buses to provide a quieter environment for local residents and businesses.
Upgrading the crossing links will also make the commute into the city centre better for those that walk and those that get the bus, as the transition between the two will be easier and hopefully go towards encouraging even more sustainable travel around Brighton & Hove.
Councillor Anne Pissaridou, Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee said: “The announcement of £1.5m funding for this programme is very welcome and will enable us to make repairs and improvements to Western Road for all residents, but most specifically pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers.
“It is well known that we are working towards Brighton & Hove being carbon neutral by 2030 and adapting and improving our main roads in and out of the city centre to transform the clean public transport links is an important milestone to reaching this goal.”
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