Covid-19: Travelling in the city

Coronavirus (Covid-19) has significantly changed the way people are using roads and public spaces in Brighton and Hove. We have seen an increase in the number of people cycling for pleasure and exercise, fewer journeys are being made by car and more of us are choosing to walk, rather than drive short distances. 

Active travel is playing an important role in helping people get around the city whilst maintaining physical distance and avoiding overcrowding on public transport. We are taking bold and swift action to support walking and cycling as much as possible during the pandemic and as restrictions on movement ease.

We are working under a central government imperative to put in place swift and meaningful plans to reallocate road space for pedestrians and cyclists that alters the status quo. Alongside this is new national guidance for the design of cycling routes, which details specific quality requirements, including the use of segregation to safely separate cyclists from other road users, not simply painted lines.

Transport Action Plan

On 14 May councillors approved a Covid-19 Urgent Response Transport action plan outlining changes that support the city to recover in the short, medium and long-term.

The key principles are:

  • helping vulnerable people in the city
  • making essential journeys safer
  • supporting the local economy
  • ensuring the transition to a Carbon Neutral city by 2030

Following this an Interim Covid-19 Response Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (Interim LCWIP) has been developed to ensure a strategic and evidence based-approach to  the proposed changes. The plan was commissioned by the Policy and Resources Urgency Sub-Committee on 14 May and agreed at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on 23 June alongside an updated Transport Action Plan including further active travel measures to be implemented.

By reallocating road space to pedestrians and cyclists we hope to embed new commuting habits and reap the health, air quality and congestion benefits for the city as a whole.

Disabled and mobility access

All efforts are being made to ensure that people with disabilities or mobility issues will not be adversely affected by the temporary changes to the city’s public spaces and transport network. This includes retaining Blue Badge parking bays and disabled access as a priority, reducing obstructions on the pavement, ensuring cycling facilities are designed with disabled users in mind, and engaging with action groups to ensure concerns of the disabled community are heard and acted upon.

An Equality Impact Assessment has been carried out on the Transport Action Plan to identify potential disproportionate impacts on individuals or groups protected under the Equality Act 2010 so that action can be taken to proactively plan for these individuals / groups and mitigate any negative impacts.

We will continue to monitor each of the temporary changes and make changes if necessary.

If you have a disability or mobility issue and feel you will be adversely affected by the changes, please tell us your thoughts on the scheme concerned by filling in the online survey.

Covid-19 transport changes

Please see a simple summary of the Covid-19 transport changes.

We’ve also put together some Frequently Asked Questions and Mythbusters for the temporary Covid-19 transport changes in the city, to address key questions. These can be found in the contents on the left hand side of this page. 

Tell us what you think about these changes

We welcome feedback on the temporary changes as they are implemented. If you want to share your views, please complete our online survey. Your feedback will help shape our continuing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and future temporary changes to the transport network.

Some of the changes also require Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders that introduce new traffic restrictions. Details of the Orders must legally be advertised for 6 months and you can comment on the proposed restrictions during this time.

Your feedback will be considered by councillors when they determine whether the Orders should remain in place or be changed.

Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    Disabled and mobility access

    Temporary changes to the city’s public spaces and transport network are designed to increase accessibility for all.

    We have put access and equalities considerations at the heart of our temporary changes to the city’s public spaces and transport network.

    They're designed to increase accessibility for everyone and help create a lasting legacy of improvements to the city’s transport network.

    Before any changes are made we plan in measures that take into account the needs of people with disabilities and mobility issues.

    These include:

    • retaining Blue Badge parking bays and disabled access as a priority
    • reducing obstructions on the pavement
    • ensuring cycling facilities are designed with disabled users in mind
    • engaging with action groups to ensure concerns of the disabled community are heard and acted upon

    Disabled access is always considered in new schemes and is of the utmost priority.

    We carried out an Equality Impact Assessment on the Transport Action Plan to identify potential disproportionate impacts on individuals or groups protected under the Equality Act 2010 to make sure we proactively plan for people with disabilities.

    We'll continue to monitor each of the temporary changes and make changes if necessary. This includes an ongoing review of the implications for parking provision where we are looking at options to increase provision for Blue Badge holders where possible.

    If you have a disability or mobility issue and feel you will be adversely affected by the changes, please tell us your thoughts on the scheme concerned by filling in the online survey.

    How we're maintaining and improving access

    A259 cycle lane

    All existing disabled bays are still there, with some being offset from the kerb. These have additional space on either side of the bays and new facilities to ensure additional safety and access.

    When developing this scheme we were careful to ensure that there would be no loss of Blue Badge provision and have taken the opportunity to provide more space within the Blue Badge bays to help with access.

    Madeira Drive

    Disabled parking is available in the Black Rock car park and there are some on-street disabled parking bays available between the car park and Concorde 2.

    The Lanes (Old Town)

    We have increased the number of disabled parking bays in the area from 6 to 11 and they remain in use. They have been changed to 3-hour spaces to enable more disabled users to visit the area.

    Western Road

    This scheme will introduce improved loading and disabled bays.

    Pavement widening

    Widening pavements are important for Covid-19 safety and enable people to physically distance, but this also provides the opportunity to create more space for all users.

    We also take into account access and the needs of disabled users when considering licences for businesses wishing to place tables and chairs outside their premises.

    Some examples of how we have addressed access:

    • Church Road, Hove - existing disabled bays outside Hove Library have been moved slightly further along the road to accommodate changes, and a number of pay and display spaces have been removed
    • St James’s Street - the existing disabled parking bays and taxi rank have been relocated and loading bay space has been reduced

    Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    Public transport

    The council’s Public Health team have been advising public transport providers in the city on how they can effectively manage and reduce the risk of illnesses spreading.

    Staff have been given information and advice on how they can take the same precautions as the public in reducing the spread of illnesses. Buses and taxis are regularly cleaned.

    The council will continue to support our public transport providers.

    Find guidance for staff in the transport sector.

    Travelling by bus

    Brighton & Hove Buses have increased their services further in response to the easing of movement restrictions and more people returning to work. However, due to physical distancing guidance, buses are running with reduced capacity.

    You can view the new Brighton & Hove Bus timetables on their website.

    Passengers are being asked to follow travel guidance, including wearing a face mask whilst travelling on the bus, using contactless forms of payment if possible, or carrying exact change.

    Travelling by train

    Find the latest advice and information from Southern Railway.

    Due to physical distancing guidance, trains are running with reduced capacity. Before travelling by train you should check information on the government website for the latest available update. 

    Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    A259 on-road cycle lane

    A259 on-road cycle lane

    The pathway and cycle lanes on the seafront are under increasing pressure as people are exercising and travelling in more active ways during the Covid-19 pandemic. This makes it difficult for both pedestrians and cyclists to physically distance.

    To reduce this pressure, we have introduced a temporary cycle lane on the road between the Palace Pier roundabout and the western boundary of the city. The first phase is now complete and the second phase will be delivered later in the year.

    The key features of Phase 1 are:

    • a new temporary on-road westbound cycle lane in the nearside traffic lane between West Street and Fourth Avenue, Hove
    • the cycle lane is up to 3m wide to accommodate all types of cycles, including adapted and passenger-carrying cycles, as well as families travelling together - the cycle lane has been lightly segregated using plastic bollards and barriers, this is a requirement of the funding from the Department for Transport and will also protect the cycle lane from illegal parking and improve the safety for cyclists
    • eastbound cyclists will continue to use the existing cycle lane on the seafront promenade
    • existing bus stops for the No. 77 Breeze service will be retained - get up-to-date information on bus frequencies for the No. 77 service
    • all existing signal-controlled pedestrian crossings will remain and cyclists will be required to stop at the stop lines

    View a design overview of the temporary scheme.

    "Cyclists using the temporary cycle lane along the seafront"

    At the end of August a 600 metre section of the temporary cycle lane on the A259 between the Aquarium roundabout and West Street was taken following discussions with Brighton & Hove Buses about bus journey times and public feedback on congestion on this part of the westbound carriageway. The rest of the temporary cycle lane remains in place as agreed by councillors at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee in June.

    Impact on parking

    As much parking as possible on the southern side of the road has been retained, but 74 permit/shared and 14 pay and display spaces will be lost as part of Phase 1; an overall reduction of approximately 60% of parking bays on the south side of the road. There will also be a marginal reduction in the space for motorcycle parking and loading bay areas (1.6 metres and 1 metre overall respectively).

    Retained parking bays will be offset from the kerb to ensure the cycle lane can run uninterrupted behind them.

    All parking on the north side of the road has remained unchanged.

    All existing disabled bays have been retained although some will be offset from the kerb with additional space and new facilities to ensure additional safety and access at these locations.

    ‘No loading/unloading at any time’ restrictions will be introduced on the south side of Grand Junction Road, King’s Road and Kingsway and double yellow lines have been reinstated on sections of the cycle lane where parking bays have been offset.

    Next steps

    We will be closely monitoring the impact of the cycle lane and expect this reallocation of road space will help to reduce vehicle speeds along the route for the benefit of all users.

    A second phase of work to extend the cycle lane to the western boundary of the city is planned to be completed later in the year.

    How you can have your say

    You can feed back your views on the new temporary cycle lane through our online survey.

    Your feedback will help shape our continuing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and future temporary changes to the transport network.

    The changes to the A259 require an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order that must legally be advertised for 6 months. You can comment on the changes during this period and your feedback will be considered by councillors when they decide whether the restrictions should remain in place or be changed.

    Other planned changes to the A259

    Marine Parade cycle lane

    As part of further cycling improvements on the A259, plans for a new temporary on-road segregated cycle lane along Marine Parade are being developed, alongside permanent safety improvements at key junctions for cyclists. This will provide an attractive and safer alternative option to the seafront National Cycle Network route 2 for cyclists commuting from the east of the city. The cycle lane will be up to 3m wide so that all types of cycles, including adapted and passenger carrying cycles, can be accommodated. The road will still be open to general traffic in both directions.

    Further detail on this proposed change can be found in our recent bid to the Department for Transport for funding to support active travel measures

    New bus lane

    In addition, the introduction of a new eastbound bus lane between Roedean Road and Ovingdean Roundabout is being explored. Buses here are often caught in the queue of general traffic, which can lead to delayed services along this important coastal commuter route into the city. A separate bus lane would ensure fewer public transport delays and encourage people to travel by bus along this route.

    Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    Madeira Drive

    Madeira Drive remains temporarily closed to motor vehicles (between Palace Pier roundabout and Concorde 2), as agreed by councillors at Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee in June.

    The closure does not apply to businesses with essential access needs to properties along the road.

    Marshals are stationed at the Black Rock end of Madeira Drive to support the closure from 8am to 8pm. 

    All efforts are being made to ensure that people with disabilities or mobility issues will not be adversely affected by the temporary changes to the city’s public spaces and transport network. Disabled parking is available in the Black Rock car park and some on-street disabled parking bays are also now available between the car park and Concorde 2.

    More information

    Madeira Drive was closed to motor vehicles in April, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, to allow nearby residents to walk and cycle safely.

    It was agreed by the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on 23 June that the road should remain closed to motor vehicles for the time being. 

    Events

    While the temporary road closure remains in place, Madeira Drive will be open and available when necessary to host events in both the short and long term.

    Impact on parking

    All parking bays along the closed section of Madeira Drive remain unavailable, including disabled bays and pay & display parking bays. However, a small number of disabled bays and pay & display bays are available to use between Concorde 2 and Black Rock Car Park. Disabled parking is also available in the Black Rock car park.

    Next steps

    This road closure and any future change requires an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order that must legally be advertised for up to six months. You can comment on the proposed restrictions during this period and your feedback will be considered by councillors when they determine whether the restrictions should remain in place or be changed.

    How you can have your say

    You can comment on all the temporary changes via our online survey.

    Your feedback will help inform the shape of future temporary changes to the transport network.

    Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    Old Shoreham Road (A270) cycle lanes

    Road space on both sides of the A270 – Old Shoreham Road, from its junction with Hangleton Road to The Drive, is temporarily allocated to cyclists. The temporary cycle lanes run along a 1.7 mile stretch and provide a major cycling link to the west of the city, where access to cycling facilities is currently very limited. The cycle lanes connect with the existing cycle network running to Dyke Road and the seafront.

    Flexible plastic bollards have been installed to ensure that there is a physical barrier between cyclists and other traffic on the road, making the cycle lane as safe as possible for users. The bollards have been spaced to enable access for all types of cycles, including adapted and passenger carrying cycles, as well as families travelling together, and to ensure sightlines are not blocked for disabled cyclists. Temporary cycle lane signs and road markings along the route and at junctions make road users aware of the change.

    Residents can still access to their driveways by crossing the cycle lane, but drivers need to consider cyclists using the lane when entering and leaving their property.

    Adult and child cycling on the temporary cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road

    Access to the Household Waste & Recycling Centre

    Traffic controls are in place at Hove Waste & Recycling Centre along this stretch of Old Shoreham Road, to manage capacity and safety. Vehicles are only able queue on the site access road to keep traffic flowing on the main road. Stewards are positioned at the site entrance to manage queueing and will ask drivers to return at less busy times if necessary. You can find more information about the city’s Waste & Recycling Centres on the recycling webpages.

    Next steps

    Plans are underway to extend the temporary cycle lanes on Old Shoreham Road to the border with West Sussex, near to Applesham Way, to join up with the cycle lanes being installed by West Sussex County Council.

    We will continue to monitor the impact of the temporary cycle lanes on Old Shoreham Road and gather evidence to inform a future decision on whether these remain.

    How you can have your say

    You can comment on this temporary change via our online survey.

    Your feedback will help shape our continuing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and future temporary changes to the transport network.

    Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    Pavement widening to support physical distancing

    Pavement in various locations across Brighton and Hove has been temporarily widened to provide additional footway space for pedestrians to pass one another safely, including around customers queuing outside shops.

    Pavement widening at the following busy locations has been prioritised:

    • Western Road – the bus stop outside Waitrose has been temporarily moved to the east to widen the pavement, and bus operator staff will be present between Marks & Spencer and Imperial Arcade to manage queues at the bus stops.
    • Church Road, Hove - the Hove Town Hall bus stop outside NatWest has been relocated to Tisbury Road to widen pavement space on Church Road. The pavement outside St Andrew’s Church has also been widened to help pedestrians physically distance around the bus stop. Existing disabled bays outside Hove Library have been moved slightly further along the road to accommodate this change, and a number of pay & display spaces have been removed.
    • St James’s Street – the pavement near Morrisons and further along the street has been widened to help pedestrians physically distance at pinch points. To accommodate this change the existing disabled parking bays and taxi rank have been relocated and loading bay space has been reduced.
    • London Road – bus stops near to Aldi have been relocated further along the road and to the pavement has been widened to help pedestrians physically distance. To accommodate this change two disabled bays and a number of pay & display parking bays have been removed, as well as some loading bay space.

    A wider pavement next to a road in Brighton

    Access restrictions

    Traffic restrictions in busier shopping areas of the city, such as North Laine and the Old Town, have also been put in place. to help businesses, residents and visitors use public spaces safely. You can view maps of these locations and the access restrictions online.

    How you can have your say

    You can comment on this temporary change via our online survey.

    Your feedback will help shape our continuing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and future temporary changes to the transport network.

    These changes also require Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders that must legally be advertised for six months. You can comment on the proposed restrictions during this period and your feedback will be considered by Councillors when they determine whether the restrictions should remain in place or be changed.

    Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    The Old Town (The Lanes)

    The Lanes are a narrow section of roads and interlinking passageways that have high pedestrian footfall and very narrow footways. Access for cycling can be difficult and there are limited opportunities for cycle parking. Many vehicles circle through the area looking to park, limiting the opportunity for walking and cycling. Businesses require access for deliveries, as do a number of private car parks.

    A 24-hour experimental traffic restriction is now in place to stop vehicles using the area except for access. Black Lion Street is closed at the northern end, Ship Street is closed at the North Street junction and the existing restrictions on Market Street and East Street remain. Access for residents, businesses, taxis, and disabled badge holders is still allowed.

    By restricting vehicle access throughout the Old Town we are further supporting cyclists and pedestrians to physically distance and helping businesses to reopen by utilising the additional provision of outdoor space.

    Wider pavement next to a road in Old Town otherwise know as The Lanes

    Impact on parking

    The changes in the Old Town mean that approximately 30 parking spaces have been removed whilst the experimental traffic order is in place. Access to private car parks is still permitted, as well as access for business, deliveries and taxi drivers who are picking up and dropping off customers.

    We have increased the number of disabled parking bays in the area from 6 to 11 and they remain in use, although they have been changed to 3-hour spaces to enable more disabled users to visit the area.

    How you can have your say

    You can comment on this temporary change via our online survey.

    Your feedback will help shape our continuing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and future temporary changes to the transport network.

    The changes in Old Town require an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order that must legally be advertised for six months. You can comment on the proposed restrictions during this period and your feedback will be considered by Councillors when they determine whether the restrictions should remain in place or be changed.

    Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    A23 cycling improvements

    Many residential areas rely on the A23 for access to the city by car or public transport. The road also forms part of the well-used National Cycle Network (NCN) route 20, but there is a very narrow section where the route shares the footpath with pedestrians, which means cyclists and pedestrians cannot safely physically distance.

    To improve the safety of walkers and cyclists and provide a good quality cycle lane along this section of Preston Road (A23), a temporary on-road cycle lane is proposed from Dyke Road Drive to Argyle Road, as well as a number of upgrades to existing pedestrian crossings. The change will include the temporary suspension of Springfield Road bus stop (northbound), although the Preston Circus – Stop X will remain. The Argyle Road junction with Preston Road will also be closed, which should limit the use of Argyle Road / Campbell Road as a rat-run and help to reduce traffic speeds.

    Impact on parking

    There will be a reduction in on-street parking by three bays in Argyle Road between the junction with Campbell Road and Preston Road to accommodate a new on-road cycle lane. All other parking bays in the area will be retained and this section of Argyle Road will be made two-way for all to allow access to these. The current footway cycle lane in Argyle Road will be removed to make more space for pedestrians along this narrow section.

    Residents and businesses will still be able to access to their driveways by crossing the cycle lane, but drivers need to consider cyclists using the lane when entering and leaving their property.

    Next steps

    We wrote to residents and businesses about implementing this change in July, but this change has now been postponed until later in the year. Whilst engaging people about the planned change concerns were raised about access for larger vehicles including for refuse collection. The decision to delay this change will allow additional time for these concerns to be resolved and for suitable solutions to be put in place.

    Other planned changes to the A23

    As part of further improvements along the A23, plans to permanently widen the existing on-road cycle lane and permanently upgrade key junctions are being developed. A new segregated cycle lane on the road will improve the quality of the route for cyclists and provide additional, safe space on the pavement for pedestrians. The change will build on the Preston Road cycling improvements and link up with the Valley Gardens scheme to provide a high-quality cycle route between the city centre and the north of the city and a safe alternative to public transport or travel by car.

    Further detail on this proposed change can be found in our recent bid to the Department for Transport for funding to support active travel measures

    Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    Cycle hire and cycle parking

    As part of the Valley Gardens improvement scheme in Brighton City Centre we have introduced 56 additional cycle parking stands, providing parking for 112 cycles in the area. To support the increased demand for cycling since the start of the pandemic we are installing a further 50 cycle parking stands to accommodate 100 more cycles. Provision of additional cycle parking is also included in our recent bid to the Department for Transport for funding to support active travel measures, this is focused around providing grant funds for businesses.

    If you would like to suggest another location in the city for cycle parking, either traditional stands or a new on-road cycle parking place, please complete our online cycle parking request form.

    Brighton BikeShare Scheme

    Brighton & Hove also has a well-established BikeShare scheme with 69 cycle hire hubs around the city. Demand for this scheme has increased as people are choosing more active ways to travel during the pandemic. Six additional BikeShare cycle hubs are being created to support this increase in demand.

    Current confirmed sites for the additional hubs are: Black Rock, Withdene Rise, Victoria Road and Hove Park Villas. A further three new bikeshare hubs are proposed for the Old Shoreham Road / A23 areas to complement the proposals here, as part of our recent bid to the Department for Transport for funding to support active travel measures

    These changes require Traffic Regulation Orders that must legally be advertised, so that people can comment on the proposed restrictions during the consultation period.

    Brighton Bike Share next street art on a wall

    During the pandemic the BTN BikeShare scheme has been made available for free to NHS staff and council-contracted care staff working in Brighton & Hove, as they are supporting some of the vulnerable people living in the city.

    The free BikeShare scheme for NHS workers is now fully subscribed. Care contractor staff working for Brighton & Hove City Council can still contact their lead commissioner or manager to access a free pass. From September nursery and school staff will also be offered discounted access to the BikeShare scheme. Further information will be available nearer the time.

    Enhanced cleaning of the BikeShare bikes is helping to minimise any possible spread of Covid-19. Additional cleaning and maintenance of the scheme’s 600 bikes takes place on the five busiest days of the week, and the busiest cycle hubs are prioritised.

    Customers are also being encouraged to wear protective gloves if they wish to, avoid touching their faces or eyes while riding, and to wash their hands thoroughly before and after use. Riders should practice social distancing from pedestrians and others on shared routes and cycle lanes.

    Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    Signage across the city centre

    In the city centre floor markings, temporary signs and banners reminding people to ‘Give Space Keep Safe’ have been installed to encourage people to maintain physical distancing.

    The demand for walking and cycling along the seafront and undercliff path has significantly increased during lockdown, as people have taken the opportunity to use this popular route for their daily exercise and to travel actively.

    To help manage congestion at these locations, additional temporary signs have been installed.

    Moveable, electronically-controlled signs and floor markings remind people not to cycle along the promenade and to share the busy seafront routes responsibly and safely.

    Signage with the words Pedestrian Priority Cyclists Slow on the groundReturn to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    School Streets

    From 4 September 2020 a number of emergency, temporary ‘School Streets’ will start across the city. These schemes temporarily restrict motor vehicle access near school entrances during school opening and closing times.

    The School Streets programme is being implemented to support the safe reopening of primary schools and nurseries across the city by giving people the space to physically distance outside the school gates, improving road safety for children and families, and giving them the opportunity to travel to school in more active ways.

    More information about where and how this is happening can be found on the School Streets webpage.

    Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    How we are funding these changes

    The changes in the Transport Action Plan are being funded through a combination of the Council’s own Local Transport Plan budget and the emergency funding made available by government to support urgent action in response to Covid-19.

    In June the Council was awarded more than £650,000 from the Emergency Active Travel Fund by the Department for Transport to deliver a first tranche of changes to the transport network to support active travel in the city.

    The Government established the Fund to protect and increase transport services, improve infrastructure and help regenerate local economies after the coronavirus outbreak

    You can find out how we are spending this money by reading the bid we submitted.

    We are also awaiting the outcome of a second bid to the Department for Transport for a further tranche of funding that will be focused on longer-term projects. We expect to know the outcome of in early September.

    Return to the main coronavirus information web pages.

    Frequently Asked Questions for Temporary transport changes in Brighton & Hove

    Background

    Why are we putting in place temporary transport changes in the city?

    In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, councils are being instructed by central government to quickly put in place temporary walking and cycling measures. This is to help social distancing and provide safe, alternative ways to travel in and around the city.

    This is particularly important in Brighton & Hove where bus use is high and current bus capacity is reduced due to social distancing requirements.

    For the first set of urgent, temporary changes, the council was given a timescale of just 8 weeks from government to put them in place (following a timescale of 8 working days to put forward funding proposals for temporary changes). These timescales are unprecedented, and a direct result of the emergency situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Details of temporary transport changes in the city.

    Find out more in this government news article.

    Why is encouraging more cycling and walking good for the city?

    More people walking and cycling in our city is good for people’s physical and mental health, the environment and the local pollution and congestion levels.

    During the national lockdown many more people discovered walking and cycling as a means of daily exercise and a safe, socially distanced way of getting around the city. It is important that people are supported to walk and cycle now that lockdown restrictions have eased to ensure we maintain ‘greener’ travel habits and build healthier communities.

    It’s also vital that the limited capacity on our public transport does not become overcrowded and our roads congested, as this will hold up critical services and supplies.

    Encouraging more people to walk and cycle will reduce car and vehicle journeys and therefore reduce air pollution and carbon emissions enabling the city to become Carbon Neutral by 2030.

    Why are the changes being put in place so quickly?

    The Covid-19 pandemic has created an urgent need to enable social distancing in busy areas of the city and on public transport. As the economy re-opens, emergency changes have been put in place as ‘normal’ timescales for changes to the road network would not be quick enough as these can take on average 18 months.

    Changes have been put in place on a temporary basis, using Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) where applicable. These are existing powers which allow the council to make changes to the road network quickly, on a trial basis.

    Feedback is collected while the change is in place which means that changes to the road network can be altered quickly to address issues and also to respond to feedback. For example, a section of the temporary A259 cycle lane was taken away just weeks after being implemented, to address unforeseen issues affecting bus operation in the city.

    This demonstrates how quickly temporary schemes can be amended where necessary.

    You can have your say on temporary measures in 2 ways:

    1. via our public feedback survey

    2. via the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) statutory consultation process. Experimental TROs are in place for the following schemes – click below to comment on a TRO consultation and for more details on all TROs see our TRO webpage:

    a. Seafront (A259) temporary cycle lane

    b.Madeira Drive temporary closure

    c. Pavement widening

    d. The Old Town (The Lanes) traffic restriction

    e. New Road traffic restriction

    f.  School Streets

    The Old Shoreham Road (A270) temporary cycle lane does not have a TRO in place as we only need to advertise a TRO in place when necessary legally, but to have your say on this scheme please comment on the public feedback survey.

    What about those who need to drive or use a bus to get into the city?

    Care has been taken to ensure impact on other modes of travel is minimised when putting in place temporary walking and cycling changes. However, there is limited space on the highway network and therefore in some locations there may be an impact.

    The council has to make the best use of road space for all users and this is a balance between different needs. We work closely with bus companies in the city through our Quality Bus Partnership and other transport providers through our Transport Partnership. We ensure regular communications about the temporary plans are shared with these partners.

    We have future plans to put in place ‘Park Active’ sites where those who need to drive into the city can park at a convenient location and then walk or cycle the rest of the way. Further details will be announced when this is ready to launch.

    Anyone who has a disability or limited mobility and who needs to drive into and around the city, for example Blue Badge holders, can still do so. We have ensured that wherever possible there is no reduction in the number of disabled parking bays as a result of the temporary changes. We are working closely with disability groups to address initial issues raised about the impact of some of the changes and welcome ongoing feedback while changes are in place.

    You can have your say on temporary measures via our public feedback survey and by commenting on the Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders.

    What work has been carried out before the changes were put in place?

    For many of the initial changes the timescales for putting these in place were tight. Initial measures were set out in the Urgent Response Transport Action Plan, which was agreed by councillors at the Policy and Resources Urgency Sub-committee on 14 May 2020.

    In May and June 2020 we commissioned a high-level assessment of potential measures that could be put in place on a temporary basis in the city. See the Interim Covid-19 Response Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (Interim LCWIP).

    Based on the analysis in the Interim LCWIP measures were set out in an updated version of the Urgent Response Transport Action Plan, which was approved by councillors at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee on 23 June 2020. Alongside this, an Equality Impact Assessment was initiated, to identify and mitigate any potential disproportionate impacts the planned urgent changes could have on people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act.

    This assessment informed councillors’ decisions about the Action Plan and continues to be updated to reflect new and unforeseen impacts as they emerge.

    Temporary changes have then been designed and put in place, using Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders where necessary. The design of changes also incorporates a Road Safety Audit for large schemes both before and after the changes are made. You find out more about the temporary transport changes.

    Why are the temporary cycle lanes segregated?

    To create a safe and attractive environment for cycling it is important that high-quality cycle lanes are put in place. Many non-cyclists are put off by safety concerns and therefore providing safe, protected cycle lanes is a key part of encouraging more people to cycle.

    Government released new national design standards for cycling in July which significantly raises the standards for cycling infrastructure, including the use of segregation to safely separate cyclists from other road users (pedestrians as well as motor traffic). Schemes which do not meet these requirements will not be funded by government (including temporary and permanent changes).

    What are the barriers / wands used for the cycle lanes, they look permanent?

    Temporary cycle lanes, for example on Old Shoreham Road and the seafront (A259), have been constructed using flexible plastic ‘wands’ which are a temporary feature that can be easily amended or removed. Although they are temporary, it is important that the cycle lanes are physically separated from motor traffic. This is a requirement of central government guidance and also makes cycling safer for those using the new lanes.

    The cycle lanes are affecting emergency vehicles

    We have been engaging with emergency services throughout this process will continue to do so as the schemes develop. If at any stage there is evidence of an impact on response times, then action will be taken to mitigate this wherever possible and details will be included as part of the review process. The temporary, flexible cycle ‘wands’ separating the cycle lane from vehicles driving on the road are designed to enable emergency vehicles to drive over them, if required in an emergency.

    Funding

    How have the temporary measures been funded?

    Measures will largely be funded through government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.

    What is the Emergency Active Travel Fund?

    This is a £250m funding pot from government which aims to enable more cycling and walking for everyday journeys as well as support social distancing.

    The funding has been split into two stages:

    • Tranche 1 is focused on temporary measures to be put in place urgently - within 8 weeks
    • Tranche 2 forms the bulk of the funding and is for both temporary and permanent measures - to be put in place by April 2021.

    How much did the council receive through this fund?

    Brighton & Hove City Council received £663,000 through Tranche 1 of the funding.

    This was over 10% more than the expected funding allocation, as our bid scored very well against the fund criteria.

    The council has also bid for £2.68m for Tranche 2 of the funding. Brighton & Hove received a higher indicative allocation than other similar authorities due to its high level of bus use, as the fund is intended to provide walking and cycling changes to help address reductions in bus capacity due to social distancing requirements.

    Read more in our bid documents.

    Can the money be used for other purposes like potholes or lighting?

    The funding is very specific to walking and cycling measures. It cannot be used for other purposes. If we do not spend the money on the changes we have set out to government, we must repay the money.

    Scheme delivery

    What has been delivered through the Emergency Active Travel Fund?

    For Tranche 1 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund, we had 8 weeks to fully deliver the temporary projects identified in our bid.

    These are unprecedented timescales for delivering this type of change, and it’s directly related to the emergency situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Projects delivered in Tranche 1 included:

    • temporary segregated cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road (A270)
    • temporary pedestrian measures in Old Town and North Laine areas
    • temporary pavement widening in key areas including Western Road, Church Street, London Road and St James Street
    • temporary segregated cycle lane on the seafront (A259 Kingsway)
    • additional cycle parking
    • additional BTN Bikeshare hubs

    What is still to be delivered through the Emergency Active Travel Fund?

    The Tranche 2 bid focuses on improving walking and cycling on five strategic corridors in the city:

    • Old Shoreham Road (continuation of scheme from Tranche 1)
    • Seafront (A259 Kingsway / Wellington Road) (continuation of scheme from Tranche 1)
    • London Road (A23)
    • Marine Parade (A259)
    • Western Road

    Find out more in our bid to government. We do not yet know the outcome of this bid.

    What other proposals have been agreed?

    Other measures were agreed in at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on 23 June, including a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in the Hanover area and School Streets (timed road closures around schools to encourage safe and active travel).

    Find out more in the committee decision pages.

    These will be funded through the Local Transport Plan (LTP) programme. The existing LTP will be reprogrammed to take into account the emergency changes in response to Covid-19.

    Where can I find out about the temporary changes in place?

    Visit our dedicated Covid-19 travel and transport webpage to find up to date information on temporary changes in the city, including the impact on parking and disabled bays. This is updated regularly as new changes are put in place and as they are amended. You can have your say on temporary measures via our public feedback survey and by commenting on the Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders.

    If you require more detail that is not available on our webpage, please email transport.projects@brighton-hove.gov.uk

    What are the key dates and actions so far?

    Date

    Key activity

    16 March

    UK enters Covid-19 ‘lockdown’

    9 May

    Government instructs councils to take action “within weeks” to

    meaningfully reallocate road space for walking and cycling

    9 May

    £250m Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) announced

    14 May

    Councillors agree Covid-19 Urgent Response Transport Action Plan

    (URTAP)

    5 June

    Council submits EATF Tranche 1 bid for c. £700k to deliver 21 different urgent temporary changes

    23 June

    Councillors approve updated URTAP with additional temporary measures

    25 June

    Council awarded £663k EATF funding to deliver Tranche 1 within 8 weeks

    7 August

    Council submits EATF Tranche 2 bid for £2.68m to deliver 5 key cycling schemes + 13 complementary measures by April 2021

    Late September

    Outcome of Tranche 2 EATF bid expected

    29

    September

    Councillors to review all temporary changes at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee

     

    Community engagement and monitoring

    Why has consultation not taken place before the changes went in?

    The first funding available to the council to put in temporary changes (Tranche 1 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund), had an 8-week timeframe to be completely finished. Due to the emergency nature of the temporary changes this did not allow for the ‘normal’ consultation process to be followed. For experimental or temporary changes, light infrastructure is put in place which can easily be removed or amended, and feedback is gathered while it is in place. This feedback then influences the design, with changes made to schemes as required.

    For example, a section of the temporary A259 cycle lane was taken away just weeks after being implemented, to address unforeseen issues affecting bus operation in the city. This demonstrates how quickly temporary changes can be amended in the case of issues. You can have your say on temporary measures via our public feedback survey and by commenting on the Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders.

    What engagement is being carried out?

    Since June a public feedback survey has been in place for people to share their views on any of the temporary changes. The survey is updated with information on new temporary changes as they are put in place. Consultations are also taking place for the Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs).

    We are also talking separately with our public sector partners, and other key stakeholders in the city, including community and disability groups.

    What monitoring is being carried out?

    Alongside the public survey, monitoring is carried out on the changes, including traffic counts to record the volume and speed of traffic (including cyclists), video surveys to monitor pedestrian / parking behaviour, queue length surveys and usage of BTN Bikeshare.

    Has an Equalities Impact Assessment been produced?

    Yes, this can be viewed on our website. This document is evolving with the temporary measures and will be updated for future council committees to consider alongside any changes.

    Decision-making

    Will temporary changes be automatically made permanent?

    No, temporary changes will not automatically be made permanent. Any changes to temporary schemes will be decided by councillors at council committees. This includes consideration of whether to keep temporary changes in place, amend or remove them. A temporary scheme, implemented under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order can legally be in place for up to 18 months.

    Formal comments to the current Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders during the consultation period will be presented to the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee within 18 months to determine the way forward. Where there are major permanent changes this would be subject to further full consultation through a Permanent Traffic Regulation Order.

    How have these changes been approved?

    The temporary transport changes have been approved by the following council committees:

    What is the next stage to review the changes?

    Councillors will next review the changes at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee on 29 September at 4pm. Find out more and view the webcast for the meeting live.

    How can I have my say and influence decisions?

    Please fill in the public feedback survey with your views on the temporary changes.

    Please comment on the formal Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders.

    You can also speak to your local councillor and/or make your voice heard by petitioning or speaking at a council committee meeting.

    Other

    What is an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (TRO)?

    An Experimental Traffic Regulation Order is the legal way of putting in place certain changes to the highway, for emergency measures and/or to trial changes before making long-term decisions on design. This way of working gives us the opportunity to engage and flexibly respond to concerns while temporary changes are in place. Comments can be submitted on the changes within the first six months of the scheme being built, and schemes can be in place for up to 18 months.

    Formal comments to the current Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders during the consultation period will be presented to the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee within 18 months to determine the way forward. Where there are major permanent changes this would be subject to further full consultation through a Permanent Traffic Order.

    View all the current TROs on our website and current TRO consultations for temporary transport changes are as follows:

    Seafront (A259) temporary cycle lane

    Madeira Drive temporary closure

    Pavement widening

    The Old Town (The Lanes) traffic restriction

    New Road traffic restriction

    School Streets

    Why was the section of the A259 temporary cycle lane removed?

    Removing traffic lanes to allow the cycle lane in the Palace Pier Roundabout area was having a detrimental impact on the operation of this key junction in the city, including on the city’s bus operation. Changes were therefore needed in order to keep the city moving. The temporary, experimental nature of the scheme allows us to make changes in the event of an issue.

    No-one was using the temporary cycle lane when I drove past

    For the temporary changes, independent traffic counts are carried out to measure the volume and speed of all traffic along a route, including cyclists. This provides an accurate, independent, standard-method count of the usage of this area by all vehicles over a set period (usually a week) in both directions. Analysis of this data helps us to understand the usage of the road and any speed issues, and to assist in deciding on the future of the scheme. For example, for the Old Shoreham Road temporary cycle lane, initial data shows a 61% increase in the number of cyclists.

    Cyclists were still using the road when a cycle lane was available

    Even if a cycle lane is provided, cyclists may legally use the main carriageway if they wish to. There may be many reasons for this including cyclists who are turning right into a side road or at a junction and therefore need to be in the main carriageway, or on routes where provision of cycle facilities is limited and cyclists do not want a complex journey on and off the different types of cycle facilities (e.g. cycle facilities shared with the pavement). Provision of future facilities should avoid some of these problems as the council will be required to put in place higher quality cycling facilities separate from pedestrians and traffic, in line with the new national cycling design guidance.

    Cyclists don’t pay road tax

    Roads are paid for from general taxation and not directly by vehicle drivers. If you pay tax, you pay for roads. Drivers of vehicles pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) which is related to paying for the emissions a vehicle produces. This is paid to central government treasury funds and is not directly related to road spend either nationally or locally.

    You’ve widened pavements and restaurants / cafes are just using the space for their tables and chairs.

    In many locations additional provision has been made for businesses to expand into public spaces in order to operate safely for both customers and staff. Where possible we have allowed expansion of tables and chairs but only where it does not affect the safety of road users including those with disabilities.

    What is the LCWIP?

    The LCWIP is the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, a strategic document currently in development for the city. This document aims to set out a network of improvements for walking and cycling in the city. Find out more about the LCWIP. The draft LCWIP document will be subject to public consultation later this year, following stakeholder involvement in its development to date.

    In order to inform the temporary transport changes, an Interim Covid-19 Response LCWIP (Interim LCWIP) was also produced, this considered at a high level the potential for where improvements could be put in place in the city in response to Covid-19 and the need for social distancing / more capacity for walking and cycling.

    The temporary changes mean we can’t easily park in the city anymore

    Where possible we have tried to minimise impact on parking, however in some locations parking has had to be removed to make the changes possible. To create the walking and cycling changes government needs us to, we need safe and continuous access along these routes. The council has to make the best use of road space for all users and this is a balance between different needs. We would strongly encourage those who can to walk and cycle for local journeys.

    The seafront cycle lane looks different to the picture

    Pictures circulated in the press showed a ‘vision’ for a potential permanent option for the A259 route for cycling. This is not what we are putting in place as a temporary change. See the temporary scheme details and download a more detailed version

    Mythbusters: Learn the facts about the temporary transport changes

    Read our 'mythbusters' to learn about the changes and what will happen in the future. 

    Myth

    “The council is not consulting on changes”

    Fact

    For temporary changes, feedback is gathered when the scheme is in place and changes can quickly be made (for example the removal of a section of the temporary seafront cycle lane). If a change is to be made permanent it will need a decision by councillors and any significant changes would require further consultation. 

    Myth

    “There is no need for these changes”

    Fact

    Councils were instructed by central government to quickly put in place temporary walking and cycling changes in response to Covid-19, to help social distancing, provide space to move around the city safely, avoid overcrowding on public transport and limit the spread of the virus.

    Myth

    “Temporary changes will automatically be made permanent”

    Fact 

    Temporary changes will not automatically be made permanent. All schemes are monitored and any changes will be reviewed and decided by councillors. If a change is to be made permanent it will need a decision by councillors and any significant changes would require further consultation. 

    Myth 

    “The council could spend this money in better ways”

    Fact

    The funding is very specific to walking and cycling measures and cannot be used for other purposes. If we do not spend the money on the schemes we have set out to government, we must repay the money. 

    Myth

    “The council has rushed these changes”

    Fact

    Initial schemes had just an 8-week timescale from government due to the urgency of the Covid-19 response needed. As changes were put in quickly this means ongoing feedback and monitoring is being collected and changes can be made if needed.