Covid-19: Travelling in the city
National lockdown: stay at home
You must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes).
If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.
The list of reasons you can leave your home and area include, but are not limited to:
- work, where you cannot reasonably work from home
- accessing education and for caring responsibilities
- visiting those in your support bubble – or your childcare bubble for childcare
- visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
- buying goods or services that you need, but this should be within your local area wherever possible
- outdoor exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)
- attending the care and exercise of an animal, or veterinary services
If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practice social distancing while you travel.
Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble. See the guidance on car sharing.
If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.
The way we travel around Brighton & Hove is changing
We're seeing significant changes to the way people use the city’s streets. More of us are walking and cycling for exercise and to get to work, school and other destinations.
We have a strong instruction, and funding, from central government to make active travel an attractive option for short journeys, or as part of a longer journey.
For more information on these changes and to have your say, visit the One Journey Better page.
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.
In August we submitted a second bid to the Department for Transport for a further tranche of funding focused on longer-term projects and it was confirmed in November that we were being awarded £2.376m; our full allocation of funding.
Disabled and mobility access
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.
- 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.
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.
We have reopened Madeira Drive one-way. All parking spaces on the north side of the road are available to motorists. Parking bays on the south side of the road are suspended, with the exception of spaces available to Blue Badge holders and close to Yellowave.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 car users to visit the area.
This scheme will introduce improved loading and disabled bays.
Wider pavements enable people to physically distance during the pandemic, 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
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.
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 while travelling on the bus, using contactless forms of payment if possible, or carrying exact change.
The council is regularly reviewing school bus capacity with bus operators. This is in response to the easing of restrictions, government guidance and changing demand across the wider bus network.
Most extra school-only services will continue to run until at least 25 June to help social distancing. This is with the exception of the following which will end from 7 June.
- Service 27: 07.56 Withdean to Churchill Square
- Service 55: 15.35 Portslade Academy to Churchill Square
- Service 48: 15.10 Cardinal Newman to Lower Bevendean
- Service 94: 07.56 Southover Street/Ewart Street to Loder Road (Dorothy Stringer / Varndean) (now combined with another service running at the same time)
A number of other services will also be opened up again to the wider public. This is only being done where there is capacity to do so.
The continuation of extra school bus services after the 25 June is subject to the further easing of restrictions and guidance from the Government.
For any enquires on specific routes or timetables, please phone Brighton & Hove Bus Company on 01273 886 200.
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.
It was agreed at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee in September 2020 that Madeira Drive would be opened to eastbound vehicles, with entry from the Palace Pier roundabout, exiting at Duke’s Mound. This will help to create a shared space for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and Blue Badge holders in the city.
The work is being done in two phases. Phase one has been completed meaning:
- vehicles can travel eastbound along the full length of Madeira Drive, exiting at Duke’s Mound. New lining and signage will assist drivers with the new layout
- cyclists can use the upper promenade cycle facility or cycle eastbound on the carriageway
- all parking spaces on the north side of the carriageway will be available to motorists
- parking bays on the south side of the carriageway will be suspended, with the exception of spaces available to Blue Badge holders and close to Yellowave.
A second phase of work, due to be carried out later in 2021, will:
- reallocate road space to Install a 4m wide protected cycle lane, to ensure the lane is wide enough for all types of bikes
- increase the number of Blue Badge bays from 14 to 25
- change the orientation of parking and Pay & Display spaces for easier use
Madeira Drive will be open and available when necessary to host events in both the short and long term.
How you can have your say
The first phase of changes was implemented under a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order to accelerate the reopening.
The second phase of improvements will follow under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order, which must be legally advertised for 6 months. During this time you can comment on the changes and your feedback will be considered by councillors when they decide whether the restrictions should remain in place or be changed.
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.
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
Your feedback will help shape our continuing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and future temporary changes to the transport network.
These changes 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.