Monthly Archives: August 2013

Funding to improve National Park access

The South Downs National Park, together with Brighton & Hove City Council,  East and West Sussex County Councils have been awarded ‘Linking Communities’  funding from the Department for Transport to improve access to the national park.

More than £5 million will be invested across the region as part of a vision to establish a network of cycle routes into and around the South Downs National Park area which includes Hampshire, as well as Sussex.

The money will be spent on helping people access all the National Park has to offer in sustainable and active ways.

Brighton & Hove City Council is to receive £337,000 to improve the route along Ditchling Road for adjacent communities and people from the city centre to access the National Park by bike, foot and bus. £100, 000 has already been won for the route in 20013/14 from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund bid.

Councillor Pete West, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “We’re delighted to be a successful partner in the bid with the South Downs National Park. The park is a wonderful place, and a real breathing space for all the city’s residents.”

Trevor Beattie, Chief Executive of the South Downs National Park Authority, commented on the grant: “This is a great success for the South Downs National Park and for all those who love to walk or cycle through it. The South Downs is England’s most visited and most densely populated National Park and this investment is designed to provide a high quality cycling experience for cyclists of all abilities, and to complement and give access to the existing network of advisory and off-road routes. The National Park Authority has many plans to create new and safer routes, both for commuters and for people cycling for pleasure. Now we have the money to put those plans into practice. We will be working closely with the local highways authorities and other organisations to take full advantage of this major new funding.”

From 19 August, communities around Ditchling Road will be invited to take part in consultation about improving cycle and pedestrian facilities along Ditchling Road which will also benefit the many runners who use the route.

The proposals cover a 2.5km length along Ditchling Road, across Coldean Lane and into Stanmer Park.

A separate shared cycle and pedestrian gravel path is being proposed along with a speed limit reduction.

Councillor West added: “This new safe and attractive route would complement our improving city cycle network and help meet the growing demand for cycling from people of all ages particularly children. What a wonderful way for them to get out to our fantastic new national park!”

“We also anticipate that these proposals will have a positive impact on reducing speed and crucially, road casualties in the area.”

The council is emailing interest groups and stakeholders this week and residents can take part in the consultation at from Monday, 19th August, or call the transport planning team on (01273) 290487 for more information.

Closing date for responses to the consultation is Sunday, 8th September.

English Local Authority Parking Finances

The RAC Foundation report on Local Authority parking finances contains comparative analysis of both on- and off-road parking income and expenditure country-wide.

In response to a Freedom of Information request Brighton & Hove City Council stated:

“The Parking Annual Report is a requirement of the Traffic Management Act to inform the public about Local Authority on street parking and allow comparison between different Local Authorities. All surplus income from on street parking must be spent on legally defined transport related expenditure. As such all councils should report their on street parking accounts in their annual reports in a comparable way and should include details of how any on street parking surplus money is spent.

“Off street parking (car park) income and expenditure is not subject to the same legal constraints and is reported separately. The RAC’s report into parking’s on and off street operations has received widespread publicity.

“It should be noted that the council has invested £4.2m in refurbishing council car parks over the past 3 years and the city receives over 8 million visitors annually.”

Please post any comments on parking here.

Hollingdean depot to open longer despite concerns

From The Argus:

Brighton waste depot to open longer despite concerns

A waste depot site’s operating hours have been extended – despite concerns from dozens of locals that it will impact on their lives.

Brighton and Hove City Council wanted to increase the operating hours at its waste transfer and recycling site in Upper Hollingdean Road, Brighton.

The local authority claimed the plan to allow access from 7am to 10pm, including at weekends and during bank holidays, will improve the service and lead to savings.

More than 60 locals opposed, claiming it would lead to more noise and dust, as well as truck movements at antisocial hours.

The decision was voted through by the council’s planning committee yesterday with five votes for, four against and three abstentions.

This was on the condition that glass will not be taken away from the facility at weekends, which would cut down on the amount of noise.

Ward councillor Jeane Lepper said she was “disappointed” with the decision.

She added: “If the [three] Green Councillors who abstained had actually voted against it would have been turned down.

“Local people will feel betrayed.”

Representatives from Veolia, the firm which operates the site, said the amount of waste and number of vehicle movements would not change.

They added it would result in the material being dealt with more quickly.

Some had queried why the application had been brought forward in August – two months before expected and when many people were on holiday.

But Jeanette Walsh, the council’s head of development control, said: “We do a lot of pre-application work and the speed that it’s brought forward is usually based on the quality of the information we have coming in.”

Councillors expressed concern the noise tests had been taken in Richmond Road not in Princes Road, which is residential and closer to the depot.

Conservative councillor Geoff Wells said: “If we go with this I fear we will see another application for a 24/7 use.”

Conservative councillor Carol Theobald said: “I feel it will provide a better service and keep the city cleaner.

“If there are any problems they should be resolved with the environment department.”