Category Archives: Traffic

City centre traffic system to be revived

From The Argus

Previous images of how Valley Gardens could look as unveiled in 2015

Previous images of how Valley Gardens could look as unveiled in 2015

A controversial multi-million pound road scheme for the city centre is being brought back to life amid fears it will still cause traffic chaos.

The £18 million Valley Gardens scheme brought forward by the city council’s Green administration was put on hold when Labour came into power in May last year.

Now Labour has brought the proposals back having tweaked the original designs, but sources say the scheme will not improve traffic flow and could actually make it worse.

The plans to improve green spaces and cycle routes between the Brighton Palace Pier and St Peter’s Place would replace the one-way system with two two-way roads, one for public transport and the other for private vehicles.

One source said: “For residents of Brighton and Hove who don’t want anybody else to come here and don’t want to see the city grow, it’s great. For anybody else it will be a disaster.”

There are also fears that in working out traffic volumes for the new scheme, the council has only looked at traffic flow between Monday to Friday.

The source added: “When it’s the height of the tourism season, you get traffic queued from the pier all the way back to Pyecombe and it’s going to get worse if you’re cutting four lanes of traffic down to two.

“The scheme lacks common sense.”

Transport consultant in the city Mark Strong said some elements of the design still needed to be “ironed out”.

Becky Reynolds, chairwoman of Bricycles, said the cycling pressure group was in favour of the scheme.

Sources said the plans had changed little from the March 2015 designs, with the private-vehicle road on the east of the parks widening to two lanes at junctions to ease traffic flow.

But for a key stretch from North Road to Richmond Parade cars will still queue along a single lane of traffic each way – because the road could not be widened due to a desire to preserve the city’s beloved elm trees.

Brighton and Hove City Council did not confirm the methodology of the traffic modelling but Cllr Gill Mitchell, chairwoman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said: “We’re discussing aspects of the project with stakeholder groups but no plans are finalised.”

She added: “All information upon which any decisions are taken will be made fully public. The overall purpose of the scheme will be to improve movement through the area.”

Interest groups, including transport companies, are currently being consulted on the updated plans, which will be revealed in a report to the city’s transport committee on November 29.

Work is not expected to begin until spring 2017 at the earliest.

Labour was forced to go ahead with the scheme because the Green administration had already secured £14 million funding for it.

valley-gardens_201016_620

LENGTHY WORKS TO BEGIN NEXT YEAR

ROADWORKS expected to last several months will start on a busy city centre shopping street next year.

A series of sections of North Street in Brighton are to be dug up and resurfaced after work carried out nine years ago unexpectedly deteriorated.

Brighton and Hove City Council is working with Southern Water to co-ordinate the programme of repair works to the road which is a key artery, especially for buses and taxis.

The roadworks are not expected to start until the new year but will take “a matter of months rather than weeks” according to an informed source.

The stretch of road was originally excavated in 2007 when Southern Water replaced around 400 metres of ageing Victorian water mains.

However, the passage of thousands of vehicles every day over the resurfaced road has eroded the surface which has, say the council “not proved to be as durable as was anticipated”.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, committee chairwoman for the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “We’re resolute that disruption will be kept to a minimum and that the necessary work is carried out as quickly and effectively as possible.

“A final approach and timetable is currently being discussed.

“We will share the detail of our plans with local businesses and other stakeholders for their feedback.

“During the works, Southern Water and the council will make sure we keep the public, local businesses and other stakeholders fully informed.”

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove city council stressed that the work would be carefully timetabled to fit with other developments and schemes including the significant changes to Valley Gardens.

Three weeks of roadworks to repair Seven Dials roundabout

From Brighton & Hove News

7-dials

 

 

 

 

 

 

An award-winning new Brighton roundabout which was only installed three years ago is to get three weeks of roadworks to correct defects which have seen its kerbstones crumbling.

The changes to the Seven Dials roundabout courted controversy from the start, with Green activist Tom Druitt, now a councillor, climbing an elm tree for several days to successfully stop it being chopped down as part of the new layout.

Once installed, the roundabout itself won awards – but eagle-eyed residents soon spotted the kerbstones were crumbling after a few months.

Bell shaped bollards were installed to stop lorries and other heavy goods vehicles crossing the central island – and now, the kerbstones will be relaid flush with the tarmac to avoid impact.

Delays should be expected during the works which are scheduled to take place between Thursday, September 15, and Friday October 7. Lane closures, temporary traffic lights and diversions will be in place.

Click here for full story.

Shared bike scheme

From Brighton & Hove City Council

4105129_0_1

The council is working to set up a bike sharing service for the city to launch in May 2017.

We hope to have 430 bikes and 50 docking stations across the city, open 24 hours a day, all year round.

The aim is to provide an easy, healthy way to get around the city for residents, visitors and commuters. View a map of the proposed area of the scheme.

Tell us what you think

We would like to hear from the people who live, work and visit Brighton & Hove about what would help make you want to use the service and what would make sure the service feel part of the city.

Bikeshare partner

We are looking for a company to operate the Bikeshare scheme and will be appointing one in the autumn.

The council is looking for an operator that can provide a range of options for hiring a bike to help residents, workers, rail commuters and visitors to Brighton & Hove to make use of a simple, attractive bike sharing system.

Bike hub locations

Bike hub locations will be finalised when the operator is in place and they will be in high-density areas where people would find them most convenient. They will be on commuter routes and near other transport hubs like stations, and have a consistent coverage across the scheme area.

There will be formal consultation on locations that require changes to Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) and any public representations will be brought to the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee.

Funding

The total capital cost of the scheme is £1.45 million. An award of £1.16 million has been granted by the Coast to Capital (C2C) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with match funding of £290,000 from Brighton & Hove City Council.

Contact us

If you’d like to get in touch about the bike sharing scheme, please contact BHBikeShare@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

Brighton seafront lane closure in New Year

Image of the new Shelter Hall

Image of the new Shelter Hall

From The Argus

Brighton ‘Boris Bikes’ are go

From Brighton & Hove News

A bike hire scheme for Brighton and Hove is now set to go following full funding approval from the Coast to Capital (C2C) Local Transport Body yesterday (Thursday, 26 November).

 The news comes two days after the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee voted to support the scheme on Tuesday.
C2C funding is for £1.16 million from the Local Growth Fund. The council’s Local Transport Plan and other funding streams, such as developer contributions, will fund the remaining £290,000 for the total £1.45 million infrastructure and start-up costs.

Full story here.

Viaduct Road plantpots could be replaced by communal bins

From Brighton & Hove News

Controversial plantpot chicanes placed in Viaduct Road have been declared a success and will now pave the way for a permanent traffic calming scheme –  which could replace them with communal bins.

Viaduct Road pic

The big black plant pots, rescued after they were taken away from the front of the Duke of York’s to create a mini-square, were placed in the road in February, to the consternation of many motorists.

But in just the first week, speeds in the 20mph road dropped from an average of above 40mph to 23.5mph – and now the planters have had a chance to be monitored over several months, a permanent scheme is on the way.

And at the request of residents, it could make space for communal bins by providing build-outs in the road – which would also help solve the problem of wheelie bins being left on the narrow pavements.

A council spokesperson said: “The temporary planter chicane scheme in Viaduct Road has been successful and traffic speeds have significantly reduced.

“We are now in the process of designing a permanent scheme which could also incorporate communal bins which have been requested by residents.”

The trial followed requests from the London Road Local Action Team, which approached the council about ways to spruce up the whole road.

A request to house owners to freshen up their paintwork prompted two landlords to commission renowned Brighton graffiti artist AroeMSK to paint two murals across four houses.

Fiveways parking consultation results.

The results of the Fiveways parking consultation have been published, you can view them and supporting documents under item 23 here.

In brief, the intention is to create a new controlled parking zone around Fiveways, bounded by Hollingbury Park Terrace, Hollingbury Terrace, Hythe Road, and extending north to include Osborne Road. The relevant map is Enc. 2 under item 23.

It is envisaged that the scheme will operate Mon-Sun, 9am – 8pm in this area and will be subject to statutory consultation. Free, limited stay bays will replace the pay and display bays by the shops on Preston Drove.

Lewes Road cycling scheme wins again

From The Argus

lewes-road-bus-lane_1200.jpg-pwrt3

A cycling scheme has scooped its fifth award for linking up Brighton city centre with destinations along the Lewes Road.

Brighton and Hove City Council has won the Best Cycle Network Infrastructure Award at the Cycle Planning Awards ceremony for the Lewes Road scheme.

The network connects central Brighton to the universities, the American Express Community Stadium and Stanmer Park, along with the neighbourhoods along the route.

The scheme provided improved cycle lanes along the three-mile stretch and a priority bus lane for buses.

This latest award marks the fifth time the scheme has won since it was implemented by the council under the Green administration, with funding by the Government.

Councillor Pete West, Green spokesman on transport, said: “This is now the fifth award that we have received, citing the Lewes Road improvement scheme. “I’m delighted and incredibly proud that this innovative scheme is recognised by so many transport experts as an example of excellence in design and delivery.

“It really has made cycling between the city centre and neighbourhoods along this route so much safer and more enjoyable, opening up this option for thousands more people.”

The scheme has also been honoured with the European City of the Year for Sustainable Transport award, the Smarter Travel Award for Most Improved Journey to Work , the Local Authority Bus Project of the Year and it was a winner at the National Transport Awards.

Seafront arches to be rebuilt in £10m two-year project

From Brighton & Hove News

Arches on Brighton seafront are to be rebuilt as part of a £10 million project lasting more than two years that will also shore up the main road above.

Some of the money will be spent on rebuilding the Shelter Hall – the Victorian hall on the promenade opposite the bottom of West Street.

Work will start next although some of the preparations have already started on the prom below the A259 King’s Road.

The scheme will mean drivers enduring more lane closures. Part of the road was coned off after a hole opened up in April last year. The road fully reopened in January but Brighton and Hove City Council said further work would be needed.

The council said “Brighton and Hove was one of only relatively few councils to win funding from the government’s Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund.

“The council secured £9 million to undertake the work which will also save the seafront road from collapse and protect it for the future.

“The scheme will rebuild the historic Shelter Hall to become a flagship commercial location for the 21st century, creating a new walkway on the beach, enlarging the upper prom area and building new public toilets on the seafront.

“Preparatory work has begun on realignment of the lower promenade opposite the bottom of West Street. Construction is planned to start in October.

“As the work progresses, one lane of the westbound carriageway will be shut for a distance of about 50 metres either side of the bottom of West Street. The junction will include a filter for right turns into West Street.

“Due to the age of the structure and complexity of the construction, the closure is expected to be in place from 2016 for two and a half years.

“The Shelter Hall, at 150-154 King’s Road Arches, was built in the 1880s supporting the upper promenade and the highway.

“This is now the main coastal route through the city and engineers will be rebuilding it underneath the road.”

Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said:  “We have a once in a generation opportunity to do this work and we are fortunate to have secured funding to completely rebuild a section of the seafront highway, provide a new sea wall and reconstruct an historic building.

“This is the first stage of our investment into the seafront’s infrastructure which is urgently in need of restoration and regeneration.

“The project is not only essential for the seafront but will protect the A259 for the next 150 years.

“If we don’t do it now, we risk the road becoming unusable and being closed entirely.

“This autumn we will bring forward more solutions to save our seafront as we put together a practical programme to regenerate the city’s jewel in the crown.”

Brighton’s Shelter Hall is part of the historic King’s Road Arches. It is currently closed because it is in such a poor condition.

The council said that the work, including the rebuilding of the Shelter Hall, had to be done to prevent the A259 from collapsing.

A spokesman for one of the key property owners in the area, Standard Life Investments, welcomed the news.

The company is the council’s partner for the Waterfront Project – the proposal to extend Churchill Square to the seafront and build a new Brighton Centre for concerts and conferences at Black Rock.

James Stevens, head of UK development at Standard Life Investments, said: “Standard Life Investments welcomes the council’s proposals to rebuild Shelter Hall and reconfigure the junction above.

“This project supports two of the city’s most important assets – the seafront and the transport network.

“Making the city as easy to move around as possible is as important as protecting the seafront and the existing infrastructure.

“It’s great to see this confidence in the city and we’re sure it will help to encourage other investors to get started on their own projects.”

The council is contributing nearly £1.7 million towards the scheme from Local Transport Plan funding.

The project will be overseen by the team which created the award-winning seafront arches restoration near the i360 development.

The council said that it would make sure that disruption to traffic was kept to a minimum. It added that the partial lane closure would be linked to an overall plan to ensure traffic management was coordinated with other major schemes in the city.

During the work to rebuild the Shelter Hall, shared pedestrian and cycle access along the upper prom would be maintained at all times, along with access to the lower prom.

The West Street junction would also be kept open, including access to Churchill Square and the car parks.

Last year, a council scrutiny panel looked into the state of the seafront infrastructure in Brighton. In a report it said that new revenue sources would be crucial to maintaining the seafront.

Public funds would be insufficient, it said, to meet the projected £100 million repairs bill for aging retaining walls and structures.