Tag Archives: Traffic

Electric bus trial to commence

From The Argus

Brighton and Hove Bus Company will begin trials with this electric bus.

Bosses have given the green light for a plan to pull the petrol and run their first trial of electric buses.

Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company has announced the emissions free vehicle will begin running along the city’s streets from this week.

It is the latest move designed to reduce air pollution in the city – which exceeds EU safe standards along major bus routes in Lewes Road and North Street as well as Rottingdean High Street.

The company is following in the footsteps of The Big Lemon company who are working to convert all their cooking oil fuelled vehicles into electric buses having received funding to create a solar powered recharging point at their depot.

Previously plans for electric buses had been on hold because of concerns over whether electric vehicles would be able to cope with the city’s steep hills.

Under the trial, a small single-deck electric bus known as a Streetair is being trialled this week on the number 50 bus route which runs between the University of Sussex and Brighton Railway Station.

The trial is designed to explore the right fuel options for the city in the short, medium and long term and will run on the city’s streets for a couple of months.

The electric bus, which has come from Northern Irish-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus, will be charged overnight and feature messages informing passengers and residents about the trial.

Passengers will also be able to pick up the environmentally friendly bus at Churchill Square, the Old Steine, Theatre Royal, Royal Pavilion, Jubilee Library, Brighton Museum, Brighton Pier and the Sea Life Centre.

Last year the company, which was founded in 1935, phased out all of its remaining 100 Euro 3 emission standard vehicles and has spent millions on the highest-standard Euro 6 buses while converting other vehicles to lower-emission technology.

Managing Director Martin Harris said: “We are excited to start this electric bus trial so we can see how the vehicle copes with the city’s topography and high passenger volumes.

“We foresee that ‘electric’ will form part of a multi-pronged strategy for a sustainable transport system for the future, and are currently exploring a number of fuel options for the short, medium and long term.”

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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.

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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.

John Lewis development could spark wider improvements in Brighton

From The Argus

The proposed John Lewis store

The proposed John Lewis store

THE arrival of one of the country’s favourite retailers should be used as a catalyst to improve the city centre’s route to the seafront.

Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth (BHFOE) have called for the arrival of John Lewis to spark an overhaul of the Clock Tower junction which would include turning part of West Street into a more pedestrian friendly area.

Group member Chris Todd said he hoped the street could become more like the shared space of New Road and attract a wider range of daytime businesses to the area and boost the local economy.

Under the BHFOE proposals, private vehicles would be stopped from driving north of Churchill Square car park in West Street with just buses and taxis allowed up to the Clock Tower.

Mr Todd said the move would make the area much cleaner and safer with fewer pedestrians making dangerous dashes across the road at the confusing set of lights.

By reducing the amount of traffic coming north from West Street, it is hoped that buses travelling along North Street would have less delays waiting at the Clock Tower lights – currently one of the city’s most polluted junctions.

An uphill cycle lane for North Street to be painted on to the road is also being advocated to coincide with pedestrian improvements already suggested by John Lewis as part of their plans for a new store opening in the next few years.

The retailer is also being encouraged to be innovative in the building design by using low impact materials and green walls and roofs while BHFOE have also raised concerns about the impact of the store’s proposed click and collect service bringing more cars to the heavily congested junction.

Mr Todd said that many of the changes could be achieved at low cost, largely through developer contributions.

He added: “I think New Road has worked fairly well and I really want to see more of that where people are given priority over vehicles. Vehicles don’t spend money, it’s people.

“The system we have at the moment is just not working for people.

“Part of the problem at the moment is that the buses get held up by the traffic lights.

“By allowing buses to run through the lights at the same time without being held up by other traffic, they will run much more efficiently and won’t be sitting around pumping out fumes.

“At the moment you have a handful of private cars at one traffic light holding up buses with tens or hundreds of people on board.”

A John Lewis spokeswoman said: ‘We welcome all feedback from local people during this pre-application consultation period and would like to encourage people to share their views on our proposals with us at johnlewis.com/our-shops/brighton.”

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

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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.

Thousands of motorists caught speeding close to schools

From The Argus

615 motorists were caught speeding by this speed camera in Ditchling Road, Brighton.615 motorists were caught speeding by this speed camera in Ditchling Road, Brighton.

Thousands of motorists have been caught speeding outside schools and parks putting children’s lives in danger.

Almost 6,500 drivers have been caught by just four speed cameras in three years in Brighton and Hove.

All the cameras are situated close to schools, parks or other green spaces.

The cameras caught drivers travelling at more than double speed limits with the fastest clocked at 85 mph in a 30 mph zone just yards from the entrance to a school.

Road safety campaigners described the figures as shocking and said they supported calls for more 20 mph zones and higher on-the-spot fines for drivers.

Figures obtained by The Argus show 615 motorists were caught speeding by the speed camera in Ditchling Road which is placed just yards from the entrance to Varndean School and a children’s playground.

The figures relate to the three years up to January 2016.

A further 3,092 drivers were caught speeding by two cameras in Preston Road, close to Preston Park, while 2,746 were caught by a camera in Kingsway in Hove, close to Western Lawns.

Alice Bailey, campaigns advisors for road safety charity Brake, said: “It’s shocking to see so many drivers speeding in areas where there are so many vulnerable road users – many going twice the legal limit.

“Road crashes are a major cause of death and injury among the young with the risk rising as children reach secondary school and drivers must drive safely and with consideration at all times.

“We want more 20mph zones and ultimately call for 20mph to be the default urban speed limit.

“We need traffic enforcement to be made a policing priority, with higher on-the-spot fines providing a real and immediate deterrent to dangerous law-breaking drivers.”

Phil Badman, acting sergeant for Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Inevitably the deterrent does come down to means.

“If you are not working and fined £100, then you might be more reluctant to speed than if you are a millionaire and a £100 fine is an insignificant amount.

“We do try and direct as many people as we can to our driver courses because part of the process is not just to fine motorists but also educate them.

“We want drivers to show road awareness where circumstances should affect how they think about their driving.”

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.