Brighton and Hove City Council will today (20th July) debate a proposal from the Green Party Group of Councillors demanding a clear strategy to encourage more cycling in the city. Despite several cross party initiatives aimed at promoting active travel, Green Councillors are concerned that progress on improvements has ground to a halt.
The proposals call on the Council to create a ‘specific and ambitious’ cycling strategy to make cycling in the city ‘safe, easy and enjoyable’. Ideas include the creation of a Brighton & Hove Cycle Network, better bike parking facilities and greater use of initiatives such as personal travel planning, employee purchase schemes and rider and maintenance training.
The Green Group have also called for greater engagement with cycling groups and residents in the development of the strategy.
Councillor Tom Druitt said:
“Brighton and Hove City Council was named a ‘Cycling Demonstration Town’ for the promotion of cycling back in 2005 and saw a 20% increase in cycling in five years as a result. We have a Local Transport Plan and have also signed up to the ‘Space for Cycling’ initiative. Yet despite this the Labour Council seem to have let the tyres go flat on cycling in Brighton and Hove, with embarrassingly little progress being made since they took office and the strategy the Greens started when in administration quietly shelved. The city is still a woefully difficult place to cycle around, with many of our existing cycle paths disappearing at random or in some cases, stopping completely in the middle of a route. It’s high time for joined up thinking and joined up cycling infrastructure.
“With the many benefits cycling can also bring to our health and wellbeing, we need to make cycling an easy and enjoyable travel option. Given the serious issues of rising air pollution and traffic congestion, an increase in cycling would make life better for our residents whether they’re on a bike or not. I see no reason why we, a city now awaiting the imminent launch of a bike hire scheme, should not be totally committed to an ambitious strategy for cycling.”
Cycling Strategy Notice of Motion for Full Council Thursday 20th July available from p. 225 here.