ePetition - More space for walking & cycling during Covid-19

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ePetition details

More space for walking & cycling during Covid-19

We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to immediately implement a swift programme of temporary measures to enable safe walking and cycling for physical distancing. Specifically to: 1) Widen pavements with barriers/cones for safe access to shops, services and essential daily exercise. 2) Widen and add additional cycle lanes starting with the seafront and key access routes suggested below. 3) Close more streets to vehicles and use temporary traffic calming measures. 4) Enforce speed limits 5) Reduce green person crossing waiting times.

A council committee has recently agreed that council officers will urgently ‘explore’ how the ‘Local Transport Plan’ can be made ‘more flexible’ to allow widening of footpaths and improve the city’s cycle network etc. These however could be longer-term in the making. The residents of the city now need to make sure that the council follow up on this exploration to bring tangible, fast and vital change in response to the urgent pandemic needs. We are advised it is important the council continue to see how important this issue is for residents.

These temporary changes are low cost, fast and easy to implement (other cities are doing so in just a few days). Life-saving, injury preventing, economy and health enhancing measures. These will benefit the whole community, giving equal, safe, physically distanced access for walking and cycling areas to all people including children, elders, disabled and women.
Confidence to walk and cycle come from having areas to do so safely. We want space to keep everyone safe, including those who find it hard or impossible to walk (disabled people and those with limited mobility frequently use bicycles as mobility aids). Keeping people healthy mentally and physically, as well as able to safely access key work and essentials, makes social, health and economic sense. There must be equally safe space for cargo, tricycle and other specially adapted bikes.
Women undertake the majority of unpaid work (approx. 75% averaging 4.5 hours per day). They make up over 75% of the NHS workforce too. It is well documented that they and others would cycle more when there are segregated, wide enough cycle lanes to do so. They also walk more to undertake multiple care and/or work trips per day. Women and all key workers need safe cycling to access work at low cost and save time too. Enabling this safe access is important to our economy and community.
There is not enough room for pedestrians or cyclists to physically distance currently. This is a key opportunity for temporary measures that could be piloted for potential permanent solutions. If we don’t do this FAST we will end up like Wuhan in China with a three-fold increase of car use post lockdown easing. It’s great that Madeira Drive is temporarily closed but it’s just a small first step and we urgently need more city wide.
Council Officers are best placed to plan and implement these changes. ‘Pedal People’ Brighton charity (pedalpeople.org.uk) does not want to limit the petition to too many specifics so adds the following as initial suggestions for consideration:
1. Make the existing seafront cycle path one way west (Hove Lagoon) to east (Black Rock). Add a painted segregated east to west cycle path on the road next to it. Add traffic calming measures or make the whole section 20mph for motorised vehicles.
2. East Brighton motorised-traffic-free access route for pedestrians and cyclists to Madeira Drive.
3. Central Brighton traffic calming measures and/or motorised-traffic-free access route through.
4. Improve the Lewes Road cycle path route especially round the building sites to enable access from Bevendean, Moulescoombe and Coldean.

Started by: Elly Hargreave (Pedal People charity (pedalpeople.org.uk))

This ePetition ran from 01/05/2020 to 22/06/2020 and has now finished.

912 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

Councillors and officers have been working very hard and at a quick pace to develop and deliver a programme of active and sustainable measures to help people move around and enjoy our fantastic city during the initial Covid-19 lockdown period. We started at the earliest, possible opportunity, before many other authorities, and we are now working to various recent government guidelines as well as standard statutory legislation. The introduction of the Madeira Drive closure and the temporary Old Shoreham Road cycle lane have been good to see and earlier this month we submitted more proposals to the Government’s Department for Transport for the Emergency Active Travel Fund initiative. We are awaiting a response from our initial submission and will announce this as soon as we can. I very much hope that it will be a positive one and we will secure almost £600,000 pounds.

You have made some specific requests and suggestions in your petition and some of these are included in our bid to the Government or the work already undertaken. These include pavement widening on St James’s Street and London Road, cycle lanes on Old Shoreham Road and the A259 seafront road, closing Madeira Drive Terrace to motor traffic, as well as reviewing traffic signals to ensure pedestrian waiting times are minimised. In addition, we work closely with Sussex Police to identify problem areas and proactive campaigns for speed reduction.

 


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