Brighton’s successful North Laine contraflow scheme

'One Way, No Way!' campaigner Becky Reynolds

Brighton’s successful North Laine contraflow scheme

Becky Reynolds grew up cycling. Her mum taught her to ride at an early age and cycling has been and integral part of her life for as long as she can remember. We find out what changed this self-described 'everyday utility cyclist' into a campaigner and co-founder of Cycle Lewes.

Cycling UK has launched the national Space for Cycling campaign with the vision of making it safe for anyone to cycle anywhere in the country. Both experienced campaigners and thousands of everyday people are taking part by sending emails via our website www.space4cycling.org.uk, challenging councillors all over the country to pledge their support. United, we're confident change can happen, as it has in examples all over the country, including Brighton.

In 1998 Brighton and Hove decided that many of their roads needed to become one-way to stop them from being used as 'rat runs' by car users. On the surface this made complete sense: nobody wants their road to become the go-to route for fast moving cars or taxis in a hurry. The down side of the new one-way systems was that no provision for cyclists was made alongside. That meant that either cyclists needed to go far out of their way to navigate within the law or, as many did, they were forced to break the law and take safety into their own hands.

“Having ridden constantly from childhood it began to make me angry when I saw rules and roads changed that made it unnecessarily difficult for cyclists. I guess I’m an enthusiast for improved conditions. I don’t want to live in a place where children are strapped into cars from the moment they’re born.

Becky Reynolds,
'One Way? No Way!' campaigner

One of the main affected areas of the city was Brighton’s North Laine, a network of shopping and residential streets near Brighton Station. Recent studies have shown that shoppers who arrive by bicycle can provide an essential boost to local economies and can help regeneration, something people rarely considered in the 1990s.

Becky and her fellow campaigners at Bricycles began a cleverly named 'One Way? No Way' campaign, which insisted that there should be no one-way streets without two-way provision for cyclists. One of the fellow bike-minded campaigners she met was a cycle trainer by the name of Ian Davey, who retained his passion for championing cycling as he went on to become one of Brighton’s Green Party Councillors.

Things really began to change once the Green Party took control of the council and formed a minority administration in 2011. “There are a lot of environmentally-minded people in Brighton but it seemed we really gained momentum when Ian Davy joined the Green Party. It created a sea of change in the community and a lot positive changes gained cross-party support,” Becky said.  

Then, in the autumn of 2012, Becky, Bricycles, Ian and fellow campaigners were able to celebrate their success as North Laine was transformed and many one-way streets became two-way for cycling. 

If you want to help open up one-way streets to cycling, the first step is to write to your local councillors and ask them to make Space for Cycling - click the link to get started.

 

Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Membership gives you peace of mind insurance, discounts in cycle shops, rides & routes