Brighton cyclists celebrate 2-way cycling!

CTC Campaigner Becky Reynolds cycling legally through North Laine, Brighton
Local cycle campaign group Bricycles has long called for the reinstatement of 2-way cycling, running a “One way? No way” campaign...

Local cyclists in Brighton can now cycle legally in any direction through North Laine, the network of shopping and residential streets near Brighton Station.

Traffic orders by Brighton and Hove City Council exempt cyclists from one-way restrictions in Trafalgar Street, Gloucester Road, Gloucester Street, Vine Street, Robert Street, Kensington Street and 7 other streets (Church Street, Foundry Street, Kemp Street, Kensington Place, Over Street, Queen’s Gardens, and Tidy Street). New cycling signs have been marked out on the roads.

This follows instatement of contra-flows in five other residential streets in Brighton (Queens Park area) in September.

Pre-1998, many of these streets were 2-way. Then they became “no entries” to prevent rat running by cars. Local campaigners objected to the Traffic Regulation Order at the time, but the restrictions became permanent without any arrangements to exempt cycling.

From then on campaigners continued to make the case against one-way streets for cyclists in North Laine and in general. They did this by attending regular meetings with the Council, (Cycle Reps Meeting, Cycle Forum) and wrote formal responses on transport. Bricycles' Newsletter was used  to encourage support and to document progress. Working with other groups (e.g. Sustrans) and individuals, Bricycles contributed to the Cycling Strategy which included contra-flow references.

It seemed so difficult for the Council to put a contra-flow in place, even when there was apparent agreement! Progress was slow."

Becky Reynolds, Bricycles and CTC local campaigner

In 2008 the campaign “One way? No way!” was launched, insisting that there should be no one-way streets without 2-way cycling as a default position. This was championed by Green Councillor Ian Davey (an active Bricycles campaigner and member) who had been elected in St Peter’s and North Laine ward.

The Conservative-led administration was sceptical and, although a Cycling Demonstration Town, calls for 2-way cycling were challenged on safety grounds. In response, local campaigners quoted CTC and Cycling England guidance about best practice.

This is a highly beneficial improvement at small cost. Legalising two-way cycling reduces conflict with pedestrians and motor vehicles. It lets us get directly from A to B, doing the shopping or whatever en route.”

Becky Reynolds, Bricycles and CTC local campaigner

In May 2011, there was a sea-change in Brighton and Hove when the Council became Green-led.  Ian Davey ascended to Cabinet Member for Transport & The Public Realm, and later Chair of the Transport Committee, where approval was obtained for two-way cycling in North Laine with marked contra-flows.

Bricycles, CTC members, CTC local campaigners (and others) over many years have contributed to this success. Becky Reynolds and Bricycle campaigners  look forward to seeing more two-way cycling being permitted in other streets in Brighton and Hove.