Councillors have agreed to keep a seafront cycle lane and consult on future changes.
Becky Reynolds, chair Cycling UK Brighton and Hove member group, said: “It’s great news that we’ll keep safe cycling infrastructure on the seafront of Brighton and Hove. The government has clearly called for road space to be used for this purpose, even on main roads, so it’s quite appropriate to use one traffic lane."
The seafront cycle lane was one of Brighton and Hove City Council’s active travel measures funded by the government during the coronavirus pandemic.
A report to the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee yesterday (Tuesday 16 November) said that the number of cyclists using the seafront cycle lanes had risen 51 per cent.
It said that 2,119 were using it daily in March this year, compared with 1,400 in March 2018.
In June this year, the number of daily cyclists had increased by 85 per cent to 4,897, compared with 2,641 in June 2019.
The report also said that there were indications that the new cycle lane had improved safety.
Ms Reynolds added: "Cycling is a cheap, healthy and an enjoyable way to get around. If the infrastructure’s right, it’s available to children and people of all ages and abilities and will relieve ‘school run’ traffic. Cycling rather than driving fights the climate crisis, prevents covid infection, and improves air quality.
"Cycling is not really a political issue at all, and we need cross-party support."
Labour and Green councillors agreed to approve the legal change that formally makes the cycle lane permanent.
Conservative councillors abstained but called for long-term options to replace the temporary infrastructure along with the other two political parties.
Councillor Robert Nemeth said that the current lane was “worse” than what was there before and wanted changes before it was made permanent.
He said: “It’s not very logical, it’s ugly, it’s potentially discriminatory and some of that is at least recognised because, hopefully, we’re going to vote to redesign it. I don’t want to vote to make permanent the current one.”
He suggested a look at using the prom as it did not have junctions.
Green councillor Jamie Lloyd said that he understood councillor Nemeth’s point about the promenade but he was against the idea of a shared space with pedestrians.
Councillor Lloyd said: “It doesn’t work when you have people and bikes in the same place. Bikes need to reclaim road space.
“If we want to reduce private car use, increase active travel, it’s been shown this is the way forward.”