A23 at Preston Drove Junction

Plans revealed for Cycle lane upgrades along the A23 within Brighton including new traffic signals.

Plans for the Active Travel Fund Tranche 2 scheme to provided segregated and improved cycle infrastructure have been published by Brighton & Hove City Council after the consultation earlier this year. The plans includes changes all the way from the Mill Road Roundabout at the end of the A23 Dual Carriageway all the way to London Road Viaduct. These plans include a segregated or stepped cycle usually 2m, although reducing to 1.5m in places. There are junction changes too, current traffic signal controlled junctions we be redesigned to have dedicated cycle phases and two new traffic signal controlled junctions replacing a current priority and mini roundabout. However the plans for a contraflow lane on Stanford way have been shelfed and suggested for a Tranche 3 scheme instead.

The current A23 at the junction of Preston Drove with the current unprotected cycle lane

The Plans

On the Northern end of the scheme the current shared cycle/footway will be widened and then terminate onto a toucan crossing which will allow cyclists to access the segregated cycle lanes safely. The major issue I can see here is two lanes exit the roundabout onto the A23 into Brighton, the proposed changes suggest the exit of the roundabout will be a single lane which will cause issues and could lead to more side swipes on Mill Road Roundabout, merging into a single lane should happen after the roundabout exit.
At the Northern end of the Patcham Bypass there are more changes to the road layout, due to width constraints a stepped cycle lane is used here, and reduces to 1.5m in parts. Bus stops will be provided using a “bus border stop” and the junction of Church Hill & Old London Road will be rearranged to formalise the current layout. It appears that the current shared cycle/footways will be removed which currently allow side roads to access the toucan crossings to gain access to the cycle lane on the other side.
At the Southern end of the Patcham Bypass there are similar changes to the road layout, a stepped cycle lane is used as well as the junction layout formalised. Bus Border Stops are used again, however there is room to provide a bus stop bypass northbound.
At Carden Avenue the current mini-roundabout will be replaced by a traffic signal controlled junction. All arms will have a segregated cycle lane, however it is unclear how these will be phased. I am concerned that this could be a major bottle neck as there will be longer red-light times for all modes of transport. The bus lane will also be extended by a short distance and a bus stop bypass provided going southbound. Through here the cycle lane reduces to 1.5m.
A bit further south along Withdean Park a larger bus stop bypass is provided which also houses a taxi rank. The cycle lanes do widen out to 2m in both directions too.
The junction with Tongdean Lane will become signalised, with dedicated cycle and pedestrian phases. It is unclear how cyclists are meant to make a right turn into Tongdean lane while heading southbound. More Bus Border Stops are provided. South of here the cycle lanes will be 1.5m due to width limitations
Bus Stop Bypasses are provided at Preston Park Hotel. The cycle lanes remain at 1.5m due to width restrictions. South of Harrington Road is where the current cycle lane joins the footway, by the looks of it the pavement will reduce in width to make way to the cycle lane.
The junctions with Preston Drove and South Road are some of the largest on the A23 within Brighton. There appears to be no reducing in lanes other than only 1 lane going Northbound on the last set of signals. Cyclists are partially segregated throughout the junction, and it appears that there will be cycle-only phases to allow cyclists to carry out right turns easily. A bus stop bypass is also provided on the far side of the junction heading Northbound and Southbound (off picture).
Besides Preston Park the stepped cycle lane remains mostly within the current carriageway, unfortunately no bus stop bypasses have been provided for going southbound, despite there being plenty of room.
The junction of London Road and Stanford Avenue will be reconfigured to provided a wider and simpler cycle route. In the plans it shows Zebra crossings, however hopefully these will become parallel crossings meaning cyclists can legally cycle across them segregated from pedestrians. The current two-way cycle provision on the southern side of London Road is horrid being narrow, rough and littered with obstructions such as bins, street lights, signs, traffic signals and cars. The indicated design is an improvement bus the bus stop design is still questionable. Its also good to see that cyclists will have priority over Dyke Road Drive. I hope that changes will still allow cyclists to access the cycleway legally from Springfield Road as they do current via the toucan crossing. As mentioned above, Stanford Avenue contraflow lane isn’t happened in this scheme, but as the next set of works which should enter consultation early next year.
At the Southern end of this scheme the current two-way cycle track will be segregated from both traffic and pedestrians by removing one lane of traffic. Other changes are made at the junction on Argyle Road, which will result in removal of parking to provide for a marked/stepped contraflow lane. It is expected in a future scheme the NCN20 from here to Valley Gardens will receive similar treatment.

PDF of the plans document can be found below.

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