Opposition councillors in Brighton & Hove have combined forces to vote against plans to scrap a high-profile cycle lane in the South Coast city, with the proposal defeated by just one vote.
The planned measure, put forward by the ruling Conservative Party, which has 25 seats on the council, was part of a budget drawn up in the face of £30 million spending cuts resulting from a reduction in funding from central government.
However, it was defeated after Labour and the Green Party, with 13 seats each, combined forces, reports the website Brighton & Hove News.
Speaking to road.cc last month, the Conservatives had claimed that scrapping the segregated bike lane, installed on Grand Avenue and The Drive in Hove three years ago at a cost of £800,000, would cost less than the £1.1 million allocated in the budget.
However, it is believed that they would also have had to repay £300,000 to Cycling England that had been used to part fund the facility when it was first installed.
With demonstrations taking place outside the town hall and protesters also present in the public gallery, the meeting had to be adjourned twice, with one person ejected and those present reacting angrily to comments from Conservative councillor Lynda Hyde who was reported to alleged that those causing disruption did not pay council tax.
Other measures vetoed as a result of amendments tabled by Labour and the Greens included a 1% cut in council tax and a planned reduction in residents’ parking charges, which will instead be frozen.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.