Councilors have voted to extend the A259 seafront cycle lane from Forth Avenue in Hove to Lecon traffic lights.
One of the existing lanes, used by cars, buses, vans and lorries, will be restricted to cyclists by Brighton and Hove City Council.
The proposal includes raised “table junctions” at Medina Terrace, Suss*x Road and Kings Esplanade and more drop-down curbs to make it easier for wheelchair users to cross the road.
The £475,000 plan also includes an extra 70 cycle parking spaces – some specifically for adapted bicycles – and 26 parking spaces for blue badge holders.
Green councilor Elaine Hills told the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee that the project had received 70 per cent support.
But Conservative councilor Samir Bigain told the committee meeting at Brighton Town Hall that in fact, 48 people responded to the consultation and 34 of them supported extending the cycle lane.
Cllr Biggin told Tuesday night’s meeting that more than 48 people live in just one block of flats in Kingsway.
He said the low response showed either the council’s consultation process was poor or people were “simply not interested”.
Cllr Bagaeen said: “We want to consult residents who are directly affected. We also aim to consult residents who are indirectly affected.
“We really need to take a hard look at it. We can’t say it’s 70 per cent. That’s 34 out of 48 responses to a major project that’s costing millions of pounds of public money to deliver.
They were told the backlash came after the council advertised a “traffic regulation order” as part of the legal process to change the use of the road.
It was the third round of consultation after two previous mail-shots of more than 8,000 properties in the area and public meetings last year.
Green councilor Steve Davies said he believed there were only 48 responses because people wanted the A259 cycle lane to be extended.
The extension of cycle lanes was proposed in response to Sell Gear Change, a government policy document that urged councils to improve cycling and walking infrastructure.
Cllr Davies said: “Ninety-seven per cent of roads in this city have no cycling infrastructure. The gear change has called for us to be bold. So we have to be bold because this is an emergency. As an administration, we Providing active travel.
Conservative councilor Robert Nemeth said many people in his ward were “not won over” by the cycle lane plans.
Cllr Nemeth, who represents the Wish ward in Hove, said: “In West Hove, I fear that the right-turning queues behind cars traveling west and the associated pollution and the kind of general congestion that we Seen on Old Shoreham Road.
“I’m afraid the low level of use probably doesn’t justify the policy. A lot of residents are a bit upset when there’s a cycle lane sitting there that they think is perfectly adequate.
Labor councilor Nancy Platts said there was a “culture of hate” on social media, with every cyclist born from just one bad experience.
When she visited Seville and Cádiz last year, she said she saw a different attitude and separate lanes for the popular bike-share as well as electric scooter rental schemes.
Cllr Platts said: “One of the main things I really felt was a much more comfortable and relaxed way to share space than we’ve had here. I feel very strongly that we need more in the city. Culture change requires some work.
He said that because Brighton and Hove was a tourist destination, people needed to be made aware of others who were unfamiliar with the roads and “pinch points”. He suggested “slow down” or “give way” signals for cyclists.
Cllr Platts asked how the council could reduce conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists. He was told that the solution was to create dedicated road spaces for cyclists because it would protect pedestrians from bikes and cyclists from cars.
Labor councilor Gary Wilkinson spoke of the proposed “floating bus stops” which would be placed off the footpath between the road and the cycle lane.
He spoke after Sarah Gayton, the National Federation of the Blind UK’s road access campaign co-ordinator, emailed committee members ahead of the meeting.
It said the plans were “not fit for purpose” and were “not safe or accessible for blind or visually impaired pedestrians or bus users”.
Councilor Wilkinson said: “These floating bus stops can be controversial. We need formal crossings and raised tables to slow down cyclists in these places.
“Floating bus stops can prevent people from using the stops, especially disabled people and especially visually impaired people. So if they are used, they need to be made as safe as possible for everyone.” .
Green councilor Jamie Lloyd said he was delighted with the consultation and the positive response from Brighton Access for Disabled Groups Everywhere (BADGE).
He said: “This is a great addition to our growing cycle lane network in this city. We need a lot more but this is a great way forward.
“I’m really pleased that we’ve actually reclaimed proper road space which will benefit not only cyclists but also mobility users which is really promising.”
The work is to be funded by £171,000 from the Government’s Active Travel Fund and £304,000 from the Council’s Local Transport Plan Fund.
The committee voted seven to two in favor of the extension, with the Greens and Labor in favor and the Conservatives against.
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