Statement re cycle lanes and disabled people’s parking in Brighton and Hove

Statement from Possability People on current situation

It is extremely disingenuous, in fact it’s not true, to say Possability People were consulted about the new cycle paths and parking measures currently subject of much discussion.  Information and consultation are two very different things.

We were informed by a round robin email, sent on 14 July to our general email address, of decisions already made (on 14 May 2020) by Brighton and Hove City Council on the Covid-19 – Urgent Response Transport Action Plan. All the to-ing and fro-ing since then does change the fact that we were not consulted.

We were not asked, and have had no involvement in an Equalities Impact Assessment of the proposals, which would have provided us – and any other stakeholders – with time to think about any impacts on disabled people. This would have been helpful consultation.

On what is a separate discussion, on 4 June, we attended a zoom workshop which gave background on Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs), detailing principles of network development and type of permanent infrastructure could be looking at, temporary measures, and participant input and thoughts.

Whilst new cycling guidance from Department for Transport on Inclusive cycling and Accessible for all was mentioned, the workshop did not look at the impact and loss of parking spaces resulting from the temporary cycle paths now causing such controversy.

I want to be clear that we have every sympathy for the need to encourage appropriate transport use, including walking and cycling, for the wellbeing of our city as a whole. Disabled people are not anti-cycling and as concerned about the detrimental effects caused by too many vehicles as the next person.

At the same time, we need to be aware of each other’s needs and ask that other people consider the importance for disabled people to be able to get around the city, be that by private car, taxi or bus. If you are a wheelchair user living in Rottingdean and working near Kingsway, or want to bring the kids to the pier for a couple of hours, your transport options are pretty limited. And that means safe, accessible parking is vital.

Possability People is committed to finding a pragmatic solution to this current situation and keen to work with all stakeholders so the city is accessible for everyone.

Geraldine Des Moulins.