Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee

Agenda Item 81(c)


Subject:                    Deputations


Date of meeting:    15 March 2022



A period of not more than fifteen minutes shall be allowed at each ordinary meeting of the Council for the hearing of deputations from members of the public.  Each deputation may be heard for a maximum of five minutes following which one Member of the Council, nominated by the Mayor, may speak in response.  It shall then be moved by the Mayor and voted on without discussion that the spokesperson for the deputation be thanked for attending and its subject matter noted.


Notification of three Deputations has been received. The spokesperson is entitled to speak for 5 minutes.


(1)          Deputation: Westdene School Streets


This deputation is on behalf of a collective of more than 30 residents living around Westdene Primary school who are very concerned about the BHCC Westdene School Streets proposal and the decision-making process behind it. We have repeatedly raised issues about engagement, consultation, understanding infrastructure and process. We have been met with a lack of transparent, objective or accountable response by the council, including the school streets team and our local councillors- the ‘Withdean Greens’ who sit on the ETS committee so are senior decision makers in this process. Issues we have raised include:

     A well engineered ‘taster’ day- marshals stopping cars parking or driving into the area, activities throughout the day; unjustified claims about impact, lobbying by cycling groups, and people from out of area influencing the ‘taster’ day; the Westdene ‘school street’ is not the main entrance to the school; biased, confusing, inaccessible and exclusive ‘consultation’ for the ‘taster day’; lack of meaningful local resident representation or consultation. Following this, a nonsense Westdene school streets proposal where:

     The road with the main school entrance remains open to traffic and is also subject to a new permanent one way system; the information and maps provided were once again inaccurate and inaccessible; closure of an important ‘link’ road with no consideration of impact on surrounding roads; we have also subsequently discovered (from the school streets team) that this proposal has already been ‘pre’ approved at the ETS committee, last year, without any meaningful analysis, engagement, or consultation and it appears is fait accompli. If that is the case, we question the legality of this.

The current Westdene school streets proposal does not meet the objectives of school streets (reducing congestion and pollution, improving safety, and enabling children to get to school actively), objectives that we fully support, and it does not address issues that do need to be addressed. We believe it will make the situation worse outside the school and in surrounding streets, and is a waste of  money. We are also aware London boroughs have seen increased accidents involving children after introducing school streets. Will BHCC learn from this, engage, analyse, consult properly, and make better use of limited resources?

Last November, as a community we presented the school streets team and our councilors with a summary of our concerns and some of our ideas- statement and link to document shared below. We want a proposal that understands local infrastructure and issues, and is based on transparent, objective, data to understand impact, and accurate, accessible, consultation of all relevant stakeholders. This request has been systematically ignored.

We live with this problem every school day, and we have plenty of ideas of how to improve the situation. With proper engagement and insight the council can find a solution that meets school streets objectives for the benefit of (our) children and local residents. BHCC is an accountable public organisation, in receipt of tax payers money, and as such we are entitled to a full, transparent, response to the community concerns that have been repeatedly raised, and adhere to the public standards of openness, objectivity, accountability, and honesty.


Supported by:

Peter Wheatly-Crowe

Benedikt Kraus

Rebecca Luff

Michael Sykes

Janet Tallent

Michael Deacon

Katherine Sykes

Wendy Page

Greg Maddocks

Clive Gardiner

Linda Gardiner

LINK to the full document repeatedly shared with the council and councillors since November 2022: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hz1LOQTkiLnxucfkKz9lHsDsafWcPo1V/view?usp=sharing

Some of the issues raised with council and councillors:







Forms response chart. Question title: Please tick ALL THE IDEAS you think would improve the current situation and or current school streets proposal by reducing congestion and pollution, and improving safety and active travel to school. Number of responses: 22 responses.

(2)          Refund Valley Gardens Bus Gate fines


We believe that Brighton and Hove Council (from hereon in the “Council”) has, with its issuing of PCN’s to motorists who have contravened the regulations set for the Valley Gardens’ Bus Gate scheme (from hereon in the “Scheme”), acted in a way that is immoral, and which runs counter to the Council’s declared ethos of collaboration, respect, openness, creativity, and customer focus.

Human factors

A straw poll we have undertaken suggests that less than 10% of drivers know what a Bus Gate is.

Because it doesn’t appear in the Highway Code, drivers have not routinely been trained to understand Bus Gates and their ramifications.  Also, drivers who have not driven along the Marlborough Place, Gloucester Place, St George’s Place and York Place for a couple of years, are now likely to be confused by the new, rather unintuitively configured road layout (with, amongst other things, its reliance on Bus Gates).  Consequently, drivers who have not been schooled in the approach used by the Council are likely to find it disorientating – particularly when, as is the case, they can see other cars, vans and lorries apparently freely using the road.

Road signage perspective

Although we are not experts in the interpretation of the legal requirements for signage, we highlight that the Bus Gate signage does not conform to the “traffic island” requirements of 9.7.3 of Chapter 3 – Regulatory Signs – of the DfT’s Road Traffic Signs Manual (2019).  We believe compliance with this DfT provision, in addition to being a regulatory requirement, would go a long way to providing a meaningful guidance to motorists about what Bus Gates involve.  The present arrangement fails to provide such a meaningful guidance.

Inadequate public awareness campaign

Mark Prior, Head of Transport, in his presentation at the ETS Committee meeting on 15th January, stated that the Council had provided information on its website and had directly informed local businesses of the traffic implications of the Scheme. He also said that a video was being produced to inform motorists of their obligations when travelling through the Scheme. 

It not being an obligation on their part, motorists using the Scheme are unlikely to have taken the trouble to find (and will not in future seek out) the material to which Mark Prior refers. Without adequate signage, therefore, they will not be adequately informed on the regulations now in place.


Mark Prior also stated in the above presentation that the Scheme signage went “above and beyond”.  He also stated, however, that new, additional signs were now on order and that, until they were installed, the temporary signs that had previously warned drivers of their obligations were to be re-installed.  Our contention is these remarks constitute an acknowledgement by the Council that the Scheme does not yet adequately address the three perspectives discussed above.

Accordingly, we would ask the Council, with immediate effect: to arrange for fines levied to date to be refunded, except perhaps, where there is evidence of second and subsequent re-offending incidents that have occurred after an original PCN has been issued; and, until more adequate signage has been installed, to suspend the issuing of any further PCNs.


Supported by:

Nicholas Hallett

Shelley Hurley

Harold Rich

Borah Toff

Alexis Sawyerr




(3)          Roundhill Liveable Neighbourhood


I’m a ward councillor for Round Hill and have been asked to be the spokesperson for this deputation on behalf of the residents who wish to request formal consideration of the neighbourhood in the roll-out of the Council’s Low-Traffic Neighbourhood Scheme. This action is supported by the residents’ association, the Round Hill Society.

Round Hill, a densely-populated residential area of about 900 households in the north of the St Peter’s and North Laine ward of Brighton & Hove. Rolling-out the Council’s Liveable Neighbourhood scheme across the Round Hill would address a number of objectives:


(1)  To reduce the ease of ‘external traffic’ using the residential streets of Round Hill as rat runs. In response to the petition brought to the ETS Committee in November 2021, councillors called for an officer’s report on how to stop rat-running along Prince’s Crescent and Wakefield Road, used by drivers to avoid the new traffic system at the junction of Ditchling and Upper Lewes Roads. This could form part of any LTN scheme.

(2)  To improve active travel infrastructure. Some walkways in Round Hill have become hotspots for pavement parking and are dangerous to pedestrians, particularly those with limited mobility. Other pavements are very narrow for users, and filled with street furniture. Rat-running vehicles continue to pose a danger to cyclist.

(3)  To add public green space to the neighbourhood would bring physical, social, and psychological benefits to the community. Round Hill lacks any green public space and, in comparison with averages for Brighton & Hove, has a higher proportion of one-person and single-pensioner households; and high proportion of people living in flats in converted houses, many without garden access. Pocket parks would make a positive contribution to the greening of our local environment and create habitats for wildlife

(4)  To improve air quality. Round Hill is bordered to the east by Lewes Road and to the north by Hollingdean Road. These roads have been identified as amongst the worst in the city for high levels of nitrogen dioxide associated with adverse impacts on health and wellbeing. 


Some streets in Round Hill already have minimal traffic, and people in other streets want the same quality of life, improved social interactions, support of local retail, and ease of active travel enabled by an LTN. Round Hill Green Spaces, a community action group set up in 2018 and which operates under the auspices of the residents’ association, is well placed to support council officers in the roll out of an LTN in the area. Our residents’ association, the Round Hill Society, has been established for 22 years and has strong track record of successfully co-ordinating and delivering a diverse range of community projects.


Supported by:

Councillor Sue Shanks

Councillor Pete West

Rob Stephenson

Dominic Furlong

Jane Power

Kate Rice