Labour Councillors express sympathy to residents and petitioners, but then vote to keep cycle lane in place
Labour’s vote condemns residents to traffic chaos until Autumn at the earliest
The Conservative Group has said Labour needs to come clean to residents suffering from the current congestion on Old Shoreham Road.
At Council a number of Labour Councillors expressed sympathy towards residents and petitioners, with one councillor even reading out a residents’ petition signed by over 4000 residents from across Hove & Portslade that called for the cycle lane to be removed.
But when it came to the crunch, every Labour Councillor present voted to keep the Old Shoreham Road Temporary Cycle Lane in place in a move that will condemn residents to more months of traffic chaos on the key arterial road.
Conservative Transport Spokesperson Lee Wares said that residents wanted more than just sympathy from Labour.
“The Conservative proposal put forward would have ensured an urgent appraisal of the temporary cycle lanes be carried out this week. This is what the residents wanted and expected their councillors to vote for” Cllr Wares said.
“But Labour Councillors voted against this proposal and condemned the city to gridlock until Autumn at the earliest.
“Residents didn’t just want the sympathy of Labour Councillors on Thursday night, they wanted action. Instead they got platitudes and no more.
“First Labour brought this cycle lane in when they were in administration; now they are stopping the community from being heard. It is disgraceful” he said.
Conservative Councillor for Hangleton & Knoll Dawn Barnett said that the actions from Labour Councillors were hypocritical.
“To read out a petition from 4000 residents and then vote against what it calls for is the height of hypocrisy; it only adds insult to injury to then put out an article condemning the cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road demanding an urgent enquiry on it; you can’t make it up” she said.
“You can’t say one thing to residents and then do another thing when it counts.
“It is two-faced and hypocritical and breaks the trust with residents.
“It shows that with Labour, you can’t listen to what they say, you must watch what they do” she said.
Conservative Councillor for Hove Park Samer Bagaeen said that he had received many emails since the meeting from residents in his ward of Hove Park.
“Residents across my ward are furious with Labour and the Greens and how they voted at full Council last week and I have received countless emails about it since then”
“Labour and the Greens has condemned the City to further months of traffic chaos which will just get worse when the local schools reopen next month” he said.
Conservative Whip Robert Nemeth said that it was telling that after interventions from Nancy Platts of Labour and Hannah Clare of the Greens that a roll call vote occurred on Old Shoreham Road following the debate, the only such vote during the night.
“The Roll Call vote was an unusual move on the night and it was at this point that it was confirmed that all Labour councillors present voted against removing the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane, including the four Labour Portslade Councillors.
“While it is easy to blame the Greens Administration, it is Labour and the Conservatives who predominantly represent the Hove and Portslade wards and it is these parties that should be judged on how they represent their residents’ interests.
“We saw last Thursday night a clear difference between Conservatives, who listened to their residents and voted accordingly, and Labour who did not stand up for their residents when it mattered” he added.