Weird Cycle Lanes of Brighton
(and now Hove, actually)

For more up-to-date stuff, check out my weblog

This website is just a random collection of my personal observations
as I cycle around the wonderful City of Brighton and Hove.
It is not meant to have a go at our Council or its officers,
who are doing a grand job promoting and encouraging cycling.
Since I started this website there have been many improvements to the cycle network,
and I always aim to document them and give credit where credit is due.
However there is always room for improvement
and although I'm used to it now
I still find some bits of the cycling infrastructure I encounter rather amusing.
I hope you do too.


Meanwhile by the sea, we have one traffic lane converted to a temporary cycle lane,
running East West. The cycle lane on the prom becomes one way West East.
Photos taken on same day, approx 2pm

cycle lane Brighton

The start, by the Palace pier, looking west.

cycle lane Brighton

By The Kissing Wall and Donut, looking west

cycle lane Brighton


cycle lane Brighton

Disabled parking space

cycle lane Brighton

The end, looking east, at the end of Hove Lawns.

cycle lane Brighton

Congestion? What congestion?


The Valley Gardens cycle super highway is now open,
from St Peters and the Level in the north
to the Old Stein and Royal Pavilion in the south.

cycle lane Brighton

Southern end, outside the Art School, looking north.

cycle lane Brighton

Hand painted, but where are the pedals?

cycle lane Brighton

Looking south from St Peters.

short cycle lane outside Aldi

And the short lanes are back!
Thanks to the as yet incomplete Valley Gardens Scheme.
Outside Aldi, on the London Road
looking south towards St Peter's church.

the A270 from Hove Park to Portslade

Thanks to the virus lockdown, we now have a temporary cyle lane,
the width of a car lane, along the A270 from Hove Park
(joining up with the cycle super highway) to Portslade.
Looking east from the Portslade end.

Looking east from the Portslade end.

Looking west towards the Portslade end.

90 degree bend

90 degree bend

Here are some photos sent in by Adam Pride (September 2014)
of a 90 degree corner at the University.
He writes: Here is another weird cycle lane at the University of Sussex!
Specially designed for those cyclists who can cycle through 90 degrees
in a 24 inch wide bike lane.
(Although maybe those cyclists don't exist
as I've never seen anyone using this bike lane).
Anyway, the University can certainly do 90 degree bends -
they must have used a protractor to get this one so precise!

New bollards

And here is a video of the newish Lewes Road cycle lane (which takes you to that university).

Some good news at last:
It's amazing how much difference a small intervention can make,
but installing the bollards where Oxford Road meets Ditchling Road
means that you can use this central cycle lane
to turn right onto the Level
confident that you won't meet a bus or car head-on
coming round and cutting the corner.
Well done, Brighton Council!

New bollards

Right by one of Brighton's shorter cycle lanes.
See how it used to look: Scary cycle lanes

New bollards

Meanwhile nearby in the North Laine...

Kemp Street

Tidy Street

Robert Street

At last, some weirdness has been returned to Brighton streets!
New contra-flow cycle lanes have been installed in most.
but not all, the streets of the North Laine.
Notably not Sydney Street or Gardner Street.
They are mainly short ones that indicate that the whole road is contra-flow for bikes.
More photos on Flickr.

Old Shoreham Road cycle lane

Brighton and Hove has a brand new cycling superhighway,
opened 18 June 2012, all the way along the Old Shoreham Road
from BHASVIC on the corner of Dyke Road to the junction of The Drive/Shirley Drive,
where it joins up with Hove's other cycling superhighway
up and down Grand Avenue and The Drive.
I must say this is quite superior -
wide, smooth and segregated from both pedestrians and motor traffic.
There is one major junction along the route, at the Upper Drive,
but although it looks complicated is a joy to cross,
thanks to the dedicated traffic lights. Well done Hove and Brighton! More please...
More photos on Flickr.

Old Shoreham Road cycle lane

The traffic lights looking south from the Upper Drive.

Old Shoreham Road cycle lane

Some guerilla stencils to remind cyclists there's no need to stop at junctions!

Old Shoreham Road cycle lane

Not sure I understand the 'signage' though.
Surely it should be pedestrians only on the left and cycles only on the right?

Older stuff.


Nice to see some restoration work on the short lane that joins the scary
middle-of-the-road lane in Oxford Street
with the calm and safety of The Level.
This is how it looked when new.

Ghost symbol

Meanwhile, elsewhere the older cycle lanes are fading away -
no wonder pedestrians walk all over them!

The only bit by the sea

The Hove cycle lanes near the King Alfred's Leisure Centre, resurfaced in 2010,
and what an absolute joy they are to cycle on,
however, cycling along most of the wonderfully wide esplanade is still banned!

Crossing place

Crossing places for pedestrians - some have bike symbols...

Pedestrian crossing

... others don't! Or maybe it's still work in progress (June 2010)

Burnt dashes - outside King Alfred's

How they made the dotted lines!

Cycle counter

Jim Rennie writes: I just noticed this while cycling down the Lewes Road
the other day (19 May 2010), and stopped to take a couple of pics -
sorry for the lousy quality, I wasn't feeling very photographic that day.

Here we have a noble initiative: the installation of a bicycle counter
intended to commend cyclists for using the cycle lane,
and hence encourage us to use it more.
Ironically, the installation works entailed closure of the cycle lane,
forcing cyclists to use the busy inside lane instead.


Mark Easen sent this one in - It's on Marine Parade, Seaford.
'Absolutely pointless!!!', he says. [Except maybe to annoy pedestrians!]

University of Sussex

Adam Pride writes: This wonderful little snippet of cycling infrastructure
is by the main entrance of The University of Sussex.

I particularly like the artistically curved bit of white line
to helpfully guide cyclists around the lamp post just in case,
being the poor, dim-witted sods that they are,
they decided to ride straight into it!

In the couple of minutes I was there taking these photos this morning
about 10 cyclists went past but not surprisingly not one used it - even
though I shouted to a couple of them to 'Use the bike lane!'

University of Sussex

The good news…


The new fast surface on the seafront, between here and the West Pier.

New Road

The new continental-style shared space of New Road,
where cars, taxis, bikes and pedestrians co-exist happily.

Grand Avenue

Grand Avenue, Hove, looking north – our gorgeous new cycle superhighway,
stretching from the seafront to Hangleton

Grand Avenue

Looking south along Grand Avenue, Hove – what a joy!

Then the not so good

Trafalgar Street

Our steepest cycle lane, at the top of Trafalgar Street.
Note how suddenly it ends!
It provides a much needed link to the station,
but in Victorian times this hill was deemed too steep
for the horse-drawn Hansom Cabs,
which instead were diverted up a long gentle incline beneath Platform 8
(the doors to which can be seen opposite The Prince Albert pub).

Trafalgar Street

View to the west – note the cyclist pushing his bike up the hill!

This website grew out of an article in The Guardian long long ago
claiming that some cyclelane up north was the shortest in Britain.
What! I thought, we have many many much shorter lanes!!
The shortest at the time was the weird one by the Gloucester,
but as time went by, even shorter and weirder ones kept appearing!!
Take a look for yourself.
None of these photos have been retouched in Photoshop, honest!

The original

The original short lane – now a ghost of its former self – has the council abandoned it?
[Photo taken June 2008, looking longer than in the original photos!]

Gloucester Street, looking west.

STOP PRESS: The original short one is now two-way!
Part of the new (November 2012) North Laine contra-flow system.

More strange cycle lanes and paths

The original short lane
Short cycle lanes
Short, but not that short, lanes

Asda at Hollingbury
Coome Terrace
Cycle lanes ending with metal posts
Dead bikes
Dyke Road
East Street
Hove, Actually

Miscellaneous weirdness
New Road
North Street Quadrant

Oddness on The Level
Scary cycle lanes

Scenic cycle lanes
Seafront cycling
Seafront posts
Skips on cycle lanes
Weird islands at Ditchling Rise
York Hill

East Grinstead
Labour Party conference 2004
Pride 2004
Streets of Brighton (performance art!)
Sustrans Shoreham to Newhaven route

Cycle bobbies
Meet the striking firefighters

Build your own cyclelane
Are cycle lanes really a good idea?

Guest photos!


Keep up-to-date: a weblog

Meet the creator of this website!

Please contact me if you know of any short
or just plain weird cycle lanes (or cycle paths) elsewhere.

If you support cycling in Brighton and Hove, join Bricycles!

As featured
in The Argus, 12 June 2008 (a centre spread!)
The Argus, 4 June 2008, in an article on a short cycle lane at Telscombe Cliffs
The Guardian G2 section 7 March 2007
on BBC South Today 16 January 2003
and in the Daily Telegraph 22 March 2003,
BBC Southern Counties Radio 21 April 2004
The Argus 4 February 2003
Metafilter, Schnews, The Big Issue

Blimey! this simple site was a runner up in
the Brighton and Hove Virtual Festival web awards 2002
in the Community section and I got a free t shirt and certificate –
& 2 free pints of Harvey's!

Thanks to everyone kind enough to vote for me.
The rather wonderful Alex Hallett won the Personal section prize.

Last updated 7 August 2020
before that 18 September 2014!
urgently in need of an overhaul!
Images & text © copyright Alan (Fred) Pipes 2020
who asserts his moral rights as creator