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New plans to make historic Lanes area in Brighton car-free
Revised plans to make a historic area “car-free” are set to get the goahead.
Brighton and Hove City Council has spent four years drawing up plans to cut down the number of vehicles using roads in the heart of The Lanes.
But, after four out of seven orders were rejected by a government inspector at public inquiry, the local authority has now drafted a new scheme.
With the new plan still excluding vehicles from the city’s historic heart for most of the day, officials believe it will make the area more pedestrian friendly, boost trade and end rat-running.
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Pete West, chairman of the council’s environment committee, said: “This will be a huge benefit for the shops and restaurants in this area, encouraging people to linger and browse around in a much more peaceful and pleasant environment.
“It will effectively extend The Lanes southwards bringing that historic but buzzing atmosphere to another group of streets.
“Everywhere we’ve had pedestrianisation or car-free hours has brought improvement – from North Laine to George Street in Hove. I’m certain the same will happen here.”
Orders to close the north section of Ship Street between 11am and 8am, closing the middle part of East Street to all traffic between 11am and 7pm each day, and banning lorries from the whole area after 11am have already been agreed by the inspector.
The council has nowdrawn up additional revised plans to complete the scheme.
This includes redesigning the proposal to direct traffic down Little East Street to make it safer.
Officials added the East Street order will only be implemented when the changes have been agreed.
Elsewhere, the council said it would wait to assess the impact of the Ship Street order before looking again to close a section of Prince Albert Street.
A proposal to close Boyce’s Street to through traffic was agreed before the public inquiry but plans to restrict access to Brill’s Lane have now been dropped.
Conservative councillor Graham Cox supported the scheme but was disappointed there was no “shared space” element, similar to New Road.
Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said the plans were in a “bit of a mess”.
The revised scheme, which will be paid for out of an £80,000 budget, will be discussed by councillors today.
If approved, then a consultation on the new proposal will take place.
Work on Ship Street is expected to be completed in March, with the HGV ban coming into force at the same time.
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