Plans to revamp the area around one of the country’s busiest stations have been delayed again – due to fears about congestion and pollution.
The Brighton Station Gateway scheme, which is designed to improve access and make the area more welcoming to hundreds of thousands of people, was first discussed in 2010.
But after a petition of more than 700 people raising concerns about a new taxi rank, Brighton and Hove City Council is to give itself another two months before making a final decision.
Ian Davey, chairman of the council’s transport committee, said: “There is general agreement that the situation at the station needs to be improved, but be assured we are all very aware of the importance of getting this scheme right for local residents as well as the city as a whole.”
A decision to revamp the area north and south of the station, which is the eighth-busiest station in the country outside London, was approved in December 2010.
Initial fears were expressed that it would reduce the number of buses that could use the area.
After months of consultation and £90,000 being allocated to the project this year, the local authority agreed a raft of proposals in October designed to make it more inviting to those arriving in the city.
This included creating direct access for pedestrians from the south entrance of the station to Queens Road.
As a result, taxis were to be moved with a pick-up place in Junction Road and waiting area under the Trafalgar Street bridge and in Frederick Place.
However, locals have objected claiming it would lead to congestion, air pollution and excess noise.
Philip Lobarto, of Over Street, Brighton, who organised the petition, said: “Frederick Place is part of North Laine which is a conservation area.
“There will be 12 to 15 taxis waiting there under these plans.
“I just do not think it will work. The noise from the [Ibis hotel] building site at the moment is almost continuous. What will it be like with taxis there?
“The people of North Laine do not want a taxi rank there.”
The issue will be discussed at the council’s transport committee tomorrow (January 15).
Councillors are expected to agree to allow additional time to look in more detail at the concerns raised by residents and evaluate the impact of any changes.
This will enable members to make an informed decision on how to proceed at the committee’s March meeting.
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