The Argus£10m traffic plans for city are a step closer (From The Argus)

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£10m traffic plans for city are a step closer

The Argus: Artist’s impression of Valley Gardens plan Artist’s impression of Valley Gardens plan

A £10 million project to “untangle” traffic at the heart of Brighton and Hove has moved a step closer.

Councillors agreed to updated proposals to overhaul Valley Gardens with a business case now being sent to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to approve £8 million of funding.

A decision on that funding is expected in November and residents could see the changes by summer 2017.

The project will see private vehicles restricted to two lanes running from The Level down to the Palace Pier while the current section running between Pavilion Gardens and London Road will become a bus lane.

Councillors were warned that if they could not agree the business case at Brighton and Hove City Council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee last night, the window for funding might close for the foreseeable future.

Opposition councillors have raised concerns that the economic benefits for the transport overhaul have been overstated to impress LEP bosses.

Claims that the overhaul will “unlock the potential” and attract investment into other sites such as the Brighton Centre and Black Rock were described as “tenuous”.

The council claims the changes will bring financial benefits of at least £39 million over 20 years, including millions from health benefits of more cycling, walking and fewer car crash victims.

To meet the criteria, the project has to prove financial benefits at least double the level of investment.

Labour councillors said a cut in congestion and pollution in other areas of the city such as the Clock Tower or the seafront were needed rather than “cosmetic” improvements to Valley Gardens.

The overhaul could also see the end of a city landmark with the future of the Mazda fountain undecided.

The Valley Garden plans will mean the carriageway to the west will become a bus lane, known as The Park Road, with private vehicles restricted to the two-lane east carriage known as The Avenue.

Traffic from Church Street and North Road will filter across the bus lane into The Avenue.

The changes include a new 700m north to south cycle lane along The Avenue. Cyclists will share The Park Road with buses.

An extra 265 new elm trees will be included.

As well as £8 million from Coast to Capital, Brighton and Hove City Council will contribute £500,000 to the project.

Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said the business case was “overblown” and that other areas of the city such as the Clock Tower and the seafront were much more in need of investment.

She added: “I was really surprised when I read this report at the lack of detail on the impact of this scheme on other areas.

“The whole thing has got to work in practice and we are not 100% satisfied that it will.”

Green committee member Ian Davey said: “This is once in a generation opportunity to transform this space in the heart of the city from a mismatch of tarmac going into different directions to a city centre park with a transport system that works much better than it does now.”

Conservative committee member Geoffrey Theobald said that if he had the choice he would put the £8 million towards the seafront but that choice wasn't open to him and the money would be welcome in transforming a section of road he said all agreed was “a mess”.

Chairman Pete West confirmed that the money was not transferable and the city would lose the £8 million funding if the proposals weren't accepted.

Comments (16)

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2:49pm Wed 2 Jul 14

s_james says...

Rather misleading article – cars would not “be restricted to two lanes”. They would have two lanes in each direction (4 in total)
Rather misleading article – cars would not “be restricted to two lanes”. They would have two lanes in each direction (4 in total) s_james
  • Score: 8

3:14pm Wed 2 Jul 14

rolivan says...

So basically they want to Tarmac and Pave over green space and demolish The Mazda Fountain which I was told would be kept by either Cllrs Davey or West when this project was first publicised . What about the Statue at the Southern End?
So basically they want to Tarmac and Pave over green space and demolish The Mazda Fountain which I was told would be kept by either Cllrs Davey or West when this project was first publicised . What about the Statue at the Southern End? rolivan
  • Score: 12

3:18pm Wed 2 Jul 14

kopite_rob says...

I agree its a mess and the space really isn't utilised as well as it could be, but this scheme really misses the point.
Why not move all traffic lanes to one side of the valley enabling the unused space to be directly linked to the North Street side of Brighton.The same with the Steine.I've never understood why it's become a great big traffic island.
WIth the current plan we're still left with an island in the middle of lanes of traffic.Great for the street drinkers, but doesn't add any incentive to other Brightonians to use the space.
I'd close the Old Steine on the Western side,Marlborough Place and Gloucester Place and put all the traffic lanes on the eastern side of the valley.
I agree its a mess and the space really isn't utilised as well as it could be, but this scheme really misses the point. Why not move all traffic lanes to one side of the valley enabling the unused space to be directly linked to the North Street side of Brighton.The same with the Steine.I've never understood why it's become a great big traffic island. WIth the current plan we're still left with an island in the middle of lanes of traffic.Great for the street drinkers, but doesn't add any incentive to other Brightonians to use the space. I'd close the Old Steine on the Western side,Marlborough Place and Gloucester Place and put all the traffic lanes on the eastern side of the valley. kopite_rob
  • Score: 10

3:20pm Wed 2 Jul 14

homewood says...

Much better off spending the money on improving the seafront in Brighton and Hove....However this is the Greens and they hate cars.
Much better off spending the money on improving the seafront in Brighton and Hove....However this is the Greens and they hate cars. homewood
  • Score: 16

4:32pm Wed 2 Jul 14

wexler53 says...

Aren't the pictures wonderful? When is it supposed to be? 5am on a summer morning?
Aren't the pictures wonderful? When is it supposed to be? 5am on a summer morning? wexler53
  • Score: 11

5:27pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Look at the beautifully smooth Tarmac, it's amazing. Similar images were issued for the Lewes Road scheme.
It was lies. Old road markings were burned off and new ones repainted over the damaged road. Now gigantic holes appear daily which get patched. The cycle lane itself is also breaking up. It's like off road biking cycling in this town.
Look at the beautifully smooth Tarmac, it's amazing. Similar images were issued for the Lewes Road scheme. It was lies. Old road markings were burned off and new ones repainted over the damaged road. Now gigantic holes appear daily which get patched. The cycle lane itself is also breaking up. It's like off road biking cycling in this town. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 15

5:43pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Saltdean Resident says...

Have I got this right, cars will be restricted to a lane towards the seafront and a lane away from the seafront bus lanes to the west. If that's the case there will still be traffic on all sides but the question of cars coming in and out if Brighton will be at a standstill must if the time creating more pollution in the centre of town. Doesn't seem well thought out, I agree with the above post that it will only make a difference if traffic was stopped using the west side, otherwise there's not much point.
Have I got this right, cars will be restricted to a lane towards the seafront and a lane away from the seafront bus lanes to the west. If that's the case there will still be traffic on all sides but the question of cars coming in and out if Brighton will be at a standstill must if the time creating more pollution in the centre of town. Doesn't seem well thought out, I agree with the above post that it will only make a difference if traffic was stopped using the west side, otherwise there's not much point. Saltdean Resident
  • Score: 8

7:30pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Cyril Bolleaux says...

So we have: A dodgy scheme based upon pie in the sky financial projections which is waved through by the Council even though many councillors think it is a bad scheme and the money would be better spent elsewhere just so they can get their hands on money from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership - whatever that is.
God help us all - is this how the country is run?
So we have: A dodgy scheme based upon pie in the sky financial projections which is waved through by the Council even though many councillors think it is a bad scheme and the money would be better spent elsewhere just so they can get their hands on money from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership - whatever that is. God help us all - is this how the country is run? Cyril Bolleaux
  • Score: 7

8:41pm Wed 2 Jul 14

MasonStorm says...

Cyril Bolleaux wrote:
So we have: A dodgy scheme based upon pie in the sky financial projections which is waved through by the Council even though many councillors think it is a bad scheme and the money would be better spent elsewhere just so they can get their hands on money from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership - whatever that is.
God help us all - is this how the country is run?
No, just this hell-hole of a town.
[quote][p][bold]Cyril Bolleaux[/bold] wrote: So we have: A dodgy scheme based upon pie in the sky financial projections which is waved through by the Council even though many councillors think it is a bad scheme and the money would be better spent elsewhere just so they can get their hands on money from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership - whatever that is. God help us all - is this how the country is run?[/p][/quote]No, just this hell-hole of a town. MasonStorm
  • Score: 2

9:08pm Wed 2 Jul 14

BtnLaurence says...

This is a really major road, and pretty much the only road tourists and visitors are going to use to get into Brighton and onto the seafront. I'll admit that it's not great as it is, but that is down to the volume of traffic. Just as an example, the Greens got their hands on the Lewes Road, still a major road but not nearly as major as the Valley Gardens area.
I don't think I'm alone in saying that what they did to Lewes Road was unnecessary and has caused severe tailbacks and is often gridlocked causing more and more pollution.
I was stuck in a jam on Lewes Road when that poor student died at the bottom of Coldean Lane. The bus lane was solid with buses, the cars had nowhere to go and the ambulance was stuck.
Incidentally, and I may be wrong here, but when I enquired about pollution records and monitoring stations, I was told by the gov department that I contacted, that the city centre station was closed a while after the Greeens came in and that instead readings were taken from Preston Park.
I don't think these traffic schemes are thought through from the point of view of a motorist (the person that uses it most) They just seem to be produced alone the lines of what the Greens think roads ought to be or look like, I may be wrong, but that is how they all come across.
What I am saying is that look at what they have done to other roads, Lewes Road being one, not to mention twenty feet long cycle lanes that start and finish against a parking space making them pointless, etc etc etc and imagine the mess and chaos that will come from digging up Valley Gardens.
Apart from the nightmare that it will undoubtedly become, imagine what Brighton will be like while they're doing it. Remember how long the Seven Dials took. That was a small roundabout.
It will be a nightmare for a lot of people if they start this scheme, and as for dismantling the Mazda Fountain - where will they stop?
As for figures. Where do they get them? Out of thin air. This is the party that believes if it says something enough times it becomes fact.
The only fact regarding this party is the fact that they have wrecked this city, it has never looked so bad.
What a shame, so much potential in the hands of fools that think they're clever.
This is a really major road, and pretty much the only road tourists and visitors are going to use to get into Brighton and onto the seafront. I'll admit that it's not great as it is, but that is down to the volume of traffic. Just as an example, the Greens got their hands on the Lewes Road, still a major road but not nearly as major as the Valley Gardens area. I don't think I'm alone in saying that what they did to Lewes Road was unnecessary and has caused severe tailbacks and is often gridlocked causing more and more pollution. I was stuck in a jam on Lewes Road when that poor student died at the bottom of Coldean Lane. The bus lane was solid with buses, the cars had nowhere to go and the ambulance was stuck. Incidentally, and I may be wrong here, but when I enquired about pollution records and monitoring stations, I was told by the gov department that I contacted, that the city centre station was closed a while after the Greeens came in and that instead readings were taken from Preston Park. I don't think these traffic schemes are thought through from the point of view of a motorist (the person that uses it most) They just seem to be produced alone the lines of what the Greens think roads ought to be or look like, I may be wrong, but that is how they all come across. What I am saying is that look at what they have done to other roads, Lewes Road being one, not to mention twenty feet long cycle lanes that start and finish against a parking space making them pointless, etc etc etc and imagine the mess and chaos that will come from digging up Valley Gardens. Apart from the nightmare that it will undoubtedly become, imagine what Brighton will be like while they're doing it. Remember how long the Seven Dials took. That was a small roundabout. It will be a nightmare for a lot of people if they start this scheme, and as for dismantling the Mazda Fountain - where will they stop? As for figures. Where do they get them? Out of thin air. This is the party that believes if it says something enough times it becomes fact. The only fact regarding this party is the fact that they have wrecked this city, it has never looked so bad. What a shame, so much potential in the hands of fools that think they're clever. BtnLaurence
  • Score: 3

10:22pm Wed 2 Jul 14

notaconspiracy says...

This may help the locals, who could cycle or get the bus into town, but will deter visitors to the town/seafront and shoppers (all of whom are far more likely to drive here than cycle or use the bus (especially if they're shopping, I think).
This may help the locals, who could cycle or get the bus into town, but will deter visitors to the town/seafront and shoppers (all of whom are far more likely to drive here than cycle or use the bus (especially if they're shopping, I think). notaconspiracy
  • Score: 2

10:24pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Baffled of Brighton says...

It is called a traffic plan for a reason... It will cause mayhem. The extra money generated will mainly be extra fuel sales.
It is called a traffic plan for a reason... It will cause mayhem. The extra money generated will mainly be extra fuel sales. Baffled of Brighton
  • Score: 3

1:20am Thu 3 Jul 14

martyt says...

Cyril Bolleaux wrote:
So we have: A dodgy scheme based upon pie in the sky financial projections which is waved through by the Council even though many councillors think it is a bad scheme and the money would be better spent elsewhere just so they can get their hands on money from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership - whatever that is.
God help us all - is this how the country is run?
sure its the same pie in the sky that got the loan for the pole on the front
[quote][p][bold]Cyril Bolleaux[/bold] wrote: So we have: A dodgy scheme based upon pie in the sky financial projections which is waved through by the Council even though many councillors think it is a bad scheme and the money would be better spent elsewhere just so they can get their hands on money from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership - whatever that is. God help us all - is this how the country is run?[/p][/quote]sure its the same pie in the sky that got the loan for the pole on the front martyt
  • Score: 2

6:16am Thu 3 Jul 14

brighton bluenose says...

MasonStorm wrote:
Cyril Bolleaux wrote:
So we have: A dodgy scheme based upon pie in the sky financial projections which is waved through by the Council even though many councillors think it is a bad scheme and the money would be better spent elsewhere just so they can get their hands on money from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership - whatever that is.
God help us all - is this how the country is run?
No, just this hell-hole of a town.
Brighton and Hove is a 'hell hole' eh?!
Get real - Baghdad is a 'hell hole', Aleppo is a 'hell hole', Croydon is a 'hell hole' - but our city is a helluva long long way from being a 'hell hole'!!
[quote][p][bold]MasonStorm[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cyril Bolleaux[/bold] wrote: So we have: A dodgy scheme based upon pie in the sky financial projections which is waved through by the Council even though many councillors think it is a bad scheme and the money would be better spent elsewhere just so they can get their hands on money from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership - whatever that is. God help us all - is this how the country is run?[/p][/quote]No, just this hell-hole of a town.[/p][/quote]Brighton and Hove is a 'hell hole' eh?! Get real - Baghdad is a 'hell hole', Aleppo is a 'hell hole', Croydon is a 'hell hole' - but our city is a helluva long long way from being a 'hell hole'!! brighton bluenose
  • Score: 1

8:10am Thu 3 Jul 14

Bewlay83 says...

s_james wrote:
Rather misleading article – cars would not “be restricted to two lanes”. They would have two lanes in each direction (4 in total)
Poor basic research or a deliberate attempt to encourage squabbling on (and interest in) the Argus comments board? Shoddy journalism either way! Looks a good idea to me, this area is horrible.
[quote][p][bold]s_james[/bold] wrote: Rather misleading article – cars would not “be restricted to two lanes”. They would have two lanes in each direction (4 in total)[/p][/quote]Poor basic research or a deliberate attempt to encourage squabbling on (and interest in) the Argus comments board? Shoddy journalism either way! Looks a good idea to me, this area is horrible. Bewlay83
  • Score: -2

10:25am Thu 3 Jul 14

LargeAndInCharge says...

Don't the Greens understand that Brighton is a tourist town?! These plans are just going to cause even more gridlock. If you make it harder for visitors to come in, they'll just stop coming, and so there won't be any money being generated into the town, and so it'll end up like Yorkshire, and that means that more people like myself will just end up moving away.....
Don't the Greens understand that Brighton is a tourist town?! These plans are just going to cause even more gridlock. If you make it harder for visitors to come in, they'll just stop coming, and so there won't be any money being generated into the town, and so it'll end up like Yorkshire, and that means that more people like myself will just end up moving away..... LargeAndInCharge
  • Score: 1

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