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Radical scheme could transform main Brighton city centre route
The gateway to Brighton, used by hundreds of thousands of people a year, could be radically altered, with vehicles shifted to one side of a busy traffic island.
Valley Gardens, which runs from The Level to the Palace Pier, is one of the major routes for people visiting Brighton and Hove’s seafront.
However, as part of a plan to make the area more attractive, Brighton and Hove City Council could limit traffic flow to just one side of the green space.
With opposition councillors urging nothing is done to affect local businesses, the local authority added it was one idea put forward and stressed no decision had yet been made.
Ian Davey, chairman of the council’s transport committee, said: “It is possible to do the most amazing things with such places.
“We’re looking at a number of suggestions on making this a place people would go for pleasure, rather than cross with trepidation.
“Nothing is decided and there will be lots more public consultation.”
A number of ideas were put forward by members of the public, residents and business owners in the area.
The local authority said it backed its own view that the area is visually unattractive and spoilt by complicated traffic systems which make it difficult to cross from east to west.
Suggestions include linking the park to key attractions such as the Royal Pavilion, Dome complex and North Laine and making it more pleasant for cyclists and pedestrians.
Water features fed by rainwater or the ancient underground Wellesbourne stream would be investigated, while vegetation and grassland could be featured to help meet the city’s ambitions to become a UN Urban Biosphere Reserve.
Street Wi-Fi could make the park more heavily used by business people and students, alongside areas for picnics, play and performance.
Conservative councillor Graham Cox said: “At the moment it is confusing and illogical and doesn’t work for pedestrians, cyclists or motorists.
“I think the council should be looking at anything that makes the whole environment more attractive, as it will ultimately be to everyone’s benefit.
“However, any proposed changes would clearly need to be modelled very carefully to make sure there |are no unintended impacts that could damage local traders and businesses.”
Labour councillor Alan Robbins said: “We would like to see the evidence to support any changes.
“I can see how it would work linking the North Laine but do not want traffic to be left stationary, adding to air pollution, which the council is trying to reduce.”
After discussing the issue at its transport committee meeting on Tuesday, the council will draw up some firm proposals for the area.
What do you think of the idea?