Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Brighton Lanes traders fear rush job over pedestrianisation
A historical centre could become a car-free zone by the end of this year.
But traders in The Lanes in Brighton say they fear Brighton and Hove City Council could implement a poorly thought-out scheme for pedestrianisation of the area. They say the authority must get the plan right to ensure business does not suffer.
The council is consulting on two options for the area between the seafront, North Street, West Street and Grand Parade. One would restrict vehicles from accessing any of The Lanes unless they are residents, delivering to a business, parking for shop- ping, or an emergency service.
The second proposal would restrict all vehicles entering the area while pedestrianising Prince Albert Street between Black Lion Street and Ship Street.
The council added two-way cycling would be considered as part of both options.
The consultation ends next Monday.
Stuart Willkie, owner of the Charley Barley children’s clothes shop in Meeting House Lane, said: “As the proposal stands, it has raised more than a few eyebrows.
Pedestrianisation works really well as part of a connected, well-thought-out proposal such as New Road, for example. “However, our question is why such a piecemeal offering for one of the most visited tourist attractions in the South East? A change from Tarmac to block paving and a couple of ‘No- Entry’ signs is not good enough.
“Why are we in such a hurry to do half a job?”
Sue Addis, owner of Donatello restaurant in Brighton Square, said she shared the traders’ concerns.
She said: “They must think of the consequences.
“The form just asks us ‘do you want the roads closed?’ I am a car driver and always will be. I will never cycle to work and there are plenty of people like me.”
Councillor Ian Davey, chairman of the council’s transport committee, said: “We are trying to find a better balance in the Old Town. At the moment this historic area is dominated by a relatively small number of people passing through in cars, while the much larger numbers of pedestrians shopping or using the cafes and restaurants are crammed onto narrow pavements. Cycling is difficult because of the traffic and the one-way streets. Increasing pedestrian priority could make the area safer and a much more attractive place to be.”