A road restriction which took nearly two years to put in place is causing chaos for drivers and cyclists.

Willbury Villas was reopened with a new width restriction on August 1 by Brighton and Hove City Council.

The new measures have been put in place to stop vehicles wider than two metres from entering the area after large lorries damaged the Hove bridge.

But within ten minutes of opening two cars had already hit it and The Argus witnessed a mini doing a U-turn to avoid negotiating the junction.

Melanie White, business manager of the Dock cafe on neighbouring Lorna Road, said: “Within ten minutes of opening two people hit it, you can see all the black tyre marks on the side.

“It’s stopping the wrong kind of people. It isn’t stopping delivery drivers and white van men who take it at 30 or 40 miles an hour straight through.

“The restriction was supposed to make things better for the cafe but it really hasn’t.”

Two of the UK’s most popular cars, the Nissan Qashqai and the BMW 3 series, are both wider than two metres so would not fit through the restriction.

But a transit van, at 1.7m wide, is still able to use the road.

Resident Andy Wooler, 58, said: “I understand there’s a weight limit on the bridge but this is bad for anyone who drives anything bigger than a mini.

“The design is just ridiculous, this council can’t spend money quick enough, how much are we spending on this?”

The road was previously forced to close when the bridge was damaged by heavy goods vehicles, up to six times bigger than the bridge’s three tonne vehicle capacity limit.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “It’s tight but easily negotiated by cars with care at low speed.

“There’s a weight limit on this bridge – HGVs are not allowed on it.

“The narrowing will help ensure the weight limit is obeyed, that HGVs stay off the bridge, preventing it getting damaged, closing again and causing much worse long-term inconvenience for all drivers.”